The James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights and the American Founding

Upcoming Events

  • 31 Jul

    James Wilson Fellowship

    , 9:00 am
    JWI will again host the James Wilson Fellowship program from July 31, 2022  through August 5, 2022. This private Fellowship will include a...

Recent Commentary

  • Remembering Holden Tanner (’20)

    Posted by James Wilson Institute on May 22, 2022
    JWI mourns the tragic death of Holden Tanner, 2020 James Wilson Fellow. In this time of grief, we offer our deepest condolences to all who knew him and pray for the repose of Holden’s soul. Please also pray for strength for his wife and children. Hadley Arkes, JWI Founder and Director, shares the following: I […] …
  • “A Jurisprudential Red Pill: Part I” — Evelyn Blacklock

    Posted by James Wilson Institute on Apr 27, 2022
    Evelyn Blacklock reviews Prof. Adrian Vermeule's "Common Good Constitutionalism," which argues that both originalism and living constitutionalism have abandoned the classical legal tradition. …
  • “The Conservative Legal Movement Sputters” — Josh Hammer in the Spectator World

    Posted by James Wilson Institute on Apr 20, 2022
    Taking an honest look at today’s conservative jurisprudence, Josh Hammer calls for a return to the Bible, natural law, and the substantive precepts underpinning our constitutional order. Some excerpts: “A sober, empirical assessment of the past four decades paints an ambiguous picture of substantive conservative success in US courthouses. It is simply not obvious how […] …
  • “What the Hearings Missed” — Hadley Arkes at The American Mind

    Posted by James Wilson Institute on Apr 13, 2022
    In the aftermath of Judge Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Hadley Arkes analyzes the Senate hearings. Despite some well-timed questions, Republicans ultimately missed their chance to put Judge Jackson on the record defending the right to kill unwanted children even after birth. Some excerpts: “During the recent hearings over Judge Jackson, Senator Marsha Blackburn […] …
  • “‘It’s Good (Not) to be the King’: Qualified Praise for Michael McConnell” — Garrett Snedeker

    Posted by James Wilson Institute on Mar 18, 2022
    Anchoring Truths co-founder Garrett Snedeker offers qualified praise for Prof. Michael McConnell’s recent book on executive power under the Constitution. While McConnell argues convincingly for public meaning originalism, he implicitly reaffirms judicial supremacy over interpretive disputes between the legislative and the executive branches. “McConnell’s most significant contribution to the scholarly literature is his thorough evaluation of Article II with a […] …
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Anchoring Truths - a James Wilson Institute project
The James Wilson Institute has sought to recover, and to teach again, those anchoring truths that provided for the Founders the moral ground of the law.
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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