Talks and Papers

"Shut Up! How Speech Codes are Corrupting Universities and Harming America," with John Agresto, for The American Experiment: Conversations on Politics, Principles, and Education, Jack Miller Center, June 10, 2021 [recorded Sepember 22, 2020]

"1787: The Constitutional Convention and Political Participation in the Early Republic" - a conversation with Eric Nelson, Jack Rakove, and Barry Shain, sponsored by the National Association of Scholars, April 29, 2021

“Was Parliament the Legislative Power before Locke?,” at the annual meeting of the New England Political Science Association, via Zoom, April 23, 2021

“Montesquieu and Rousseau on the Legislator and the Legislative power,” at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, via Zoom, April 17, 2021

Radio Interview about Impeachment with Newell Norman on WWL - New Orleans, January 12, 2021

“The Modern Science of Legislation: From Bentham to Rawls and Hayek,” at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, via Zoom, January 8, 2021

“Has Congress Lost the Legislative Power?”, Constitution Day Lecture, Boston College, via Zoom, October 6, 2020

“John Locke and the Conceptualization of Legislative Power,” on a panel sponsored by the Eric Voegelin Society, at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, via Zoom, September 11, 2020

"How Does the Rule of Law Promote a Free Society?" Institute for Humane Studies/Big Think Video, March 11, 2020

"Law vs. Justice: What Is Our Duty in Society?" Big Think Video, February 16, 2020

"Lincoln's Law: How Did the Civil War Change the Constitution?" Big Think Video, January 23, 2020

Remarks at Stiftung Genshagen (The Weimar Transatlantic Forum: Images, Perceptions, and the Future of the West) Panel: “The West Under Pressure: The External and Internal Dimension” (November 25, 2019)

"Why Political Theory Should Be Every (Other) Political Scientist's Second Field," Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University, November 1, 2019

"Civic Education or Liberal Education: Which Does Democracy Most Need?," Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, North Carolina, October 10, 2019

"Common-Law Originalism," 2019 Walter Berns Annual Constitution Day Lecture, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C., September 17, 2019; earlier version as "Common Law: Opponents or Friends," Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, September 12, 2019

"How the Freedom of the Body Guards the Soul in Common Law" at a symposium on "Law and the Body," sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Pontifical John Paul II Institute, Washington, D.C., September 7, 2019

"Civil Lawyer on a Common-Law Court: Edward Douglass White," on a panel sponsored by the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, D.C., August 30, 2019

"Is the Nation Formed by (a) Common Law?," Intercollegiate Studies Institute Honors Program Summer Conference, "What Is a Nation?," Seattle, Washington, August 5, 2019

"Does Aristotle Recognize a Legislative Power?," at a conference, "To What End? Narrative, Institutions, and Practices," sponsored by the De Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, July 27, 2019

"The Common Law Tradition and the Future of Freedom," at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's Alabama Student Conference, "Tale of Five Cities," Faulkner University, Montgomery, Alabama, June 5, 2019

"Legislation, the Courts, and Religious Liberty in a Secular Public Order," at the annual meeting of the New England Political Science Association, Portland, Maine, April 26, 2019

"Was John Stuart Mill Right about Freedom of Speech?" Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland, April 17, 2019

"Why We Should Not Depend on John Stuart Mill for Free Speech," University of Louisiana, Lafayette, February 12, 2019

"Training for Legislators: The Fundamentals of Natural Law and Human Dignity," for the Catholic Bar Association, Dallas, Texas, October 13, 2018

"Determinations," panel on "Making Men Moral: Public Morality, Liberty, and Law," at a conference on "Taking the Measure of Where We Are Today," sponsored by the James Madison Program on American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University, May 19, 2018

"The Natural Law of Free Speech," at a student conference sponsored by the Texas Network for the Study of Public Issues, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, April 7, 2018

"Restoring the Legislative Power: What the Common Law Has to Teach," Federalist Society Student Chapter, University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Illinois, March 28, 2018

"The Dignity of Politics," sponsored by the Lumen Christi Institute, at Jenner & Block, Chicago, Illinois, March 27, 2018

"In Praise of Euphemism," panel on "Free Inquiry and the Philosophy of Higher Education," at a conference on "Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education: Implications for American Society," in the School of Civil and Economic Thought and Leadership, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, February 23, 2018

"Good and Evil Grown Together: The Argument for Freedom of Speech," at the Fall Conference of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, November 11, 2017

"The Positive Liberty of Speech," Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, September 19, 2017; Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia, September 15, 2017

"Why Is There No Legislative Power in Classical Political Thought?" at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, California, September 1, 2017

