Assessing Fr. John Courtney Murray's We Hold These Truths at 60.
Discussions & debates on the pressing issues of our current political scene.
Without a realistic sense of the possibilities, it is impossible to chart a prudent course.
We Hold These Truths was, as it were, false from the moment it was printed.
The American Founding's realism about the fallen world might be something St. Thomas would recognize.
Murray knew that the reduction of idea of democracy to a set of functions and institutions would be the death of democracy.
One way or another, we must order our common life in accord with a consensus about what makes men happy.
Civility is not much prized in our revolutionary climate because it is a deeply traditional practice.
While acerbic criticism may rally the troops, it probably does more harm than good in pursuance of civil peace.
While it may be a modest, middle-age virtue, civility is foundational to sustain a pluralistic liberal democracy.
The anger we feel in the present moment is a hot emotion directed at our fellow citizens: it is indicative of in-house strife.
Did the practice of civility, if such there was, stave off our culture wars or abet them?
Originalists must confront the value of legal stability promoted by stare decisis more squarely.
Originalists need to acknowledge the traditionalism of constitutional law and that precedential age, endurance, and connection to common practice matter.
Any effort to restore the American legal tradition must recognize that "individual liberty" decisions have revolutionized our constitutional order.
Without an imperative to bring precedents into alignment with original meaning, stare decisis becomes the “exception” that swallows the Constitution.
At some point in time, the Supreme Court abandoned originalism, and prior originalist precedents, and came up with new law altogether.