Law & Liberty

Law & Liberty focuses on the content, status, and development of law in the context of republican and limited government and the ways in which liberty and law mutually reinforce each other.

Law & Liberty brings together serious debate, commentary, essays, blog posts, podcast episodes, book reviews, interviews, and educational material in a commitment to the first principles of law in a free society. The site considers a range of foundational and contemporary legal issues, legal philosophy, and pedagogy.

Blog

The blog features timely commentary by John McGinnis, Mike Rappaport, and James Rogers and a host of other contributors on constitutional, legal, and policy issues.

Forum

The forum is a platform for the discussion of the legal and philosophical principles that inform and govern a free government and a free people. Recognizing that there is no shortage of online venues for evaluating legal questions, the forum's distinction rests in its examination of the basic principles of a constitutional republican order and its focus on the elements of freedom that must exist in a society dedicated to liberty and responsibility. The forum aims to uncover the genesis of central legal ideas that produced our unique heritage of Western liberty but are now misunderstood due to ideological confusion.

Every month, the forum presents an essay on a major topic by a leading thinker. This first essay’s ideas will then be considered and tested by two other participants in each exchange. The ideas discussed and debated in this space are not the sole preserve of experts, however. The hope is that each topic, and the ideas animating and surrounding it, will emerge into full view for the reader, permitting a new and refined understanding of the ideas discussed. These ideas are open to all: They are the personal and collective wisdom of any society devoted to the noblest ideas of the Western legal and political philosophical tradition.

Podcast

The podcast features interviews with leading academics and writers on new books, articles, and contemporary subjects.

Book Reviews

This section contains reviews of significant new books in law, history, policy, and politics.

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Recent Posts

Here are the 10 latest posts from Law & Liberty.

Law & Liberty April 19, 2019

Everybody Counts or Nobody Does

Bosch's manliness and stoic sense of duty combine with the absence of faith to make him serve those who need him without hoping for a just order.

Law & Liberty April 19, 2019

Good Riddance to Cultural Christianity

The problem with the Christian Right is not that it’s too Christian, but rather that it’s not Christian enough.

Law & Liberty April 19, 2019

Justice Kagan Recognizes Legal Meaning as the Proper Object of Interpretation

Justice Kagan often asks just the right question in statutory construction cases, and she should carry her logic over to constitutional questions as well.

Law & Liberty April 19, 2019

Paul Hollander, In Memoriam

Fascinated by the Western intellectuals’ fascination with communism, Hollander was able to explain it to us.

Law & Liberty April 18, 2019

Fukuyama’s Hollow Nation-State

There is no guarantee that science, technology, liberal democracy, commercial greatness, or military strength will go on much longer in a liberal regime.

Law & Liberty April 17, 2019

The United States, Balancer of First Resort?

The tragic sensibility shows statesmen what course to follow as the international liberal order frays under the assaults of revisionist powers.

Law & Liberty April 17, 2019

Sweet Irony: Illinois Legislature Needs Trump Judges to Require Release of Trump’s Income Tax Returns

It is Trump judges who would allow states to do just what the Illinois Senate wants to do in SB0145 as it seeks to prevent Trump’s reelection.

Law & Liberty April 17, 2019

It’s Not Too Big to Work: In Praise of NATO

McDougall overlooks the alliance’s tremendous success over the last seven decades, and its progress both in burden-sharing and rearmament.

Law & Liberty April 16, 2019

Attacks on the AG’s Handling of the Mueller Report Undermine Justice

Critics of William Barr forget that the Mueller Report contains four kinds of material that must be screened prior to release.

Law & Liberty April 16, 2019

Does The Ninth Amendment Constitutionally Protect Unenumerated Rights?

The Ninth Amendment recognizes natural rights, but does not protect them as constitutional rights.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Law Talk.

Liberty Law Talk April 15, 2019

Fear God. Honor the Emperor. A Conversation with Robert Louis Wilken

Robert Louis Wilken discusses his new book Liberty in the Things of God.

