The Making of an American Originalist with Professor Randy Barnett

July 5, 2024
Prof. Barnett shares vignettes spanning his entire life from his deeply personal memoir on scholarship and practice, mentorship, his reconciling libertarianism and Natural Law, and his fights against anti-semitism

Chevron's End with John Vecchione

June 28, 2024
We're pleased to bring you this exclusive, immediate mini-sode with one of the lawyers part of in team that prevailed, John Vecchione, in the historic case where the court reversed its 40-year precedent in Chevron.

A Discussion with Joshua Turner '15

June 20, 2024
Josh's experience arguing Idaho v. U.S. in front of SCOTUS and what EMTALA means for state abortion laws

Why Focusing on Time, Place, or Manner Speech Restrictions Neglects the Natural Roots of Law

June 20, 2024
Jeffrey Bristol W'24 argues that content-neutral restrictions on speech diminish the substantive roots of our law that are reflective of ordered liberty.

Minisode 4: Arkes Abroad! Scenes from Budapest

June 19, 2024
Minisode 4 features JWI Founder and Co-Director Hadley Arkes, who discusses with host Garrett Snedeker his recent trip to Budapest, Hungary where he keynoted a conference on the rule of law.

Professor Hadley Arkes Speaks at the "Rule of Law as Lawfare" Conference in Budapest

June 19, 2024
Professor Hadley Arkes, founder and co-director of the James Wilson Institute, recently keynoted a conference in Budapest, Hungary on the rule of law. Professor Arkes spoke on both Day One and Day Two, and participated as part of a panel of scholars following his remarks on the second day.

Diaries From Wartime: Service Amid Suffering

May 29, 2024
Jana Paley's final installment in her visit to Israel in the wake of the October 7 attacks

NextGen Marxism with Mike Gonzalez

May 17, 2024
2020 was an inflection point for the Marxist long march through the institutions. Author Mike Gonzalez details how that was not spontaneous though.

The End of the Boy Scouts

May 13, 2024
Mourning the loss of the Boy Scouts as we know it

Kari Lake Fumbles with Abortion

May 1, 2024
Hadley Arkes responds to the WSJ editorial on Kari Lake's "abortion finesse."

Diaries From Wartime: One or Two Degrees of Separation

April 19, 2024
Daily life in Jerusalem as Israel recovers from the events of October 7, 2023

Garrett Snedeker on the Hale Institute Podcast: "Where Do We Go From Here?"

April 19, 2024
Garrett Snedeker, co-founder of Anchoring Truths, joined Timon Cline of the Hale Institute to talk about legal education, natural law, and the future of the conservative legal movement on the Hale Institute Podcast. We're delighted to feature the episode on Anchoring Truths.

Sociologist Brad Wilcox on new book: "Get Married"

April 5, 2024
Prominent sociologist Brad Wilcox joins host Garrett Snedeker for an in-depth discussion of Wilcox's new book Get Married.

Diaries From Wartime: Crippling Interruptions to Institutional Trust

April 3, 2024
An encounter with two female members of the Israeli Defense Force gives Jana Paley a new view of the IDF in this latest installment of "Evil Up Close: Diaries of Wartime."

Converging Common Good Originalism and Common Good Constitutionalism with Josh Hammer

March 22, 2024
Popular columnist, radio host, lawyer, and legal commentator Josh Hammer returns to the Anchoring Truths Podcast to discuss his latest piece of legal scholarship in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Common Good Originalism and Common Good Constitutionalism: a Convergence?

Minisode 3: Why Separate Powers? Visiting Fed Soc National Student Symposium at Harvard

March 18, 2024
For Minisode 3, Anchoring Truths co-founder Garrett Snedeker & JWI Program Director Daniel Osborne discuss their recent visit to Harvard Law School for the 2024 Federalist Society National Student Symposium.

Whited Sepulchres

March 13, 2024
Gerry Bradley Responds to Daniel Dreisbach's "Reading the Bible with the Founders"

Meritocracy Must Not Be Our Goal with Nate Fischer

March 8, 2024
Nate Fischer of New Founding joins host Garrett Snedeker for a Mini-Sode to discuss Fischer's provocative essay in The American Mind "Meritocracy Must Not Be Our Goal." Fischer provides some fascinating angles on why common understandings of merit in 21st-century America undermine a flourishing society.