"What Is the Origin of the Legislative Power? Making Law from Plato to Rousseau," at the annual meeting of the New England Political Science Association, Providence, Rhode Island, April 22, 2017

"Is Trump's Presidency Unprecedented?" Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, April 7, 2017

Respondent to a lecture by Lawrence Alexander, "Law and Politics: What Is Their Relation?" Herbert W. Vaughan Academic Panel, co-sponsored by the Federalist Society, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 24, 2017 [YouTube Video]

"How Free Should Free Speech Be?," Northwood University, Midland, Michigan, March 16, 2017

"Determination and Deduction: How Aquinas Might Distinguish the Work of the Legislator from the Work of a Judge," at a conference, "Law as a Guise for Justice: A Symposium on the Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Law and Justice in Honour of Amanda Perreau-Saussine Ezcurra (1971-2012)," at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, March 4, 2017

Debate, with Walter Block: "Resolved, there are legitimate limits on free speech," sponsored by the New Orleans Chapter of America's Future Foundation, at the Loyola University College of Business, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 2, 2017

"What Publius Knew and Didn't Know," at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 13, 2017

"Is Beauty an Aim of Politics? Aristotle, the Old Regime, and America," at the Fall Conference of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, "You Are Beauty," at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, November 12, 2016

"The Classroom as a Safe Space," Video Short, Open Inquiry Project (Institute for Human Studies), uploaded September 12, 2016

"Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin on Humanism and Human Science," at the annual meeting of the Eric Voegelin Society, in conjunction with the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 2, 2016; repeated for the Department of Philosophy, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 9, 2016

"Why College Campuses Need Free Speech," sponsored by America's Future Foundation, et al., at Loyola University of New Orleans, September 7, 2016

"Reconsidering Reconstruction, Rights, and Progress: What Justice Harlan Meant by ‘Every True Man Has Pride of Race,'" at a conference on "Abraham Lincoln and American Statesmanship: Reconstructing the Law of the Constitution," sponsored by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University, May 16, 2016

"What Did the American Founders Mean by ‘War'? Grotius, Vattel, and the Law of Nations," at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 10, 2016

"The ‘Liberal Theory' of Aristotelian Economics," at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 7, 2016

"Was Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story a Christian Constitutionalist?," Department of Political Science, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, March 21, 2016

Respondent to a lecture by Yuval Levin, "The Role of Law in Religious Liberty," Herbert W. Vaughan Academic Panel, co-sponsored by the Federalist Society, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 9, 2016 [YouTube Video]

"Religion, Marriage, Commerce, and Law," at "For Freedom Set Free," the annual conference of the Center for Ethics and Culture, Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana, November 21, 2015

"Facts and Values, Markets and Morals: Friedrich Hayek, Political Philosophy, and Catholic Social Thought," lecture in series on "Philosophy and Economics," sponsored by the School of Philosophy, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2015

"Magna Carta and the Constitution," Constitution Day Lecture, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, September 14, 2015

"Statesmanship and the Constitution in Aristotle's Political Science," on a panel sponsored by the McConnell Center for Political Leadership, at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, California, September 3, 2015

"Magna Carta and the Rule of Law," lecture and panel, Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration, John Locke Foundation, Raleigh, North Carolina, June 25, 2015

"Aristotelian Physics and Modern Science: Leo Strauss on What Nature Is" at a conference on "Leo Strauss and his Catholic Readers," Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts, June 5, 2015

"Categories and Causes: Physics and Politics for Aristotle and for Us," at a conference on "Nature: Ancient and Modern," Agora Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 17-19, 2015

"Consumer or Citizen: How do YOU Choose When You Vote?" Debate, with Prof. Michael Munger of Duke University, at Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, March 26, 2015

"The War Power, the Executive Power, and the Rule of Law: The American Experience, " Constitutional Thought and History Seminar, Pembroke College, Oxford University (UK), February 27, 2015; also at Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, November 6, 2014, and The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina, September 11, 2014

"The Written Constitution and the Unwritten Tradition of Common Law," Constitution Day Lecture, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, September 16, 2014; Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas, September 19, 2014

Discussant, Panel on "Statesmen at War," at the annual meeting of the New England Political Science Association, Woodstock, Vermont, April 26, 2014

"Does the Law and the Constitution of the Family Have to Change?," keynote address, conference on "The Family in HIstory and Modern Society" sponsored by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, at Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana, April 4, 2014

"Is Meritocracy Just?," debate with Prof. Christopher Surprenant of the University of New Orleans, Kirkland House "Guests for Good," Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 31, 2014

