The judge as moral philosopher

Reviewing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner’s Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts in the Claremont Review of Books, David Forte exposes Justice Scalia’s famous legal positivism as moral philosophy by another name.  “They call false,” Forte writes of Scalia and Garner, “the ‘notion that the quest in statutory interpretation is…

Self-evident truths

Even children understand them: I have the right of education.  I have the right to play.  I have the right to sing.  I have the right to talk. I have the right to go to market.  I have the right to speak up. And even children are attacked for proclaiming them.  

Mortimer Adler on Plato, Legal Positivism, and Natural Law

Via George Anastaplo’s “In Re Antonin Scalia”, wherein we see Scalia as a legal positivist and no natural lawyer, more a “modern” than a Catholic conservative. But first, the great Mortimer Adler on Plato: [In Plato’s Republic, we] find the sophist, Thrasymachus, arguing against Socrates, saying that “justice is nothing but the interest of the…

Natural Law and the Giving of Justifications

In my contribution to the Democracy Symposium, I acknowledged that modern economic realities may well require more of our government than our Founders contemplated some 22 decades ago.  CK MacLeod worries that, as a Constitutional Conservative, I’ve wandered into a contradiction.  By my own terms, according to Mr. MacLeod, our founding documents are expressions of…