adjudication-related considerations in Sheetz v. El Dorado

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Sheetz v. El Dorado County (2024) features a unanimous opinion for the Court by Justice Barrett and separate concurring opinions by three other Justices (Sotomayor joined by Jackson; Gorsuch solo; and Kavanaugh joined by Kagan and Jackson). These separate opinions address themselves in different ways to the narrow scope […]

“The Crisis in Teaching Constitutional Law”

The New York Times this morning has an opinion piece bearing this title. Despite the writer’s focus on federal constitutional law as developed by the Supreme Court of the United States, the malaise of the mandarins across much of the legal academy is much more pervasive. Caveat lector/auditor/discipulus.

Pope Francis’s Remarks to International Federation of Catholic Universities

On January 19, 2024, Pope Francis was scheduled to deliver “a lengthy address” to the International Federation of Catholic Universities. Because he was a “bit short of breath,” he instead got right to the point of what he was going to say and then let his prepared text speak for itself. Here’s what he said […]

Two ways of approaching appropriation of tradition by an historical figure like Bonaventure

In the Introduction of his book, The Hidden Center: Spirituality and Speculative Christology in St. Bonavanture, Zachary Hayes, O.F.M., distinguishes two ways of studying an historical figure like Bonaventure. Hayes’s purpose is to explain his inquiry regarding Bonaventure appropriation of theological tradition, but the distinction he draws can be transposed to other types of inquiries into […]

The Demonic Blind Spot of A.I. Developers

Some of the worries about the development of A.I. relate to the technology taking on personal characteristics of intellect and will, and then initiating destructive acts. Something like that is much more plausibly understood as A.I. being coopted by demons, or fallen angels. A clear-eyed assessment of the output of large-language models can be informed […]

Address to Opening Assembly: Virginia Junior Classical League State Convention

On November 19, 2023, I had the opportunity to address the Opening Assembly of the Virginia Junior Classical League’s state convention. The convention theme was a quotation from Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, Book XI, Chapter 25: “Multa, quae impedita natura sunt, consilio expediuntur.” The three main points of my address make up a simple rhyme: […]

Iredell in Minge v. Gilmour

In following up on some research regarding Calder v. Bull and The Decline of Natural Law, I recently had occasion to read this fine opinion by Justice Iredell in Minge v. Gilmour (Cir. Ct. D. N.C. 1798). Recommended.