Originalism

The Dobbs Case and the Strains of Prudence

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.

The Case for the Unconstitutionality of Abortion

Josh Hammer explores the debate amongst conservatives on whether the legality of abortion should be returned to the states, or if it should be outlawed nationwide. He astutely notes that if pro-lifers adopt the latter position, they will stretch the Overton window in their favor.

The American Regime and Its Moral Ground

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

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

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.”

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.
Learn More