PODCAST: Jesse Merriam and Josh Hammer on “An Even Better Originalism?”

Patrick Henry College Associate Professor Jesse Merriam and JWI affiliated scholar Josh Hammer joined JWI Deputy Director Garrett Snedeker to discuss Professor Merriam’s article, “A Better Legal Conservatism,” published in The American Mind. Prof. Merriam’s article was in response to “A Better Originalism,” co-authored by Prof. Hadley Arkes, Garrett Snedeker, Josh Hammer, and Matthew Peterson. In the podcast, we discuss the failures of Republican administrations to nominate conservative jurists to the Supreme Court; Prof. Merriam’s critique of a federalist approach to solving this problem; the need for support structures and institution building in the conservative legal movement; and the need for conservatives to focus on the key civilizational issues that plague America.

Jesse Merriam is an Associate Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College. He has published over a dozen academic articles in top law-review and peer-reviewed journals, covering such diverse topics as legal conservatism, the meaning of the rule of law, church-state relations, and the theory and practice of originalist constitutional interpretation. Dr. Merriam has also published over 20 online articles, appearing in such places as The American Mind, Law and Liberty, National Review Online, The American Conservative, American Greatness, and Claremont Review of Books. In 2019-2020, Dr. Merriam was selected to be the Visiting Fellow in American Political Thought at the Heritage Foundation’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University and The George Washington University Law School.

Josh Hammer is the opinion editor of Newsweek, a research fellow with the Edmund Burke Foundation, the counsel and policy advisor for the Internet Accountability Project, and a syndicated columnist. A frequent pundit and essayist on political, legal, and cultural issues, Josh has been published by many leading outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York PostNational AffairsThe National InterestNational ReviewCity JournalFirst ThingsPublic DiscourseThe SpectatorThe American Mind, and Tablet. His legal writing has been featured at the University of St. Thomas Law Journal and the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Josh is a campus speaker through Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Young America’s Foundation, and the Federalist Society. He previously worked at a large law firm and clerked for the Honorable James C. Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Josh has also served as a John Marshall Fellow with the Claremont Institute. He graduated from Duke University and the University of Chicago Law School.

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Anchoring Truths is a James Wilson Institute project
The James Wilson Institute’s Mission is to restore to a new generation of lawyers, judges, and citizens the understanding of the American Founders about the first principles of our law and the moral grounds of their own rights.
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