Evil Up Close: Jana Paley's Diary in Wartime

March 1, 2024
Hadley Arkes introduces a new series from friend of the Institute, Jana Paley.

2023: A Year in Ideas

February 23, 2024
In this special "minisode," JWI Deputy Director Garrett Snedeker and Programs Director Daniel Osborne sit down to talk a bit about the ideas and debates that came to characterize 2023. They discuss Mere Natural Law, Originalism, Historicism, and Courage.

The State of the Pro-Life Movement in America: Catherine Glenn Foster '16

February 16, 2024
Catherine Glenn Foster (James Wilson Fellowship Alumna '16) joins Anchoring Truths Podcast host Garrett Snedeker to discuss the state of the pro-life movement in America.

Why Did Liz Magill Take the Fall?: The Scandal of Three Presidents

December 15, 2023
The presidents of three prestigious Ivy League Universities testify before the House Committee, and as a result of this discussion, Magill resigns.

Justice Barrett & Rejecting Judicial Supremacy with Prof. Kevin Walsh

November 9, 2023
Join the Anchoring Truths Podcast team and Professor Kevin C. Walsh from Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law for a discussion over Prof. Walsh's fascinating talk with Justice Amy Coney Barrett. We trace the intellectual origins of judicial supremacy from Lincoln's time to the years of the Warren Court to our current political moment and discuss the proper role of the Supreme Court to distill what the law means today.

Pushing Roe v. Wade Over the Brink with Clarke Forsythe

October 27, 2023
Clark Forsythe, Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life, joins Garrett Snedeker for a discussion of his new book on the history of the fall of Roe v. Wade and the rise of the pro-life movement.

The Forgotten Protection for Individual Liberty

October 13, 2023
CRCD Executive Director Trey Dimsdale hopes that a focus on religious liberty protections in the states can "play a significant role in rekindling popular and political interest in federalism and republicanism for the sake of advancing and securing the liberty to which all Americans are entitled."

Attacks on Catholic Institutions Should Concern All of Us

September 15, 2023
JWI Affiliated Scholar Daniel Mark warns that a double standard cannot form that removes the promise of equal protection of the law from Catholic institutions.

Institutional Settlement, Determination, and "Mere Natural Law"

September 1, 2023
In reviewing "Mere Natural Law," scholar Jordan Perkins argues that it is necessary that legal cognition be infused with moral reasoning.

The Pitfalls of the Parents' Rights Argument

August 4, 2023
"The pitfall of the argument in favor of parents’ rights is that it makes the decision for children to be exposed to information about sexual activity or access to puberty blockers a matter of a parent’s will," writes Sarrouf.

A Natural Rights Approach to Religious Liberty

July 21, 2023
In this article, Phillip Muñoz suggests how we can read the religious free exercise and establishment clauses in light of the Constitution’s original design and purposes, being situated properly in a tradition of natural law and rights.

Can Natural Law Be "Mere"?

July 13, 2023
Cline argues that the roots of a nation's receptiveness to the Natural Law grow from its Christian foundation.

Natural Born Lawyers: A Scholar Challenges The Conservative Legal Movement

July 11, 2023
David Deavel reviews Mere Natural Law, showing how it ddraws out the moral arguments present in nature.

'Dobbs' a Year Later: The Lady in the Hat and the Vase

June 30, 2023
Hadley Arkes reflects on the year since the overturning of "Roe v. Wade" and unpacks the next steps a brave judge could take in protecting the pre-born.

Standing Athwart History, Redux: Review of Patrick Deneen's "Regime Change"

June 16, 2023
John Ehrett '21 wants a successful postliberal theory to have "bigger and brighter dreams" than Patrick Deneen does in "Regime Change."

The Urgent Need to Remove DEI from Higher Ed in Ohio

June 2, 2023
Hal R. Arkes's testimony on a paradigmatic effort to remove mandated DEI from higher ed in one state

Hadley Arkes on "Mere Natural Law," Role of the Judiciary, Debates within Originalism, and the Moral Foundations of the Law—Originalist Angles

May 19, 2023
Prof. Hadley Arkes sat down for an interview with Originalist Angles to discuss his new book "Mere Natural Law" and the principles of Natural Law that undergird our constitutional order.

Restoring the Lincolnian Vision: Rep. Keith Rothfus

May 19, 2023
Congressman Keith Rothfus joins the AT Podcast for a discussion of the Lincolnian approach to statesmanship and governance, particularly as applies to the issue of abortion, and why it needs to be restored in our political and legal discourse. We also chat about his terms in Congress and what reforms he advocates for a better functioning U.S. House.

