Hello From July Guest Blogger Steven Smith

There are relatively peaceful historical periods of “business as usual” (which of course still have their issues and challenges). And then there are “interesting times,” as the apocryphal Chinese curse puts it. My sense is that, for better or worse, we live in interesting times—profoundly troubled, potentially transformative times—in which fundamental commitments to liberty, law, rights, authority, and constitutional government (not to mention other traditional institutions, like family, faith, and morality) are under serious challenge. I hope to raise and discuss some of these challenges and concerns over the next month as a guest on this blog. For readers who don’t know me (i.e., nearly all of you), here’s a brief introduction. I grew up in Idaho, still visit family there regularly. My law and bachelor’s degrees are from Yale and BYU. I’ve been teaching law for lo these last thirty years—alas!— at the universities of Idaho, then Colorado, then Notre Dame, and now San Diego. My books and articles, mostly in the areas of religious freedom, constitutional law, and legal philosophy, include, most recently, The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom (2014) and The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse (2010). I’m looking forward to our conversations!