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.
Pillar: 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.
A recent dissent by Justice Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia offer a roadmap for litigants seeking religious liberty exemptions.
Although the ideas presented in The Concept of Social Justice are just a start, they provide a crucial foundation for the salvific and eternal work that Catholics must complete in the political arena.
If conservatives are to abandon truth-seeking and engaging with political rivals, what then is the alternative? If we resign the enterprise of reasoned debate, of at least attempting to persuade, then where do we go from here? Do we simply line up with the one in six Americans in favor of military rule and hope that our side prevails in the coup?
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.
In some states, it’s almost impossible for pro-life governors to appoint originalist judges. That’s why we must pursue state-level judicial reforms before Dobbs is decided. To make the most of this opportunity, most of us need to turn our attention away from DC and toward our state capitols.
Robert P. George is the leading conservative advocate of the importance of good faith dialogue with those he calls “reasonable people of good will” on all sides of the political spectrum. But is such dialogue still possible in our new woke environment?
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.
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.
Defenders of the free exercise of religion need to accept that we are playing a long game. Religious freedom is winning, even if the Court’s religious freedom jurisprudence develops over the span of more than one term.
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.
Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan, once a slaveholder, was the sole defender of black civil rights on the Court during the Jim Crow era. Peter Canellos’s book, The Great Dissenter, explains how Harlan’s relationship with his African-American half-brother shaped his views on racial equality.
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.
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.
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.
This is a signal moment in America’s constitutional history. One of the most notorious decisions in the Court’s history is likely either to be repudiated and overruled—discarded, finally and definitively—or else reaffirmed and entrenched, perhaps permanently. The stakes could not possibly be higher.
The belief that human beings and human communities can be rearranged in any way that suits our creative fancy is, as the examples of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union show, an invitation to tyranny and disaster.
Reparations for racial injustice are necessary, but they will be effective only on a local level, not a national one.
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.
I would venture to say that Europeans and Americans are confronting a spiritual conundrum. How does an immense civilization examine its conscience? How do nations and societies confess and atone for their sins?
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.
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.
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.
Every “no” to the state in the name of religious conscience is predicated on a greater “yes” to a power higher than the state.
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.