Hadley Arkes on "Mere Natural Law", Abortion, and the Logic of Law and Morals- ISI's Conservative Conversations Podcast

May 18, 2023
Professor Hadley Arkes sits down with the hosts of ISI's Conservative Conversations Podcast to discuss his new book "Mere Natural Law", the mission of JWI, and the place of Natural Law in the conservative legal movement.

VIDEO: Judge Janice Rogers Brown, 2023 Leadership & Law Award Remarks

May 9, 2023
Judge Janice Rogers Brown delivers stirring remarks on the future of the country and the role of the judge upon receiving the 2nd JWI Leadership & Law Award.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown, 2023 Leadership & Law Award Remarks

May 9, 2023
Judge Janice Rogers Brown delivers stirring remarks on the future of the country and the role of the judge upon receiving the 2nd JWI Leadership & Law Award.

A Crisis of Messaging: The Pro-Life Movement at the Federal Level with Jon Schweppe and Garrett Snedeker

May 5, 2023
Jon Schweppe of the American Principles Project and Garrett Snedeker sit down to discuss the confusion in the pro-life movement among conservative politicians, particularly at the Federal level.

Who Will Tame the Bots? Regulating Artificial Intelligence with Adam Thierer

April 21, 2023
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have reentered our public discourse due to some fascinating new applications, yet AI’s role in these areas has also made many question the moral place of AI and its implications on our culture beyond these applications. We’ll be discussing these topics and more with one of the foremost experts on AI and tech regulation, Adam Thierer.

The New College: "A Hillsdale of the South"with Mark Bauerlein

March 31, 2023
Garrett Snedeker sits down with Mark Bauerlein to discuss The New College of Florida, the importance of new alternative educational institutions, and what these kinds of long-term strategies mean for the conservative movement.

Why We Cannot Avoid Natural Law in Constitutional Debates

March 31, 2023
Michael Hayes (JWF '20) analyzes the Court's positions on substantive due process in the key Dobbs decision, and makes clear that try as we might, we never can truly escape from moral reasoning and the Natural Law.

My Warm Up for Judge Duncan—and What Next for Stanford?

March 24, 2023
Hadley Arkes shares his own experience with student protests at Stanford Law and asks how its administration will respond to the next incident.

Chevron Deference, Conservatism's Pivot, and Scalia's Mantle

March 10, 2023
Garrett Snedeker and Prof. Jesse Merriam sit down with Daniel Osborne to discuss their reviews of Prof. Thomas Merrill's recent book, The Chevron Doctrine: Its Rise and Fall and the Future of the Administrative State. They demonstrate the pivot in the Conservative Legal Movement that once promoted Chevron Deference among judges and now openly opposes the decision as a mistake, diving into some of the reasons behind this shift over the past decade.

James Wilson and the Nature of Law

March 3, 2023
Prof. Jonathan Gienapp explains how Wilson's integrated view of law grounds the harmony of law and philosophy that he argued for in the Constitution's ratification debates.

James Wilson and "We the People"

February 24, 2023
Prof. John Mikhail describes the unique role of James Wilson among the Founders as both moral philosopher and legal scholar who shaped our Constitution and our concept of who "We the People" are in the United States.

Unlocking Constitutional Meaning: James Wilson as the Key

February 17, 2023
Profs. John Mikhail and Jonathan Gienapp join Garrett Snedeker and Hadley Arkes to discuss the life and work of James Wilson, one of the American Founders. They point out how Wilson's ideas and jurisprudence shaped the discussion at the Founding and how understanding them can help us understand our Constitution today.

Is Conservative Jurisprudence Renouncing Moral Reasoning?

February 10, 2023
Prof. Arkes argues that moral judgments, rather than belonging to legislators instead of judges, are an essential - indeed inescapable - part of the work of a judge, especially in recognizing the most basic facts that bear on their judgments.

Is Conservative Jurisprudence Renouncing Moral Reasoning?

February 10, 2023
Prof. Arkes argues that moral judgments, rather than belonging to legislators instead of judges, are an essential - indeed inescapable - part of the work of a judge, especially in recognizing the most basic facts that bear on their judgments.

In Search of Original Meaning -- the Religion Clauses: Part II

February 3, 2023
In Part II, Assistant Editor Ted Hirt concludes with an evaluation of Phillip Munoz's understanding of the Constitution's religious clauses.

