The James Wilson Foundation on Natural Rights and the American Founding

“Ratcheting Things Up Again” –Prof. Arkes in The Catholic Thing

In a column in The Catholic Thing, Prof. Arkes reflects on the trajectory of the Left, whose current platform holds to ideals which were nearly unimaginable 8 years ago.  This country, Arkes says, must not undergo another four years with this left-leaning agenda.

“In the Age of Obama, what was once unimaginable in our politics and law has gradually become ‘normal,’ so woven into our daily lives now that it may hardly be noticed. Last September, as I’ve noted in this space, 177 Democrats in the House voted against the bill to punish ‘surgeons’ who kill babies who survive abortion. Even Catholics such as Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier, notable figures in the media, do not think the matter is worth mentioning when they question Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or other candidates.”

“We see . . . the Left emancipated from any respect for the standing of ‘nature’ and moral restraints on the matter of sexuality. We see also the willingness to engage the powers of the administrative State, detached from any plausible connection to the statutes that alone furnish the ground of authority for administrative orders. And we see a willingness to extend the powers of the federal government in such a way as to make a nullity of the barriers and restraints of federalism.”

“I have friends, however, who have argued that it is better to wait four years, let Hillary Clinton appoint the successor to Scalia, and just absorb the damage to be done, rather than take the risk of letting Donald Trump remake the conservative party. But I’m afraid that my friends are too blithe here. They gravely underestimate the depth of the damage to be done as an Administration of the Left fills the lower federal courts with judges such as Judge Floyd. Those judges will be altogether too ready to sustain the theories of the academic left on sexuality, and the extension of the executive power well beyond the constraints of the Constitution.”

Read the whole column here.

Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge.
— James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790