Our Team


Hadley Arkes

Hadley Arkes has been a member of the Amherst College faculty since 1966, and since 1987 he has been the Edward Ney Professor of Jurisprudence. Since 2016, he has assumed emeritus status. He has written five books with Princeton University Press: BureaucracyThe Marshall Plan and the National Interest (1972), The Philosopher in the City (1981), First Things (1986), Beyond the Constitution (1990), and The Return of George Sutherland (1994). His most recent books have been with Cambridge University Press, including Natural Rights and the Right to Choose (2002), and Constitutional Illusions and Anchoring Truths: The Touchstone of the Natural Law (2010). His articles have appeared in professional journals.  Apart from his writing in more scholarly formats, he has become known to a wider audience through his writings in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, and National Review. He has been a contributor also to First Things, a journal that took its name from his book of that title. 

He was the main advocate, and architect, of the bill that became known as the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act. Prof. Arkes first prepared his proposal as part of the debating kit assembled for the first George Bush in 1988. The purpose of that proposal was to offer the “most modest first step” of all in legislating on abortion, and opening a conversation even with people who called themselves “pro-choice.” Professor Arkes proposed to begin simply by preserving the life of a child who survived an abortion–contrary to the holding of one federal judge–that such a child was not protected by the laws. On August 5, President Bush signed the bill into law with Professor Arkes in attendance.

Professor Arkes has been the founder, at Amherst, of the Committee for the American Founding, a group of alumni and students seeking to preserve, at Amherst, the doctrines of  “natural rights” taught by the American Founders and Lincoln. That interest has been carried over now to the founding of a new center for the jurisprudence of natural law, in Washington DC: the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights and the American Founding, named for one of the premier legal minds among the American Founders.


Garrett Snedeker

Garrett Snedeker maintains the James Wilson Institute’s year-round presence in Washington, D.C. In addition to planning events, handling the Institute’s website, hosting the James Wilson Podcast, and running its office, he is the main point of contact for all partnership opportunities and media inquiries. A current law student in the evening program at the Scalia Law School, a graduate of Amherst College, and a former student of Prof. Arkes, he has taught U.S. Government and U.S. History at a boarding school and served as editor of the congressional research website LegiStorm. His writing has been featured in Newsweek, The Federalist, The American Mind, and the Online Library of Law & Liberty. He has been quoted in Politico, Roll Call, and the Boston Herald and collaborated on stories for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and National Journal.


Josh Hammer

Josh Hammer is opinion editor of Newsweek, a research fellow with the Edmund Burke Foundation, counsel and policy advisor for the Internet Accountability Project, a syndicated columnist through Creators and a contributing writer for American Compass. A frequent pundit and essayist on political, legal and cultural issues, Josh is a constitutional attorney by training.

An outspoken conservative, Josh opines on conservative intellectual trends, contemporary domestic and foreign policy debates, constitutional and legal issues, and the intersection of law, politics and culture. He has been published by many leading outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, Newsweek, National Affairs, The National Interest, National Review, First Things, The Spectator, The American Conservative, The American Mind, American Greatness, American Compass, Townhall, The Daily Wire, Fortune, Fox Business, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, The Forward, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the Jewish Journal. His first piece of formal legal scholarship was published in 2020 by the University of St. Thomas Law Journal.

Josh is a college campus speaker through Young America’s Foundation and a law school campus speaker through the Federalist Society. Prior to Newsweek and the Daily Wire, where he was an editor, Josh worked at a large law firm and clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Josh has also served as a John Marshall Fellow with the Claremont Institute.

Josh graduated from Duke University, where he majored in economics, and from the University of Chicago Law School. He lives in Denver, but remains an active member of the State Bar of Texas.

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February 25, 2021

About

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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