In Search of Original Meaning – the Religion Clauses: Part I

January 27, 2023
Anchoring Truths Assistant Editor Ted Hirt reviews Philip Muñoz's book, "Religious Liberty and the American Founding, Natural Rights and the Original Meanings of the First Amendment." This first of two pieces analyzes the work the Muñoz has done to outline the foundations of our Religious Liberty. 

Born-Alive Act Redux!

January 18, 2023
Prof. Arkes reflects on his work crafting the Born Alive Act and takes some time to analyze the latest version of the Act, to him the best ever.

Protecting Babies Who Survive Abortions Is the First Step

October 12, 2022
Prof. Hadley Arkes responds in the WSJ explaining how reviving the Born Alive Infants Protection Act could prove the best strategy for Republicans in Congress.

Common Carriage Now

October 10, 2022
Contributing Editor Josh Hammer argues that Congress should embrace treating tech companies as common carriers according to a First Amendment standard for exemption from liability.

Dispatches from NatCon 3

October 5, 2022
Capturing the mood and ethos of the National Conservatism Conference up-close

What Thomas Aquinas via Harry Jaffa Can Say to the New Right

September 9, 2022
Where does Harry Jaffa's account of Natural Law differ from Thomas Aquinas’s, if at all, and how can that inform the New Right.

Stricter Scrutiny for Common Good Constitutionalism

August 19, 2022
How does the common good constitutionalism of Adrian Vermeule compare to the natural law originalism of Hadley Arkes?

"Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing" with Ryan Anderson

August 15, 2022
Garrett Snedeker and JWI Intern Sarah Merly sit down with Ryan Anderson, President of EPPC and JWI Fellowship Faculty member, to discuss how Abortion has impacted our culture and political discourse. They analyze how the Dobbs decision may play out in the years ahead. 

The Future of Abortion Law — Hadley Arkes on The Daily Signal Podcast

July 29, 2022
In "The Future of Abortion Law," James Wilson Institute Founder and Director Hadley Arkes joins Richard Reinsch on The Daily Signal Podcast to discuss abortion jurisprudence.

"Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America" with Professor David Bernstein

July 29, 2022
Professor David Bernstein discusses his newest book, Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America and explains the problems with classifying race and ethnicity using imprecise, government-mandated categories.

The Next Pro-Life Goal Is Constitutional Personhood

July 22, 2022
Josh Hammer and Josh Craddock outline the path ahead for the pro life movement at the Federal level, as legislators act to prevent our nation becoming "a house divided against itself."

Selective History in the Dobbs Dissent

July 22, 2022
JWI Affiliated Scholar Justin Dyer criticizes Justice Sotomayor's dissenting opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case. However, he also appreciates that the dissent does not exclusively rely on historicism.

"Why I Stand" with NBA Star Jonathan Isaac

July 15, 2022
Jonathan Isaac discusses Why I Stand and explains how his Christian faith gave him courage during the Black Lives Matter movement.

Did The Dobbs Decision Go Far Enough? — The Federalist Radio Hour

July 14, 2022
James Wilson Institute Founder and Director Hadley Arkes joins Emily Jashinsky on The Federalist Radio Hour to explain why the Dobbs opinion did not go far enough.

Diseconomies of Law

July 14, 2022
Anchoring Truths co-founder Garrett Snedeker reviews Trouble at the Bar on Law and Liberty.

The God of the Declaration

July 4, 2022
The American Founders and Lincoln believed in a Natural Law and a natural lawgiver at the moral core of the project they brought forth, argues JWI Affiliated Scholar Justin Dyer

The Declaration's Substantive Global Appeal

July 4, 2022
The Declaration of Independence's unique appeal globally cannot be explained by its formal aspects only

"What Comes After Roe" - Gerard V. Bradley

June 30, 2022
Today, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled.” Almost fifty years after handing down its calamitous abortion decision on January 22, 1973, SCOTUS has finally corrected the biggest mistake it ever made.

Hadley P. Arkes & Why The Supreme Court Got It Right - The Ben Domenech Podcast

June 28, 2022
Ben and Professor Arkes break down the intricacies of where there is disagreement amongst Republicans and within the pro-life movement, as well as what individual states may do now that abortion is no longer a constitutionally guaranteed right.

