A Priest of Liberal Nationalism
Law & Liberty
by John D. Wilsey
1h ago
John D. Wilsey discusses his book, God’s Cold Warrior: The Life and Faith of John Foster Dulles. Brian A. Smith (00:03): Welcome to Liberty Law Talk. This podcast is a production of the online journal, Law & Liberty, and hosted by our staff. Please visit us at lawliberty.org, and thank you for listening. James Patterson (00:17): Hello, you are listening to Liberty Law Talk, the podcast for Law & Liberty. Today is January 6th, 2023. My name is James M. Patterson, and I’m a Contributing Editor to Law & Liberty as well as Associate Professor and Chair in the Politics Department at Ave ..read more
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The Convention’s Story on Canvas
Law & Liberty
by Daniel Dreisbach
1h ago
On September 17, 1787, 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention meeting in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall stepped forward to put their signatures to a document they had framed during the preceding four months. This defining moment in the life of the new nation has drawn the interest of artists across the centuries who have depicted the scene with varying degrees of success. One such rendering is “Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States” (1940) by Howard Chandler Christy, commissioned to commemorate the Constitution’s sesquicentennial. Authorized by a joint resoluti ..read more
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Supreme Failures from the Court
Law & Liberty
by Matthew J. Franck & Mark David Hall
1d ago
It should come as no surprise that many conservative legal thinkers consider Roe v. Wade to be among the worst decisions ever handed down by the Supreme Court. The fiftieth anniversary of Roe is also the first since it was overturned by Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. But many terrible decisions remain. The anniversary prompted us to ask: What are the worst of the worst? We decided to ask self-identified conservative and libertarian legal scholars to send us their own lists of what they considered to be the Court’s worst opinions. We then compiled a list of the twenty cases mentioned the most ..read more
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What Humanity Adds
Law & Liberty
by John O. McGinnis
1d ago
ChatGPT has become ubiquitous. My first faculty meeting this semester considered the problem of law students using the technology to provide answers to exam questions or writing papers. Two law professors have published an article showing that ChatGPT could already pass two parts of the bar exam (the torts and evidence sections). A company last week offered a million dollars for an attorney to wear a headset and repeat the Chat’s answers to questions at an oral argument at the Supreme Court. The last development is, to be sure, a marketing gimmick. No attorney would do so, even if it were ..read more
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Winter’s Silence
Law & Liberty
by Rachel K. Alexander
2d ago
In Noah Webster’s 1788 essay advocating for universal education in America, the founding-era lexicographer distinguishes winter as the season most appropriate for schooling. After listing the subjects with which American citizens ought to be acquainted—beginning with ethics and the principles of law—Webster explains that “[t]his acquaintance they might obtain by means of books calculated for schools, and read by the children, during the winter months, and by the circulation of public papers.” The winter months are most fitting for reading because these are the months when children “are not oth ..read more
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Major Questions about Chevron
Law & Liberty
by Peter J. Wallison
2d ago
James R. Rogers recently wrote for Law & Liberty that the Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA last term established “no new doctrine.” By this, he seemed to mean that there was nothing in the decision that had not already been outlined by the Court in a series of cases that have narrowed the scope of what is known as Chevron deference. This is the principle that the Court established in a 1984 case, NRDC v. Chevron, that lower courts should defer to an agency’s interpretation of its statutory authority where that interpretation was “reasonable.” But in West Va. v. EPA, it is m ..read more
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A Generative Culture of Life
Law & Liberty
by Susanna Spencer
2d ago
“Look!” I said to my fiancé, showing him the charts on which I had recorded my menstrual cycles. “If my cycles stay the same, we might conceive a baby on our honeymoon!” I was not surprised when he shared my enthusiasm. For in those days, when we were both twenty-one and still months from our wedding date, we were hoping to have ten children. If I look at my husband’s and my early life plans through the lens of Lyman Stone’s essay on demographic decline, I see clearly that we grew up somewhat outside the mainstream American culture. My entire life I have been surrounded by a community that val ..read more
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Checking the American Presidency
Law & Liberty
by Philip A. Wallach
3d ago
In the United States, the study of little-c constitutional law is generally taken to be synonymous with the study of big-C Constitutional law. We have our written document, upon which we have built a vast doctrinal edifice over the centuries that one can spend a lifetime studying. Be that as it may, the country’s little-c constitution can best be understood by those who are willing to zoom out from the case law and bring into view the more tectonic aspects of American political culture. A new book, No Blank Check, from political scientists Andrew Reeves and Jon C. Rogowski lets readers ponder ..read more
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Aiming at Ordered Liberty
Law & Liberty
by Jeffrey Bristol
3d ago
The telos, or final cause of the American regime, according to the prophets of the Common Good, descends like a vision from God, telling us precisely how our society ought to be ordered. They invoke telos to justify transformative arguments about the American Constitution, using broad language in the Preamble to interpret and circumscribe the document. Telos’s power, they argue, derives not just from words, but from intellectual tradition. Telos is important for Aristotle and Aquinas; a classical provenance for “classical lawyers.” When scrutinizing arguments about telos, we find something mis ..read more
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Ending the Stranglehold of Public Employee Unions
Law & Liberty
by Mark Pulliam
4d ago
The threat of faction—a “mortal disease,” James Madison warned in Federalist 10—has plagued popular government since time immemorial. The eternal desire to improve one’s economic position at the expense of others without the benefit of consensual exchange has long tempted mankind into (again, using Madison’s words) “mutual animosities” that eventually found voice in Karl Marx’s toxic class consciousness. In the pre-industrial era, the “dangerous vice” of rent-seeking often consisted of debtors seeking to avoid their repayment obligations through the use of worthless paper money. During the 20t ..read more
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