For ten years, Public Discourse has drawn on the insights of academics and scholars, political and legal advocates, and men and women of letters to offer the reading public thought-provoking reflections on the timeliest issues and the most timeless dilemmas of our public life.
Author: Matthew J. Franck (Matthew Franck)
Leslie Rubin’s portrait of Aristotelian America and American Aristotelianism is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of our situation.
As the late Justice Scalia was fond of pointing out, the views of individual lawmakers in the midst of debate are not themselves the law we must interpret. Neither are the votes taken in a deliberative body rightly viewed as votes on anyone’s interpretation of the text under discussion. The text that they passed, not what they said about what they passed, is the law.
Ryan T. Anderson has written the definitive book on the transgender phenomenon—ranging across medicine, psychology, culture, sociology, law, and public policy. In doing so, he may have saved the minds and bodies—indeed, the very lives—of people he will never know.
Even when its nomination process is broken enough to give us such a man as Donald Trump for our president, the party establishment has shown a remarkable capacity to fill the voids created by his inattention and to guide many of his most important policy decisions.
Love of country and love of the Constitution—a simple and pure patriotism matched with a sophisticated historical sensibility—run through a new collection of Justice Antonin Scalia’s speeches.
It is a natural thing for southerners to be drawn to Lee’s memory and to look up in admiration at a statue in his likeness. But the fact remains: such statues say to black Americans, in the voice of the unreconstructed white majority, “We’re back in charge, and don’t you forget it.”
Political scientists James W. Ceaser, Andrew E. Busch, and John J. Pitney, Jr., take a hard look at the 2016 election, adding another book to their series of insightful election analyses.
This week’s 7-2 decision in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church goes a long way toward restoring order to the Supreme Court’s religious liberty jurisprudence.
Nick Spencer’s recent collection of essays reminds us to appreciate the complex relationship between Christianity and modernity.
If this butcher could carry on virtually in the open for so many years—if he could even be permitted one more “procedure” before police on the scene put an end to his sordid business—how many other clinics like his are there?
Our fundamental equality as rational created beings is the source of our inalienable rights. Failure to understand this makes it impossible to truly understand the Declaration or the principles of limited government.
Vote as if your ballot determines nothing whatsoever—except the shape of your own character.
An excellent new book, written with admirable clarity, demonstrates the compatibility—indeed the happy and mutually fulfilling companionship—of faith and reason, even and especially in matters of public life.
Seeing in our contemporary politics the revival of Douglas Democracy in all its anxieties about freedom—and seeing it make such headway in Lincoln’s political party—is disheartening in the extreme. The imperative of learning from Lincoln, as Allen Guelzo’s work brings him to us, has never been stronger.
A play in three acts, each consisting of a meeting between the CEO of a religious charity and the agent representing her health insurance company.
The students of Justice Scalia were not merely those who took his classes or served as his clerks. Through his opinions, he taught countless others the importance of the rule of law, republican self-government, and the virtue of courageous persistence in a good cause.
The American Founders created a careful system to prevent the election of the power-hungry. Progressive-led changes to the electoral process in the twentieth century, however, make it all too easy for ambitious demagogues to seize control—as first Obama did, and now Trump is doing to far worse ends.
With a simple change, the Senate can restore its republican bona fides, give minority points of view an audible voice, greatly reduce the number of filibusters, make incremental gains in the passage of bills important to the majority, and improve the quality of debate.
To properly understand due process, we must grasp the key distinctions between law and decrees and between law and morality. If judges are authoritative arbiters of the “logic of morals,” we have subjected ourselves to an unelected, life-tenured legal elite whose reach exceeds our grasp.
The Eighth Circuit Court has created the opportunity for religious freedom to win again in the Supreme Court. But it is Judge Daniel Manion of the Seventh Circuit Court who supplies the arguments that should triumph, for everyone’s freedom.
When voters and legislators act on religiously informed moral convictions in making the law, it may entail a blending of religion and politics that is disquieting to the secular liberal mind, but it closes no gap in the “separation of church and state.”
As a legal opinion, Obergefell is an utter failure, relying as it does on a tenuous and historically ungrounded jurisprudence of “dignity.” The debate over same-sex marriage is not over. A constitutional ruling so shoddily reasoned, so completely and easily dismantled by the dissents, must paper over a cause that cannot ultimately win in an open debate.
There are some problems in the reasoning of Justice Scalia’s opinion in the 1990 religious freedom case. But in its holding, and in its rejection of a quarter century of jurisprudence that could not be squared with the First Amendment, the judgment was correct.
Thanks to its sympathy and its moral seriousness, Richard Brookhiser’s new biography of Abraham Lincoln is a fine study of statesmanship.