After Dobbs: The End of the Beginning

June 24, 2022
James Wilson Institute Founder Hadley Arkes reflects on the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Samuel Alito's Prophetic Vision

June 23, 2022
Senior Scholar David Forte praises Samuel Alito's courage, as demonstrated by his draft opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

"Building on the Right" with Andrew Kloster, Lawyer and Non-Profit Strategist

June 21, 2022
Andrew Kloster, lawyer and non-profit strategist, joins the Anchoring Truths podcast to discuss building on the Right.

A Price Too Great: Reviewing Philip Hamburger’s "Purchasing Submission"

June 17, 2022
Professor Philip Hamburger takes aim at the myriad ways in which many statutes and regulations trade the Constitution’s structural protections of liberty for rule by condition.

Roe v. Wade Is Already Dead

June 17, 2022
Roe is, practically speaking, already dead — regardless of what the Court decides to do in Dobbs.

"What Comes After the Religious Right?" with Nate Hochman, New York Times Essay Feature

June 9, 2022
In this episode, Garrett Snedeker joins talented young journalist Nate Hochman to discuss his recent article, "What Comes After the Religious Right?" This article was featured as the lead essay for the New York Times' Sunday Section in early June of 2022 and is applauded for its detailed descriptions on the debate on the future of conservatism and the Republican party.

The Conservative Legal Movement at the Edge of Schism

May 31, 2022
James Wilson Institute Founder Hadley Arkes writes for Public Discourse about the future of the pro-life movement after Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

A Post-Roe Legislative Agenda for Congress

May 31, 2022
Josh Craddock, Affiliated Scholar and alumnus of the James Wilson Fellowship, explores the best courses of action for pro-life congressmen to take after the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

“Moral Truth & Constitutional Conservatism” with Prof. Gerry Bradley, JWI Trustee & Senior Scholar: Part II

May 27, 2022
In this special edition of the Anchoring Truths Podcast, Prof. Gerry Bradley, JWI Senior Scholar and Trustee, delivers a powerful account of the incoherence of a jurisprudence that avoids moral reasoning.

Are We All Common Good Constitutionalists Now?

May 16, 2022
John Ehrett '21 analyzes the role Vermeule’s book plays in calling for a return to better legal reasoning. Yet, even Vermeule's solution may not address the root of the problem.

A Jurisprudential Red Pill: Part II

May 12, 2022
Evelyn Blacklock continues her commentary on Vermeule's Common Good Constitutionalism, showing the strengths of the argument, while also demonstrating some needed nuances between the Classical and the Enlightenment perspectives of law.

"M. Stanton Evans: Conservative Wit, Apostle of Freedom" with Author Steve Hayward

May 6, 2022
Author Steve Hayward joins Deputy Director Garrett Snedeker and JWI Intern Emeline McClellan to discuss his recent book, "Stan Evans: Conservative Wit, Apostle of Freedom."

A Jurisprudential Red Pill: Part I

April 27, 2022
Evelyn Blacklock examines Prof. Adrian Vermeule's "Common Good Constitutionalism" and the alternative it offers to the status quo camps of jurisprudence.

"Building on the Right" with Matthew Peterson, President of New Founding

April 22, 2022
In this episode, Garrett Snedeker joins Matt Peterson, President of New Founding and founder of The American Mind, to discuss the reception of "A Better Originalism," statesmanship in American politics, and the need for new institutions.

What the Hearings Missed

April 13, 2022
In the aftermath of Judge Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court, Hadley Arkes analyzes the Senate hearings. Despite some well-timed questions, Republicans ultimately missed their chance to put Judge Jackson on the record defending the right to kill unwanted children even after birth.

"12 Angry Men & Natural Law" with Film Expert Onalee McGraw

March 18, 2022
Garrett Snedeker and film expert Onalee McGraw discuss the classic legal drama "12 Angry Men."

"It's Good (Not) to be the King": Qualified Praise for Michael McConnell

March 18, 2022
Anchoring Truths co-founder Garrett Snedeker offers two cheers for Prof. Michael McConnell's recent book on executive power under the Constitution.

Once More Unto the Breach: Arkes v. Whelan on the Overruling of Roe

March 8, 2022
In a response to Ed Whelan’s critique of “On Overturning Roe,” Prof. Arkes insists that the moral argument against Roe is the only logical one for judges who believe in the deep wrong of abortion. The pro-life cause rests on objective moral truths, not on value judgments, and as a result does not require judges (as Whelan claims) “to read their own moral convictions into the Constitution.”

