Monday, March 29, 2021
The humanitarian proposal is hard to refuse, because it postulates that we can achieve justice if everyone simply becomes aware of their essential human likeness. The Christian proposal is hard to accept, because it affirms that all human beings are prisoners of an injustice from which they cannot escape by their own efforts.
Excellent article in Public Discourse. Our Reading Group at ND Law School’s Program on Church, State & Society read Manent last semester and it led to some great conversations.
March 29, 2021 | Permalink
Thursday, March 25, 2021
This chapter examines John Paul II’s contribution to law as a statesman, world leader, and universal pastor of the Roman Catholic Church. John Paul II’s approach to the law was shaped by the stark realities of having suffered firsthand the injustice of two totalitarian regimes and the cruelties of the Second World War. An ardent defender of human rights, especially the rights to life and religious liberty, John Paul II saw in human dignity and human solidarity the two great levers for advancing the development of legal systems. Lastly, this chapter explores John Paul II’s invaluable role in updating and reforming the canon law of the Catholic Church. He had a singular role in promulgating the Code of Canon Law of 1983, the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches of 1990, and the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus of 1988 on reforming the Roman Curia. For these and other relevant legal contributions, John Paul II well deserves the title of jurist.
March 25, 2021 | Permalink
For this great feast of the Annunciation, two versions of Justice Scalia's oft-told story about the best lesson he learned as an undergraduate at Georgetown:
Perhaps the best lesson I ever learned here at Georgetown occurred during my oral comprehensive examination in my major (history) at the end of my senior year. My history professor was Dr. Wilkinson, a prince of a man. He was the chairman of the three-professor panel that examined me. And I did, if I may say so myself, a smashingly good job. As the time for the examination was almost at hand, Dr. Wilkinson asked me one last question, which seemed to me a softball. Of all the historical events you have studied, he said, which one in your opinion had the most impact upon the world? How could I possibly get this wrong? There was no obviously single correct answer. The only issue was what good answer I should choose. The French Revolution perhaps? Or the Battle of Thermopylae—or of Lepanto? Or the American Revolution? I forget what I picked, because it was all driven out of my mind when Dr. Wilkinson informed me of the right answer—or at least the right answer if I really believed what he and I thought I believed. Of course it was the Incarnation. Point taken. You must keep everything in perspective and not run your spiritual life and your worldly life as though they are two separate operations.
- Scalia, On Faith, "Away from the noise—making retreats" (1998 Georgetown)
Georgetown University was a very Catholic place when I was there. One of the best lessons I learned was in the course of my oral comprehensive exam in my major subject, history, at the end of senior year. I had done pretty darned well during all of the questioning, and at the end my history professor, Dr. Wilkinson, to whom I am ever indebted, asked me one last, seemingly softball question: If I had to pick a single event as the most significant in all the history I had studied, what would it be? I say it was a softball question because there obviously could not be any single correct answer. So I groped for what might be a good one. What should I say? The Battle of Thermopylae? No, the Battle of Lepanto. No, the French Revolution. No, the Grand Convention of 1787. I forget what answer I gave, but it was wrong. The right one, Dr. Wilkinson informed me, was the Incarnation. Well, of course. Point taken, and an unforgettable lesson learned.
- Scalia, On faith, "Moral Formation--the Character of Higher Catholic Education" (1994, Catholic University).
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Utah Valley University will livestream what promises to be an excellent First Amendment Conference.
