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Pillar: Politics & Law

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 Centralization of the Internet

Most of the Internet’s traffic now flows through the networks of a few large companies rather than a multitude of small transit providers, and the Internet’s physical infrastructure is being reshaped to meet this new reality. But relying on a few providers to host all the content on the Internet makes it possible for just a few companies to shut down entire services or control speech.

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The Cosby Problem

Bill Cosby’s release is a consequence of a criminal justice system run by insiders seeking efficient results. This debacle sheds light on the disappointing state of our criminal justice system, the overly wide latitude afforded to prosecutors, and the mechanical way in which the system operates.

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In Defense of Common Good Originalism

Many key constitutional clauses were drafted as compromise provisions intended to win over the members of intensely warring intellectual and political tribes. This ought to cut strongly in favor of a dispositional humility about an interpreter’s ability to definitively discern the most accurate original meanings of these clauses. In these situations, statesmen ought to err on the side of certain substantive ideals of natural justice, human flourishing, and the common good.

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The Bad History of Common Good Originalism

Common-good originalism’s historical understanding of the Constitution’s adoption is perhaps its weakest link. The Constitution emerged from a negotiated consensus of a complex popular sovereign—a fact that ought to reinforce a judge’s commitment to the written text.

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Big Tech and the Battle for Republican Liberty

Control of public deliberation and political action in America is quickly passing into the hands of an unelected oligarchy. To truly break the tyranny of Big Tech, Josh Hawley and his allies may need to drop the Jeffersonian fig leaf and forthrightly embrace a contemporary revival of Hamiltonian republicanism.

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What the French Can Teach Americans About the Electoral College

Pitting as it does two different conceptions of popular sovereignty against each other, the debate over the Electoral College is a proxy for a more fundamental debate over what kind of regime should govern America. The history of French republicanism teaches that the closer Americans come to changing the way they elect their president, the closer they come to regime change.

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Are Chinese Apps Just Trojan Horses?

The future of warfare will rely heavily on technology, and apps provide the perfect avenues for acts of espionage and targeted disinformation campaigns against the American people. Since the Chinese Communist Party has access to the copious amounts of biometrics, location tracking, conversations, and other personal data collected by apps like TikTok and WeChat, the Biden administration should take action against this serious security threat.

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Repudiating Roe (Part II): The Pernicious Doctrine of Stare Decisis

The doctrine of stare decisis is a dangerous tool, malleable, and peculiarly susceptible to manipulation and abuse. It entices and deceives. If just two justices compromise their principles and betray the Constitution, Dobbs will be lost. If so, Dobbs will displace Casey as the worst Supreme Court decision of all time, and the justices rendering it will merit the most severe condemnation of history. But if the Court overrules Roe and Casey, the Dobbs case would rank among the most magnificent decisions in the Court’s history.

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God and Public Reason

Who would deny that liberalism is falling apart, that the center is not holding, or that a vindictive and evangelistic progressivism is afoot? If so, the natural law cannot but feel like feeble comfort. Still, some of us are unwilling to reject public reason or the hopefulness of John Courtney Murray, for we never assumed his optimism was naivete.

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No-Fault Divorce Is Not the Right Way to Achieve “Therapeutic Justice”

While it is good that legal systems have become more sensitive to the psychological effects of the law on participants in the legal process, we should be wary of claims that assert that no-fault divorce is “therapeutic” for divorcing couples or their children. Advocates for the sanctity of marriage across the globe should pay close attention to this shift.

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A Theological Defense of the Liberal State

Andrew Walker’s new book provides biblical-theological resources for navigating an increasingly anti-Christian culture in the West, especially the United States. Baptists have been here before, prior to the Act of Toleration in England and the First Amendment to the US Constitution. They flourished in the midst of hostility as a countercultural force for the common good. We can too.

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Critical Race Theory: Plundering the Egyptians or Worshiping Ba’al?

Critical Race Theory rightly calls us to recognize that the effects of sin can be magnified throughout the institutions and social structures erected by individuals, leading to social systems that embody unjust racial prejudices. However, by focusing on sin as embodied with or without intent in social systems, proponents of CRT lose sight of what makes sin so wrong in the first place: that individuals who bear a moral accountability before God break his moral law.

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When It Comes to Public Policy, “Following the Science” Is More Complicated Than It Sounds

Scientific evidence is vital to public policy, but science does not offer a repository of neutral evidence that arrives ready-made onto the political scene. Using science to make policy decisions is complex, requiring not only expert judgment but also the judgment of those nonexperts whose experience, knowledge, and know-how is needed to deliberate well about the best course of action.

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