Podcast at First Things: Hadley Arkes and R. R. Reno discuss "On Overruling Roe"

March 3, 2022
Prof. Arkes discusses "On Overruling Roe" with First Things editor R.R. Reno.

Breaking the Sotomayor Mold

February 25, 2022
Kody Cooper argues that a new Supreme Court justice in the style of Sotomayor would fail to pass the "test of truth" when it comes to abortion, religious liberty, and takings. If the Senate Judiciary Committee cares about truth, it should therefore disavow the Sotomayor mold.

Justice Byron White and Abortion

February 24, 2022
Responding to Richard Doerflinger's critique of "Waiting for Dobbs," Prof. Arkes asserts that conservative justices could successfully outlaw most abortions by returning to Justice White’s standard: only abort to save the mother’s life. At the same time, however, White did the pro-life cause a lasting disservice by focusing not on the rights of unborn babies but on the abuse of "raw judicial power."

Waiting for Dobbs

February 9, 2022
Hadley Arkes recalls that day, back in 1986, when Justice Byron White, one of the original dissenters in Roe v. Wade, startled Justice John Paul Stevens by suggesting that he too could accept Roe and a “right to abortion” in some form. Stevens seemed genuinely baffled. What White was offering was an understanding that would keep Roe v. Wade as a shell, while the substance was removed. Professor Arkes tries to reconstruct that argument here as an anticipation of what might happen if the Supreme Court seeks to take “the low door under the whole” in the Dobbs case—sustaining the law in Mississippi while affecting not to overrule Roe v. Wade.

Interfaith Discussion of Natural Law

February 8, 2022
Our guest panelists discuss how Natural Law intertwines with religion and why it matters, how much natural law depends on theology, and who would benefit the most from Natural Law.

Interfaith Discussion of Natural Law

February 8, 2022
Our guest panelists discuss how Natural Law intertwines with religion and why it matters, how much natural law depends on theology, and who would benefit the most from Natural Law.

Recovering a Conservative State Legal Theory

January 28, 2022
Jeffrey Bristol engages with Holden Tanner and Jesse Merriam about the role of historical originalism in state and federal structure. He argues that the federal constitution is unique from other nations in that it retains a long, public discourse and history that has matured with fundamental perception and that has been vital to both its conception and meaning.

When "Matter" Really Matters

January 17, 2022
A focus on the jurisprudence of the school prayer cases, rather than on the matter and form of the polity, avoids the central task for conservative legal scholars and advocates seeking to shape again the moral culture.

Founder's Keepers: Arkes on The Role of Govenment in Defining our Culture

January 10, 2022
In 2006, Prof. Hadley Arkes makes some timeless remarks at The Federalist Society on what the proper role of government is when it comes to culture.

Founder's Keepers: Arkes on Mary Eberstadt's Review of Judge Robert Conrad's "John Fisher & Thomas More"

January 6, 2022
Prof. Hadley Arkes on a review that Mary Eberstadt wrote of Judge Conrad's book "John Fisher & Thomas More"

States, Courts, and Common-Good Conservatism

January 3, 2022
We must marry Antifederalist sympathies, which recognize the dangers of concentrating power, to a holistic conservative jurisprudence, says Holden Tanner.

And All the Students Said, “Amen”

December 17, 2021
By offering a voluntary prayer, the government introduces its students to religion in a way that is not coercive or intrusive. It is, rather, a traditional acknowledgement of religion, even if it simply constitutes a recognition of the theistic origins of our unalienable rights.

‘Dobbs’ and the Conservative Legal Movement

December 9, 2021
If ‘Dobbs’ is decided following the ‘neutral principles’ of constitutional interpretation, it would not mean the end of abortion, according to Gerald Bradley, or even the beginning of the end of it. ‘Dobbs’ would instead be the start of a whole new phase of the political struggle over abortion. Yet the Constitution requires more.

A Common Call to Prayer

December 6, 2021
Continuing our symposium on school prayer, JWI Affiliated Scholar Gunnar Gundersen makes the case for a common call to prayer in American public life and in its public education.

Common Good and Common Belief in the Common Law

November 30, 2021
With discussions about the common good reaching the public square, Timon Cline writes about how the common good can be determined by both judges and legislature.