"Is There a Moral Basis for the Free Market?" Debate, with Prof. Michael Munger of Duke University, at Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama, October 18, 2013

"The Right to Know Your Parents and the Duty to Have a Child, " at the ISI Honors Program Summer Conference, "Rights and Duties," in Richmond, Virginia, August 9, 2013; repeated at an ISI-sponsored conference on "The Family and American Constitutionalism," Salt Lake City, Utah, November 8, 2013

"Stop Whining and Start Thinking: The Federalist on Partisanship and the Constitution," at the New Orleans Chapter of the Federalist Society, June 6, 2013

"Liberalism and Religious Liberty," at the First Freedom Academy, sponsored by the Minnesota Catholic Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 3, 2013

"On the Electoral College," delivered to the Louisiana Electors at the State Capitol, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, December 17, 2012

"Republicans Versus Democrats: The Case of the Confederate Constitution," to the Political Theory Institute, American University, Washington DC, October 16, 2012 RESOURCE: Comparison of the US and Confederate Constitutions

"The Fiscal Constitution and the Morality of Rights." with panel discussion on "The Affordable Care Act (‘Obamacare') and the Constitution," Constitution Day Events at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, September 13 & 15, 2012

"Progressivism Versus Common Law: The Struggle to Define the Constitution," one of two keynote lectures for a conference on "Continuity, Change, and Liberty in the American Constitutional Tradition," sponsored by the Earhart Foundation, Dearborn, Michigan, July 28, 2012

"The Political Theory and Political Practice of Reconstruction," at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 13, 2012

"Fiscal Councils in Constitutional Perspective," at a consultation of the Witherspoon Institute on "The Economic Challenge: Fiscal, Monetary, and Financial Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and the Common Good," Princeton, New Jersey, December 5, 2011

"Catholics and the Constitution," at Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, North Carolina, September 16, 2011

"Progressivism, Social Science, and Catholic Social Teaching in the Building of the American Welfare State," at a conference on "Progressive Challenges to the Constitution," sponsored by the Center for Political and Economic Thought, St. Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, April 9, 2011; revised version, "Catholic Social Teaching and American Political Development: Fr. John Ryan and the American Welfare State," at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 12, 2012

"Thinking Like Ronald Reagan," to the St. Bernard Parish Republican Committee, Chalmette, Louisiana, February 22, 2011

"John Locke Explains How the Science of Civil Society Corrects the Natural Authority of Virtue," at a conference "'Stuck With Virtue': The Scientific Foundations of the Modern World: Descartes, Locke, & Darwin," at Berry College, Rome, Georgia, November 4, 2010

"The Polis and the Constitution," at a conference on "Political Philosophy and the Constitution," at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, October 23, 2010; repeated to the Program in Constitutionalism and Democracy at the University of Virginia, February 9, 2011

"Civility, Pluralism, and Public Reason," at the Regional Meeting of the Philadelphia Society, "The Ethics of Rhetoric in a Digital Age," Atlanta, Georgia, September 25, 2010

"Tradition and Modernity: The Original Constitution," at the University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida, September 17, 2010; at the University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia, October 7, 2010; at Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island, October 28, 2010

"A Trek through the ‘Switzerland of Learning': Why the Road to Recover the Liberal Arts Leads through Science," Intercollegiate Studies Institute Honors Program Summer Conference, "The Idea of a University: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow," in Annapolis, Maryland, July 25-31, 2010

"Faith and Freedom, Political and Economic," Levert Lecture at the Center for Spiritual Capital, Loyola University College of Business, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 19, 2010

"Teaching American Political Thought to Students of American Government," at the Teaching and Learning Conference of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 5, 2010

"How Judicial Activism Emerged from Progressive Science: Erie v. Topkins and the Origin of Judicial Supremacy" at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Atlanta, Georgia, January 8, 2010

"Natural Law, Liberty of Conscience, and American Constitutionalism," The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, November 5, 2009

Participant, Roundtable on "The State of Academic Free Speech in Canada and the U.S.," sponsored by the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, September 3, 2009

"Politics and Moral Culture: Aristotle, Rawls, and George," at a conference on "Making Men Moral: The Public Square and the Role of Moral Judgment," at Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, February 26, 2009 [Audio Link]

"Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and the Declaration of Independence," Louisiana State Capitol, February 12, 2009

"Science Versus Tradition at the American Founding and Today," Lecture in series on Creativity, Science, and Intelligence, Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, Michigan, September 22, 2008; earlier version presented to the John Locke Foundation, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, October 2, 2007

Remarks on Gregg and Stoner, eds., Rethinking Business Management: Examining the Foundations of Business Education, at the IESE Alumni US Chapter-Event, The University Club, New York, New York, July 16, 2008

