Texas Tech University

Natural Law and the Constitution

Dr. Hadley Arkes

Edward N. Ney Professor of Jurisprudence at Amherst College, President of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights and the American Founding.


Dr. Arkes' lecture, entitled "Natural Law and the Constitution", explored how in framing the United States Constitution the founders drew upon the principles of "right and lawfulness" that were "already there"; and why in applying the Constitution to cases it is necessary, even today, to appeal beyond the text of the document to principles that would exist even if it had never been written.

Dr. Arkes is the author of five books the most recent being "Natural Rights and the Right to Choose" (2002), and "Constitutional Illusions and Anchoring Truths: The Touchstone of the Natural Law" (2010). His articles have appeared in professional journals as well as public forums like the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, and National Review. He has also been a contributor to First Things, a journal that took its name from his book of the same title.

Dr. Arkes' lecture was held in the Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium, Museum of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, on September 17th, 2015.

The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization

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