Corporations, Churches, Persons, and the Natural Law

November 23, 2021
Robert Miller responds to Prof. Adam MacLeod and argues that corporations are not real things of the world, but rather the outgrowth of human beings who for legal purposes should be considered the only entities that be judged to be in accord with law and morality.

Why State Courts Matter

November 18, 2021
Jesse Merriam responds to Holden Tanner and Josh Hammer on how a jurisprudence of Natural Law can be effectuated at the state court level

Our Divided House: A Review of Charles Kesler's Crisis of Two Constitution

November 17, 2021
Prof. Gerard Bradley reviews "Crisis of Two Constitutions" by Charles Kesler, analyzing whether we've hit our Weimar moment or not.

No free exercise for Aztecs—or abortionists

November 17, 2021
Jordan Ballor presents the proper limits for religious liberty. Strong belief isn't enough to justify actions that violate the natural law.

Churches: An Existence of Their Own

November 17, 2021
Prof. Adam MacLeod argues that Churches have an existence independent of government recognition or contract.

Churches: An Existence of Their Own or Creatures of the Sovereign?

November 17, 2021
JWI and First Liberty's CRCD Co-hosted a webinar with Profs. Adam MacLeod and Robert Miller. They discussed the relationship of churches and the government, and whether churches have an existence of their own or if they simply exist from a grant of the government.

Is it Time to Rethink the School Prayer Cases?

November 12, 2021
Prof. Francis Beckwith makes the argument for re-opening the question of school prayers in the courts, explaining how this would enable local governments to seek the common good.

Sentimental Judgments

November 5, 2021
Garrett Snedeker reviews "Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free" by Judge Rakoff, analyzing proposed reforms to the criminal justice system.

Judge Pryor’s Friendly Fire

November 4, 2021
Prof. Arkes defends "A Better Originalism" against Judge William Pryor's critique.

Podcast: Profs. David Forte and Adam White on Fetal Heartbeat Bills

October 29, 2021
Profs. David Forte and Adam White analyze Fetal Heartbeat Bills, their history, and their efficacy.

Podcast: Judge Robert Conrad on Fisher and More

October 22, 2021
Judge Robert Conrad discusses his new book about the faith and integrity that carried two men through a time of social chaos.

Churches: An Existence of Their Own or Creatures of the Sovereign?

October 19, 2021
JWI and First Liberty's CRCD Co-hosted a webinar with Profs. Adam MacLeod and Robert Miller. They discussed the relationship of churches and the government, and whether churches have an existence of their own or if they simply exist from a grant of the government. 

A Common Law Restoration Serves the Common Good

October 8, 2021
Josh Hammer responds to Holden Tanner's piece on Conservative judging. He explains how even the Constitution itself orients our jurisprudence towards principles of natural justice.

Whelan-Arkes Exchange: Last Round

October 6, 2021
JWI's Founder and Director Hadley Arkes goes another round with Ed Whelan and discusses the rightful place for moral reasoning in judicial jurisprudence

The Dobbs Case and the Strains of Prudence

October 5, 2021
Prof. Arkes analyzes the arguments at play in the upcoming Dobbs case, and explains that while there are potential outfielders and stockbrokers, there is no such thing as a "potential" human being.

A World After Liberalism: Reviewed by Prof. Daniel Mahoney

September 30, 2021
Prof. Mahoney reviews an account of anti-liberalism and demonstrates the need for faith and reason to guide our nation.

The Smith Case, Religious Freedom, and Originalism

September 27, 2021
Originally published in Public Discourse, Christopher Wolfe discusses the Fulton case and the judge role in interpreting the Free Exercise Clause.

Originalism: A Hollow Core?

September 20, 2021
JWI's Deputy Director Garrett Snedeker discusses Donald Drakeman's new book on Originalism and talks about its strengths and weaknesses.

1857: The Dred Scott Case

September 15, 2021

Abortion, the Political Branches, and Fetal Heartbeat

September 14, 2021
Hadley Arkes's argument lays out the power of other branches of government in defending life

Two Cheers For The Heartbeat Act

September 14, 2021
Contributing editor Josh Hammer discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the new Texas's heartbeat law.

Technology and Natural Law

September 2, 2021
James Poulos analyzes the differences between the Western and the rising Chinese approaches to technology and how Natural Law just might make up the difference.

PODCAST: An Inside Look at JWI

August 27, 2021
JWI Interns share on their experience working with the Institute

How to Recover Conservative Judging

August 24, 2021
James Wilson Institute Fellow Holden Tanner discusses the shortfalls of textualist originalist jurisprudence and how to recover common law jurisprudence.

