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 May 27, 2019

The Limits of Common Sense

Howard attributes law's overreach to “visions of correctness”—essentially blind faith in the rule of law—held by liberals and conservatives alike.

Law & Liberty May 27, 2019

Refreshing and Disturbing: Anthony Peacock on Thucydides and The Federalist

Peacock’s rediscovery of the lost Federalist is a much needed corrective to contemporary scholarship.

Law & Liberty May 24, 2019

What Distinguishes America?

Orestes Brownson’s view is that America is the prudent compromise between two idealistic extremes.

Law & Liberty May 24, 2019

Originalism and Sovereign Immunity

The mistake that the Supreme Court makes is to presume that the answer to this specific question must be found in the Constitution.

Law & Liberty May 23, 2019

Redlining in Reverse

“Adversity scores” are the latest gimmick to justify racial preferences in college admissions.

Law & Liberty May 23, 2019

Global Poverty and the Lure of Resentment

Oxfam is reluctant to consider a troubling question: What if global poverty declined because economic inequality increased?

Law & Liberty May 22, 2019

Conservatives Have Become as Impatient as Liberals, and That’s Not Good

The conservatives have natural advantages over the progressives that ought not be squandered.

Law & Liberty May 22, 2019

Paul Collier and the False Promise of “Centrism”

We need to recognize that the first step—rather than further government "medicine"—is to stop poisoning the patient, and return to capitalism.

Law & Liberty May 21, 2019

Making Ourselves at Home: College Students and Safe Spaces

We should offer students a different way of thinking, one that makes college less about private comfort and more about citizenship in the public square.

Law & Liberty May 21, 2019

Game of Thrones Reminds Us That Virtue is Not Enough

These days it takes a medieval fantasy to help us remember why liberal democracy is worth cherishing.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Law Talk.

Liberty Law Talk May 16, 2019

Politics as War: A Conversation with David Davenport

David Davenport discusses how we lost "the cool, deliberate sense of the community" in making public policy and embraced the war metaphor.

Liberty Law Talk May 1, 2019

Why Higher Education Is a Cartel: A Conversation with Todd Zywicki

Todd Zywicki joins this episode to discuss the bad economics and perverse regulatory framework of higher education.

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.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Forum.

Liberty Forum May 1, 2019

What Went Wrong (and Right) with Conservative Philanthropy

Effective nonprofit giving on the Right means searching for the best balance between ideas, policies, and patience.

Liberty Forum April 1, 2019

NATO at Three Score and Ten: An Anticipatory Elegy

Dues payments are the least 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.

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