Politics & Law

The third pillar of a decent society is a just system of politics and law. Such a government does not bind all persons, families, institutions of civil society, and actors in the marketplace to itself as subservient features of an all-pervading authority. Instead, it honors and protects the inherent equal dignity of all persons, safeguards the family as the primary school of virtue, and seeks justice through the rule of law.

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The Great Revolt: Understanding Real Trump Voters

The country’s ruling elites misunderstood or ignored the concerns of a significant segment of the electorate. The Great Revolt suggests that those elites should move beyond lamenting the misfortune (to them) of Trump’s elevation to the presidency and ponder the mistakes on their part that made it possible.

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Vindicating the Founders . . . Again

The political theory of the American founding is not quite the “cure for what ails us,” but, as Thomas G. West’s books demonstrate, it can serve as a kind of preventive medicine against the psychological sickness of radical individualism.

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Three Questions for the New Antiliberals

The new antiliberals are not wrong to worry about the dire state of American politics and culture. But they persistently fail to adequately ask, much less clearly answer, three pressing questions that must be part of any adequate treatment of the problem, and they virtually ignore the thoughtful conservative alternatives to antiliberalism that do address these questions.

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Thinking Clearly About Immigration

All human beings share certain universal human rights. But I am not just a human. I am also an American, a Kansan, a university instructor, and a member of a church body. Each one of these relationships generates specific goods, rights, and responsibilities that are unique to me. The same is true for nation-states, each of which have a distinct culture and unique responsibilities to its own citizens.

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Presidential Self-Pardons, the Framers at Philadelphia, and the Work of Originalism

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.

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Filling in the Blank Left in the Masterpiece Ruling: Why Gorsuch and Thomas Are Right

The majority’s refusal to address the free speech issue in Masterpiece explains the intractability of debates over the scope of its free exercise ruling because, surprisingly, the two issues are linked. Two concurrences implicitly address the free speech issue. There the conservatives’ case is stronger, and supported explicitly by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor in dissent. In light of it, the Court’s Masterpiece ruling should provide robust protection for other creative professionals.