The James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights and the American Founding

Recent Commentary

  • “A Guide for the Perplexed” –Prof. Hadley Arkes in The Catholic Thing

    Posted by James Wilson Institute on May 4, 2016
    Without any other Republican candidates other than Donald Trump holding a viable path to the party’s presidential nomination, many Republicans are left with a difficult choice in the general election. Prof. Hadley Arkes reflects in The Catholic Thing on the sobering realities which render Mr. Trump a weak figurehead for the conservative cause, while also noting the […] …
  • “Revisiting Catholic Social Teaching” –Prof. Arkes in The Catholic Thing

    Posted by James Wilson Institute on Mar 22, 2016
    Prof. Hadley Arkes, writing in The Catholic Thing, discusses the Catholic Church’s robust teaching on man’s dignity and free will, teachings which have led the Popes of the 20th Century to consistently speak out against socialism. As Bernie Sanders sings the refrain of socialism in the present day, Catholics, as well as all Americans, may newly consider […] …
  • “Scalia’s Death Has Liberal Justices Smelling Blood”–Garrett Snedeker in The Federalist

    Posted by James Wilson Institute on Mar 8, 2016
    Writing in The Federalist, Garrett Snedeker details the state of oral argument at the Supreme Court in the weeks after the passing of Justice Scalia. Snedeker argues Scalia’s absence has left the liberal justices less restrained, with their conservative colleagues bearing a greater burden than ever before to sustain conservative arguments. Some excerpts: “In the first couple […] …
  • “Abortion and the Court Without Scalia” -Prof. Arkes in The Catholic Thing

    Posted by James Wilson Institute on Mar 8, 2016
    On March 2, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case concerning the constitutionality of new health and safety regulations on abortion in Texas. Amidst the backdrop of this, the first major case since the passing of Justice  Antonin Scalia, Prof. Hadley Arkes calls for pro-life lawyers and judges to review […] …
  • “Inescapably Natural” –Prof. Hadley Arkes in First Things

    Posted by James Wilson Institute on Mar 2, 2016
    In a review at First Things of Natural Law in Court: A History of Legal Theory in Practice by Prof. R.H. Helmholz, Prof. Hadley Arkes reminds us of some common misconceptions about the natural law. For example, the natural law does not illuminate or explain those behaviors or occurrences that may occur through forces of nature.  He […] …

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Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of natural rights of its members, and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of the legitimate kind.
— James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790