"Political Science and Political Education," American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference, San José, California, February 23, 2008; revised version at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, September 26, 2008

"America: Republic or Empire?" ISI Cicero's Podium Debate with Prof. Michael Federici of Mercyhurst College, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, January 29, 2008

"Determination and Deduction: How Aquinas Might Distinguish the Work of the Legislator from the work of the Judge," at the second annual John F. Scarpa Conference on Law, Politics, and Culture, Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania, October 16, 2007

"Is Scalia Right? A Debate on Originalism and How the Supreme Law of the United States Should Be Interpreted," with Professor Sotirios Barber of Notre Dame University, sponsored by Americans for Informed Democracy, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, October 12, 2007

"Presidential Rhetoric and the Constitution," Constitution Day Panel with Professor Martin Medhurst, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, September 17, 2007

"The Catholic Moment in the Political Philosophy of Leo Strauss," on a panel sponsored by the Eric Voegelin Society, at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, September 1, 2007

Participant, panel on "Reason, Revelation, and Freedom: Benedict XVI's Regensburg Speech," at a Conference on "The Free Society: Foundations and Challenges," sponsored by the James Madison Program on American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University, May 14-15, 2007

"Foundational Ideas, Constitutionalism, and Public Policy: Towards a Paradigm of American Political Thought and Development," at the annual meeting of the New England Political Science Association, Newton, Massachusetts, April 27, 2007; earlier version presented to a graduate colloquium in the Department of Politics, University of Virginia, March 2, 2007

"Republicanism and Orthodoxy: The Contribution of John Carroll." Inaugural Carroll Lecture, Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, March 22, 2007

Federalist Society Debates/Discussions: "How the Political Branches Enable Judicial Activism," University of Minnesota Law School, University of St. Thomas Law School; "Law and the Conscience of the Judge," Lawyers Division; "Originalism and Common Law," Hamline University School of Law; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, January 30 – February 1, 2007

"Was Thomas Aquinas a Republican?,"at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New, Louisiana, January 5, 2007

"The American Constitution and the Common Law," Polaris Lecture at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska, November 2, 2006.

"The Modern Judiciary and the Constitution," Constitution Day Lecture at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, September 21, 2006

"Does a Free Society Presuppose Republican Virtue?", Cicero's Podium Debate, with Prof. Jerry Weinberger of Michigan State University, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2, 2006

Discussant, panel on "Religion and Liberal Theory: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives," at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Atlanta, Georgia, January 7, 2006 [remarks delivered in absentia].

"John Donne and the Translation of Aristotle's Politics into English," at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC. September 1, 2005.

"Constitutionalism and Judicial Authority" and "Religious Freedom in a Religious Country," at a conference on "The Formation of a Constitution: What Academics Say," co-sponsored by the Hudson Institute and the Salahaddin University, in Erbil (Hawler), Kurdistan, IRAQ, July 14-16, 2005

with Richard E. Morgan, "Forty Years of Failure, or What Do You Do When the Supreme Court Is Still Wrong," at the annual meeting of the New England Political Science Association, Portland, Maine, April 29, 2005

"The Christian and the Constitution: Obeying and Resisting the Law, from St. Thomas More to Modern America," public lecture at Loyola College of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, April 4, 2005; at Ave Maria University, Naples, Florida, October 6, 2005

Discussant, panel on "Locke and Christianity," at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 7, 2005

Participant, Roundtable on "Explaining the Rehnquist Court," at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 16, 2004

"Natural Law, the Right to Resist, and the Constitution," the Robert T. Miller Professorship Distinguished Lecture, Department of Political Science, Baylor University, October 14, 2003

"Just Conscience: More and St. German on Common Law, Equity, and Reform," at a conference titled "Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review: A Bicentennial Reconsideration," Institute of United States Studies, University of London, May 29, 2003

"Christian Socrates? The Apology of Thomas More," Renaissance Colloquium, Committee for Renaissance Studies, Princeton University, May 8, 2003; presented in revised form at the annual meeting of the American Maritain Association, Chicago, Illinois, October 16, 2003; revised again for the Center for Economic and Policy Education and the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government, St. Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, October 29, 2003

"Utopia and America: Scholasticism, Humanism, and Enlightenment in Thomas More," seminar presentation to the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University, March 10, 2003; presented in revised form at the annual meeting of the New England Political Science Association, Providence, Rhode Island, May 3, 2003

"‘A Harmonious and Consistent Whole': The Framing of the Constitution and the Common Law," at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 18, 2001