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 February 15, 2019

Completely Unjustified Occupational Licensing

Occupational licensing is dangerous and we should almost always rely upon certification.

Law & Liberty February 15, 2019

Harold Ramis, Unlikely Prophet of Trump

Nobody stopped to think these films were not just comedy, but also stories about a coming class conflict in America.

Law & Liberty February 15, 2019

Judicial Statesmanship versus Judicial Fidelity

Since the boundaries of left and right are always changing, a court focused on retaining its political capital would have the constancy of a weather vane.

Law & Liberty 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.

Law & Liberty February 14, 2019

The Court Should Tear Down Everson, Not the Maryland Cross

Does this Maryland cross violate our Constitution?  That very question is currently before the Supreme Court.

Law & Liberty February 14, 2019

Covetousness and Inequality

Once we indulge the taste to take away simply because others have, there is no end but desolation.

Law & Liberty February 13, 2019

What Would the Impartial Spectator Do?

The public's authentic position about any number of issues may be corrupt—Adam Smith may guide us through the alternative.

Law & Liberty February 13, 2019

Helping the Poor versus Reducing Inequality

It is not income equality, but making the poor better off that is an important value for government policy.

Law & Liberty February 13, 2019

A Clash of the Sacred and the Secular

Where should freedom of speech begin and end? Should anything be held as sacred? All emerging democracies struggle with these questions.

Law & Liberty February 12, 2019

The Reality and Rhetoric of Denying Asylum

What is most distinctive about Orbán and Trump is not their policies with respect to asylum seekers but their accompanying rhetoric.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Law Talk.

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.

Liberty Law Talk November 15, 2018

The John Marshall Legacy: A Conversation with Richard Brookhiser

Richard Brookhiser discusses the life and jurisprudence of John Marshall.

Liberty Law Talk November 2, 2018

Andrew Jackson in Context: A Conversation with Bradley Birzer

Once considered one of our most consequential presidents, Andrew Jackson's reputation has now fallen on hard times.

Liberty Law Talk October 17, 2018

Hamilton, Madison, and American Oligarchy: A Conversation with Jay Cost

Jay Cost, author of The Price of Greatness, discusses the political and economic debates between Hamilton and Madison.

Liberty Law Talk October 3, 2018

Knowledge, Risk, and the Surprised Banker: A Conversation with Alex Pollock

Alex Pollock discusses the philosophy of finance and why the quant guys keep getting it wrong.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Forum.

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.

Liberty Forum May 1, 2018

France’s Psychodrama of 1968

Those who loathe and those who celebrate May 1968 agree it was a defining moment for Western democracy in its late modern form.

Liberty Forum April 2, 2018

The Legal Turn

We argue that the U.S. Constitution was written in the language of the law, and that treating it as a legal document strengthens originalism.

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