The Wrong Way Forward

August 20, 2021
Contributing Editor Josh Hammer discusses possible paths for litigating the opioid crisis. Those responsible for the opioid crisis should be held responsible, but not via public-nuisance litigation.

The James Wilson Institute Teaches the Moral Foundations of the Law

August 18, 2021
Mike Sabo describes the essential work of the James Wilson Institute and the need to restore the natural law to our understanding of American civics and jurisprudence.

The Biden Administration Is Playing Dumb—and Into a Trap

August 9, 2021
JWI Deputy Director Garrett Snedeker argues that the Biden administration's decision to extend the eviction moratorium in defiance of the Supreme Court provides precedent for a future Republican administration to buck the Court to vindicate conservative priorities.

Reflections on the Arkes-Strang Debate

August 2, 2021
Philip Williamson responds to the Arkes-Strang Debate by explaining how the Declaration states the principles of a just government for the United States and how slavery is the exception that proves the rule.

Mississippi Asks SCOTUS to Overturn Roe

July 30, 2021
Contributing Editor Josh Hammer analyzes Mississippi's pro-life brief in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The American Regime and Its Moral Ground

July 29, 2021
Hadley Arkes traces the moral ground of the American Regime to the Declaration of Independence's conception of natural law, which frames rights in the context of an enduring human nature.

In Defense of Common Good Originalism

July 26, 2021
Contributing Editor Josh Hammer defends against criticism of his Common-Good Originalism essay, arguing that ambiguities in the text's meaning require us to give precedence to substantive ideals in interpretation.

Redeeming the Constitution

July 23, 2021
In his response to David Forte's "Originalism and Its Discontents," Bradley Rebeiro utilizes the case study of slavery "to reconsider how we understand this tension between originalism and natural law theory to see if there remains a better way to reconcile the two."

Contra Historicist Originalism

July 16, 2021
In his exclusive, inaugural piece, Hammer responds to Professor Stephanie Barclay's recent article about the non-partisan nature of originalism. Hammer claims that Professor Barclay misrepresents the contemporary right-of-center alternatives to originalism and that these emerging strands better represent our Founding philosophy.

Should the Declaration Inform the Constitution?: Hadley Arkes and Lee Strang Debate Transcript

July 12, 2021
JWI Founder and Director Hadley Arkes and Toledo Law School Professor Lee Strang debate whether or not originalism should utilize the natural law substance of the Declaration of Independence to answer constitutional law questions.

Conservatives after Fulton: Time for a New Path

June 28, 2021
In this exclusive essay, Prof. Arkes argues that the conservative justices have become caught in a mirage with their opinions in the recent Fulton case. Finally resolving the issue, he argues, requires them to return to its root.

Fulton and the Future of Religious Liberty

June 23, 2021
Gerard Bradley analyzes the recent decision in Fulton v. Philadelphia, and suggests that the Smith case may be on its last legs.

The Imperative of a Boring Judiciary

June 17, 2021
Eric Hageman responds to David Forte and "A Better Originalism," warning that illegitimate lawmaking by judges is not the solution to the current problem of an overreaching judiciary.

What is Jurisprudence?

June 16, 2021

In Defense of "A Better Originalism"

May 12, 2021
Prof. Hadley Arkes responds to John Grove's critique of the James Wilson call for conservatives to adopt an originalism of moral substance.

Originalism and Its Discontents

May 6, 2021
Prof. David Forte responds to "A Better Originalism," reminding we must look at the Constitution as a whole, both its legal presence and its moral principles.

A Better Originalism

March 29, 2021
JWI has released a new statement of purpose in collaboration with the American mind, which calls upon conservatives to adopt an originalism of moral substance in the wake of Bostock v. Clayton County.

The Constitution's "Value Judgements"

March 3, 2021
Gerard V. Bradley responds to the claim that Natural Law reasoning is simply Value Judgments.

What is Natural Law?

March 1, 2021

Why Positive Law Needs Natural Law

February 23, 2021
Justin Dyer explains why Originalism at its root requires a foundation in Natural Law to make coherent sense.

Letter to a Noble Lawyer

February 11, 2021
Prof. Arkes begins the new series of colloquium by responding to concerns from a lawyer friend about the use of Natural Law in judicial decisions.

Memories of Michael Uhlmann

February 18, 2020
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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