John sealing the Magna Carta by Frank Wood, 1925

Liberty has a pedigree. Our freedom is not “natural,” it is an acquired inheritance, a generational bequest. This and this alone is the basis for saying that we as citizens of nation X are entitled to the freedoms this nation X embodies, while citizens of nation Y are not. Freedom is a construct forged within…Continue Reading The Genealogy of Liberty Prolegomena to any Declaration of Independence

Cutting through the morass of legal arguments for and against the Trump administration’s executive order (EO) instating a so-called travel ban, is no easy task. The circuit court’s temporary restraining order (TRO), and the appeals court’s argument upholding the restraining order, make much of the harm being caused to various parties – aliens, residents, communities…Continue Reading “The Executive Order and the Natural Law”

(originally posted on the Calvinist International, January 16, 2015) The terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo bring into sharp relief a major contradiction in the intellectual framework of modern democracy. In fact, it highlights a fault line. Freedom of speech is one of the supposedly unshakeable pillars of liberal social order. But the way…Continue Reading “Yes, Virginia, There Is Freedom of Speech”

I haven’t been posting much lately, and there’s a reason. I’ve been busy writing a new book. And it’s ready for the reading public. The title is Common Law & Natural Rights: The Question of Conservative Foundations, and it is an examination of natural rights as the foundation for conservatism, as opposed to the common…Continue Reading “New Book: Common Law & Natural Rights”

As some of you are aware of, I am working on (in fact, nearing completion of: word count is now approaching 100,000) the constitutional law volume of Stahl’s Philosophy of Law. Just this morning I translated a section which, at first glance, seems “over the top” in terms of its utter rejection of the concept…Continue Reading “Popular Sovereignty as Pitfall”