America’s relations with China should proceed from the recognition that the Chinese government is lawless. China flouts the rule of law, not occasionally or incidentally but characteristically, because the government understands itself as the source of law and unconstrained by it. The problem of China reminds us of the deeper laws that all nations must respect and that determine whether or not our positive laws are legally just.
Author: Adam J. MacLeod (Adam J. MacLeod)
Among the universal, fundamental rights every person enjoys is the right to leave his nation of origin. Yet the right to leave does not entail the right to enter a specific nation.
Kansas’s Supreme Court randomly festooned its recent decision on abortion with impressive terms, without making the slightest effort to learn the terms’ meanings. The court identifies “common law” with judicial opinions and thus shoehorns innovative judicial decisions into its discussion of “natural rights.”
Common-law marriage can never entirely be abolished. The duties of marital relations are generated and vested by the actions of the parties themselves.
Understood as an expression of the common law commitments on which it was built, our Constitution still supplies common terms in which we might re-transform our civic discourse into something rational and productive. The second in a two-part series.
Our Constitution is not just positive law, stipulated and contingent on political will. American constitutions do incorporate pre-positive law, often expressly. And that law is neither mere text, nor axioms, nor political ideals. The first in a two-part series.
Though Legislated Rights is primarily written for legal philosophers, it bears important lessons for all who work to secure human rights in law. It challenges conventional views about the supremacy of courts in specifying and vindicating rights, arguing that legislatures can best accomplish this task.
When we lie to ourselves about the moral status of other human beings, we not only unjustly injure other people, we also injure ourselves and our culture. We transform ourselves into a people who believe the lie. The costs of self-deception are internal and reflexive as well as external and consequential.
Though our political institutions are designed to be secular and non-sectarian, our laws rest on Christian ideas about what we owe each other as human beings made in the image and likeness of God.
State officials and judges cannot comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Masterpiece simply by articulating facially neutral reasons for decisions that punish people for acting on the understanding that marriage is a man-woman union.
Social conservatives are right to oppose proposed legislation that would ban therapy to help those experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion. But they’re wrong to say that the bill would ban books.
Same-sex parenting advocates are calling on states’ rights to define the legal relationship between parent and child. What they seek is the power to write the record of a child’s origins and to determine a fundamental aspect of a child’s identity.
Just as governors, abortionists, and sexual-identity activists enjoy legal protection for their property rights, so do religious business owners.
In their new book, Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis make a strong case for pluralism and ordered liberty, while John Corvino drafts a blueprint for a comprehensive despotism that would consume the preconditions and legal safeguards for ordered liberty. Part two of a two-part review essay.
The implications of John Corvino, Ryan T. Anderson, Sherif Girgis’s well-argued debate reach far beyond the latest round in the culture wars. They go to the foundations of the American experiment in ordered liberty. Part one of a two-part review essay.
A new book highlights the shared anthropology and social thought of Abraham Kuyper and Pope Leo XIII without glossing over their differences.
Capitalism enables equalities of participation that would not otherwise be possible, even as it facilitates inequalities of wealth.
A new book demonstrates both the promise and the limitations of natural law by examining the great European-civilian and Anglo-American legal traditions in which it plays a foundational role.
Laws that give municipal officials and their private contractors power to issue tickets via traffic cameras confer powers of both criminal and civil law while excusing them from the due process duties of both criminal and civil law.
Samuel Gregg’s new book makes it clear that the fundamental purpose of finance, as of all civic practices and institutions, is the good of human beings.
The double maternity two-step is a forced march. The intended destination seems to be greater personal fulfillment for adults. But if we arrive there, what will be left of the rights of children?
The Governor and Attorney General of Texas should obey the law, not the Supreme Court’s ambiguous abstractions. They should continue to secure the fundamental liberty of vulnerable Texans and make the abortion industry assert its super-claim-rights in court.
Vanderbilt is legally free to constitute itself as a non-religious university. The question is whether Gordon College will be left free to constitute itself as a Christian college. Will we have equal liberty, or only liberty for those who despise Christianity?
A federal court has said a student’s subjective understanding alters the meaning of an unambiguous, federal law. And it alters the meaning of the law for everyone in the Gloucester County school district and, potentially, everyone who resides in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Rights in the modern world are meaningless, existing only at the will of a sovereign lawmaker. A return to “perfectionist jurisprudence,” in which rights are derived from plural authorities, at least some of which are higher that the human sovereign, and constructed on genuine human goods, would restore the structural integrity and normative currency of human rights.