Liberty Law Talk April 1, 2019

The Economic Nationalism Agenda: A Conversation with Daniel McCarthy

Daniel McCarthy makes the case for a new conservative agenda rooted in an aggressive industrial policy.

Liberty Law Talk March 14, 2019

Decentralization and the Common Good: A Conversation with Andy Smarick

Andy Smarick discusses Hayek, subsidiarity, and the principles of authentic decentralization.

Liberty Law Talk March 1, 2019

Lord Liverpool & the British Tradition of Strategic Independence: A Conversation with William Anthony Hay

William Anthony Hay talks about Lord Liverpool's excellent statesmanship.

Liberty Law Talk February 14, 2019

Born-Again Paganism: A Conversation with Steven Smith

Steven Smith talks with Richard Reinsch about his provocative thesis that a modern form of paganism is becoming public orthodoxy.

Liberty Law Talk February 1, 2019

“Slouching Towards Mar-a-Lago:” A Conversation with Andrew Bacevich

Andrew Bacevich discusses his new book Twilight of the American Century

Liberty Law Talk January 16, 2019

Bureaucracy, Regulation, and the Unmanly Contempt for the Constitution

John Marini unmasks the century-long effort to undermine the Constitution's distribution of power.

Liberty Law Talk January 2, 2019

Beautiful Losers in American Politics: A Conversation with Nicole Mellow

Nicole Mellow on the beautiful losers in American politics who have redefined the country.

Liberty Law Talk December 17, 2018

American Heresies and the Betrayal of the National Interest: A Conversation with Walter McDougall

Walter McDougall discusses how America's civil religion has shaped our foreign policy.

Liberty Law Talk December 3, 2018

The Sacred Rites of Humanity: A Conversation with Daniel Mahoney

Daniel Mahoney discusses his new book The Idol of Our Age and how humanitarianism corrupts politics and religion.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Forum.

Liberty Forum April 1, 2019

NATO at Three Score and Ten: An Anticipatory Elegy

Dues payments are the last of NATO’s worries. More importantly, now that it’s so big, how can it defend its far-flung borders against Russia?

Liberty Forum March 1, 2019

The Destructive Legacy of McCulloch v. Maryland

John Marshall’s famous opinion invited congressional overreach and gave inadequate weight to the powers of the states.

Liberty Forum February 1, 2019

Islam, Blasphemy, and the East-West Divide

What blasphemy laws tell us 30 years after “the fatwa,” and 40 years after the Iranian Revolution.

Liberty Forum January 2, 2019

Twenty-Five Years of NAFTA

A much-maligned trade pact that needed to be updated, NAFTA now faces an uncertain future.

Liberty Forum November 1, 2018

Administrative Law Is Bunk. We Need a Bundesverwaltungsgericht

Only a new Administrative Judiciary can tame the regulatory state and vindicate the rights of citizens when they get pushed around by a government agency.

Liberty Forum October 1, 2018

Reforming U.S. Environmental Policy

Start with two big obstacles to good policymaking on the environment: federal review under NEPA, and undue judicial deference to the executive branch.

Liberty Forum September 4, 2018

The Frivolous Valley and Its Dreadful Conformity

Silicon Valley, with soil so fertile that anything could grow there, now grows a hierarchy of techies seeking money, fame, power, sex, and adulation.

Liberty Forum August 1, 2018

Restoring Localism

Freeing localities from federal control appeals to the Left at the moment. Right and Left could make a strategic alliance to foment a decentralist rebellion.

Liberty Forum July 2, 2018

Desire or Dominance?: Sexual Harassment’s Legal Maze

The discrimination approach doesn’t give us adequate tools for managing real differences between the sexes.

Liberty Forum June 1, 2018

Between a Mirage and a Mistake: Correcting American Grand Strategy

We should keep in mind our interests and our allies. Doing so brings home to us the paradox of strategic thinking: to secure peace, prepare for war.

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