At times, the dialogue between my friend Hadley Arkes and the constitutional originalists he most admires—eminent jurists such as Robert Bork and Antonin Scalia—seems less like a difference of opinion than a case of ships passing in the night. What it needs is for someone to drop an anchor. This is what Professor Arkes undertakes to do in Constitutional Illusions and Anchoring Truths, the latest of his several books, and one that brings to bear his full arsenal of erudition, piercing insight, razor wit, and good cheer.

Arkes is the Edward Ney Professor of American Institutions and Jurisprudence at Amherst College. His passion is that first of first things, the natural law. In a manner of speaking—a very fundamental manner—this makes Arkes a constitutional originalist because, as he powerfully demonstrates, the American Framers were steeped in natural law. Never did they lose sight...


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