DAY 1 – Tuesday, March 23
9:00 a.m. MDT
Setting the Stage for Religious Liberty & the Supreme Court
Where We Are: The State of Religious Freedom Today – Stephanie Barclay, University of Notre Dame School of Law
A Look at Justice Barrett and the New Supreme Court– Mark Walsh, ABA Journal, SCOTUSblog
10:30 a.m. MDT
Revisiting Employment Division v. Smith After 30 Years
Defending Smith – Bill Marshall, University of North Carolina School of Law
Critiquing Smith & Reviewing RFRA - Alexander Dushku, Kirton McConkie
Case Law Developments Since Smith– Adèle Keim, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
12:30 p.m. MDT
Lessons of Civility from the Supreme Court
Addressing Culture War Issues in a Consensus Building Manner – Dr. Ryan Owens, University of Wisconsin-Madison
DAY 2 – Wednesday, March 24
9:00 a.m. MDT
Free Exercise Rights from the Perspective of Religious Minorities
Islam – Asma Uddin, Council on Foreign Relations
Native American Religions - Mona Polacca
Judaism – Dr. Michael Helfand, Pepperdine Law School
11:00 a.m. MDT
Looking to the Future
Religious Freedom Issues on the Horizon for the Court – Dr. Phillip Muñoz, University of Notre Dame
Moving Forward with Civility – Judge Thomas Griffith (Ret.), U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
March 24, 2021 | Permalink
Monday, March 22, 2021
Friday, March 19, 2021
In his introductory text, Augustine's Quest of Wisdom, Vernon Bourke leads off Chapter XIII ("God and Society") with this long quotation from the twelfth book of Augustine's Literal Commentary on Genesis:
These are the two loves: the first is holy, the second foul; the first is social, the second selfish; the first consults the common welfare for the sake of a celestial society; the second grasps at a selfish control of social affairs for the sake of arrogant domination; the first is submissive to God, the second tries to rival God; the first is quiet, the second restless; the first is peaceful, the second trouble-making; the first prefers truth to the praises of those who are in error, the second is greedy for praise however it may be obtained; the first is friendly, the second envious; the first desires for its neighbor what it wishes for itself, the second desires to subjugate its neighbor; the first rules its neighbor for the good of the neighbor, the second for its own advantage; and (these two loves) make a distinction among the angels, the first love belongs to the good angels, the second to the bad angels; and they also separate the two "cities" founded among the race of men, under the wonderful and ineffable Providence of God, administering and ordering all things which have been created; the first (city) is that of the just, the second (city) is that of the wicked. And though they are now, during the course of time, intermingled, they shall be divided at the last judgment; the first, being joined by the good angels under its King, shall attain eternal life; the second, in union with the bad angels under its king, shall be sent into eternal fire. Perhaps, we shall treat, God willing, of these two cities, more fully in another place.
I don't know about you, reader, but I'm not sure I can act well from the first kind of love on Twitter. Too often and too easily it seems so much I see externally and experience internally is foul, selfish, aiming at control for the sake of domination, rivaling God, restless, trouble-making, greedy for praise, envious, aiming at subjugation of neighbor and self-advantage.
As today's feast day comes to an end, let us pause to bring to mind and treasure the silence of St. Joseph.
Thursday, March 18, 2021
About the Lecture
The European Commission for Democracy through Law (commonly known as the "Venice Commission") is the Council of Europe's advisory body, composed of independent experts, on issues of constitutional law and politics throughout its member states and beyond. As such it has been actively involved in many of the most notable recent controversies regarding constitutionalism, democracy, and the rule of law in places such as Poland and Hungary, Ukraine and Armenia, Turkey and the Balkans. In this talk, Paolo Carozza, currently the U.S. member of the Venice Commission, will describe the Venice Commission's engagement with these issues and provide an assessment, through the lens of the Venice Commission's work, of some of the principal current challenges to the future of democratic constitutionalism in Europe, and of the role of transnational institutions in addressing these challenges.
About the Speaker
Paolo Carozza is the director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and professor of law and concurrent professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. With expertise in comparative constitutional law, human rights, law and development, and international law, he focuses his research on Latin America, Western Europe, and international themes more broadly.
His current research revolves around the relationships between law, human rights, education, and integral human development. Formerly the director of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, he directed its doctoral program in international human rights law for a decade. Carozza is also a fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, and the Institute for Educational Initiatives.
March 18, 2021 | Permalink
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
On Saturday, March 27th, MOJer Elizabeth Schiltz and I are participating in a discussion/debate on female poverty, abortion, equality and autonomy with renowned legal scholar Robin West (Georgetown Law) and brilliant philosopher Eva Feder Kittay (Stony Brook). Learn more and register here. Come one, come all!
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Monday, March 15, 2021
The Berkley Center at Georgetown has posted a collection of short essays on the subject of "Joe Biden and Catholicism in U.S. Politics." In my view, the authors (as a general matter) overstate the consonance between (a) President Biden's stated views and (b) the policies the Biden administration is likely to pursue with (c) plausible operationalizations of Catholic proposals and social teachings. Among other things, there is in the essays a -- for me -- disappointing tendency to equate present-day public-sector unionism with the Church's longstanding emphasis on the dignity of work and the rights of workers. And, the significance of Biden's and his administration's rejection of the Church's teachings -- that is, the truth -- about the rights and dignity of unborn children is downplayed. (In fairness, I should note that I was invited to contribute one of the essays, and failed (multiple times!) to meet my deadline!)
In any event, check out the collection and, MOJ-ers, please weigh in with your thoughts on the topic!