McDowell's book defending the Founders' Constitution reviewed

July 13, 2011

Constitutional scholar Gary L. McDowell’s book on The Language of Law and the Foundations of American Constitutionalism was reviewed by The Claremont Institute.

America has found its Thomas Hobbes for the 21st century. In The Language of Law and the Foundations of American Constitutionalism, Gary McDowell offers one of the most significant scholarly arguments ever written for legal positivism as a guarantor of political liberty, recurring time and again to Hobbes in this magisterial survey of constitutional originalism. It was Hobbes who brought law down from the clouds and showed it to be the plain, intelligible will of the sovereign—ultimately, the sovereign people. It is to this popular will that contemporary jurists must look if they are honestly to interpret the Constitution, writes McDowell, and in so doing to preserve political liberty in the face of its archenemy: arbitrariness. Justice is the interest of the properly constituted majority.

A professor at the University of Richmond's Jepson School of Leadership Studies, McDowell begins by reminding the reader of the remarkable thing that happened nearly a quarter of a century ago when the U.S. Senate refused to confirm Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court.”

Full review