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Those remarkable lawyers of the American Founding—Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall, James Wilson—had a knack of tracing their judgments back to what they called the “axioms” of reason or “first principles,” as Hamilton had it, “upon which all subsequent reasonings must depend.”  They revealed, as Hamilton said, an “internal evidence which, antecedent to all reflection or combination, commands the assent of the mind.” They were, then, necessary truths;  they were there before the Constitution, for the Founders to draw upon;  and they would be there even if there were no Constitution.

The James Wilson Institute has sought to recover, and to teach again, those anchoring truths that provided for the Founders the moral ground of the law.  We are putting out these essays, podcasts, and videos under the banner of Anchoring Truths.  Those gifted lawyers and professors, younger and older, who have joined us in this project, have been invited to use this forum to offer their own arguments, to make the case—and test again—the case to be made anew for the Natural Law of the American Founding.

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June 21, 2021

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Anchoring Truths
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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