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Making Men Moral: 30th Anniversary Conference

Making Men Moral book cover

Event Details

Thursday, November 30: Noon - 5:30 PM ET
Friday, December 1: 9 AM - 5:15 PM ET

American Enterprise Institute, Auditorium
1789 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036


For more information about this event, please email sppevents@pepperdine.edu, or call 310.506.7490.

Thirty years ago, Robert P. George’s Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality (Clarendon Press, 1993) challenged the consensus that justice requires governmental neutrality on contested questions of morality. Dr. George argued that moral neutrality in politics is impossible, that a proper concern for public morality can be a legitimate basis for laws and policies, and that natural law offered a more secure foundation for civil liberties than “neutralist” liberalism did.

How did Making Men Moral shape decades of debates about civil liberties and public morality? As these debates have evolved, how is Making Men Moral relevant going forward?

Please join AEI, the Ethics & Public Policy Center, Pepperdine University School of Public Policy, and the Project on Constitutional Originalism and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition at Catholic University for a conference to mark Making Men Moral’s enduring influence on public policy.

Conference Schedule

Thursday, November 30

12:00 p.m.

12:45 p.m.
Opening Remarks:
J. Joel Alicea, Nonresident Fellow, AEI

12:50 p.m.
30 Years of Making Men Moral: A Conversation with Robert P. George

Ryan T. Anderson, President, Ethics & Public Policy Center
Robert P. George, Nonresident Senior Fellow, AEI

1:45 p.m.

2:00 p.m.

2:15 p.m.
Panel I: Making Men Moral’s Challenge to Liberalism

John Peter DiIulio, James N. Perry Scholar of Philosophy, Politics, and Society, University of Pennsylvania
Yuval Levin, Director, Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies, AEI
Micah Watson, Paul Henry Chair in Christianity and Politics, Calvin University

Ramesh Ponnuru, Nonresident Senior Fellow, AEI

3:30 p.m.

3:45 p.m.

4:00 p.m.
Panel II: Social Science and Public Morality

Mark Regnerus, Professor, University of Texas at Austin
Ian Rowe, Senior Fellow, AEI
W. Bradford Wilcox, Nonresident Senior Fellow, AEI

Byron Johnson, Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences, Baylor University

5:15 p.m.

5:30 p.m.

Friday, December 1

9:00 a.m.
Opening Remarks:
Pete Peterson, Dean, Pepperdine School of Public Policy

9:05 a.m.
Panel III: Civil Society and Subsidiarity: Challenges to Making Men Moral

Timothy P. Carney, Senior Fellow, AEI
Eugene F. Rivers III, Founding Director, Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies
Ryan Streeter, Executive Director of Research and Publications, Civitas Institute

Alexandra DeSanctis, Fellow, Ethics & Public Policy Center

10:15 a.m.

10:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m.
Panel IV: “Liberalism”: Is There a Baby in the Bathwater?

Samuel Gregg, Distinguished Fellow in Political Economy, American Institute for Economic Research
V. Bradley Lewis, Associate Professor, Catholic University of America
Christopher O. Tollefsen, Professor, University of South Carolina

Christopher Wolfe, Distinguished Research Scholar, University of Dallas

12:00 p.m.

12:15 p.m.

Lunchtime Conversation

Hadley Arkes, Director, James Wilson Institute
O. Carter Snead, Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame
Andrew T. Walker, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Public Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Ryan T. Anderson, President, Ethics & Public Policy Center

1:45 p.m.

2:00 p.m.
Panel V: Civil Liberties or Public Morality?

Sherif Girgis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame
Daniel Mark, Assistant Professor, Villanova University
Melissa Moschella, Associate Professor, Catholic University of America

Elizabeth Kirk, Director, Center for Law & the Human Person

3:15 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

3:45 p.m.
Panel VI: Making Men Moral and Constitutional Interpretation

J. Joel Alicea, Nonresident Fellow, AEI
Marc O. DeGirolami, Cary Fields Professor of Law, St. John’s University School of Law
Steven D. Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego

Thomas B. Griffith, Former Circuit Judge, US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit

5:00 p.m.

5:15 p.m.

Conference Speakers

  J. Joel Alicea

J. Joel Alicea is a nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on constitutional theory and constitutional law. He concurrently serves as associate professor of law at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, where he teaches courses in American constitutional theory, civil procedure, and constitutional law. He is also codirector of the law school’s Project on Constitutional Originalism and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and a fellow at the Center for Religious Liberty.

Before joining the faculty at Catholic University, Mr. Alicea practiced law at Cooper & Kirk, where he specialized in constitutional litigation and where he currently serves as of counsel. He previously served as a law clerk for Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. on the United States Supreme Court and for Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Mr. Alicea is the author of numerous law review articles and other scholarly works focusing on constitutional law and judicial philosophy. He has been published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, the Notre Dame Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, and the Virginia Law Review, among others. His work has also appeared in popular publications such as City Journal and National Affairs.

Mr. Alicea has a law degree from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University.

  Robert P. George

Robert P. George is a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where his research areas include moral and political philosophy, constitutional law, civil liberties, bioethics, and the philosophy of law. Dr. George is concurrently the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and the director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.

A frequent visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Dr. George has given lectures across the nation and at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He served on the US Commission on Civil Rights, on the President’s Council on Bioethics, as chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and on UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. He serves also on many boards and advisory councils. These include the Templeton Religion Trust, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Program, and the Paul McHugh Program for Human Flourishing at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. George is the author, coauthor, and editor of 24 books, including “Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism” (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2013); “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense” (Encounter Books, 2012); “Embryo: A Defense of Human Life” (Doubleday, 2008); “The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis” (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2001); “In Defense of Natural Law” (Oxford University Press, 1999); and “Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality” (Oxford University Press, 1993). He is also the coeditor of “The Cambridge Companion to Natural Law Jurisprudence” (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

His articles and essays have appeared in the American Journal of Jurisprudence, Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, the Review of Metaphysics, the Review of Politics, the University of Chicago Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. He has also written for First Things, The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

A graduate of Swarthmore College, Dr. George holds a master of theological studies and a law degree from Harvard University, as well as a doctor of philosophy, a bachelor of civil law, a doctor of civil law, and a doctor of letters from Oxford University.

  Ryan T. Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

He is the author or co-author of five books, including the just-released Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing. Previous books include When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, and Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination. He is the co-editor of A Liberalism Safe for Catholicism? Perspectives from “The Review of Politics.”

Anderson’s research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices, Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas, in two Supreme Court cases.

He received his bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, and he received his doctoral degree in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. His dissertation was titled: “Neither Liberal Nor Libertarian: A Natural Law Approach to Social Justice and Economic Rights.”

Anderson has made appearances on ABC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News. His work has been published by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the Harvard Health Policy Review, the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, First Things, the Claremont Review of Books, and National Review.

He is the John Paul II Teaching Fellow in Social Thought at the University of Dallas, a member of the James Madison Society at Princeton University, and a Fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America, as well as the Founding Editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey.

For 9 years he was the William E. Simon senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and has served as an adjunct professor of philosophy and political science at Christendom College, and a Visiting Fellow at the Veritas Center at Franciscan University. He has also served as an assistant editor of First Things.

  John Peter DiIulio

Welcome. I am the James N. Perry Scholar of Philosophy, Politics, and Society in the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania, where I conduct research in political thought, ethics, and action theory, and also teach in the International and Global Master of Public Administration programs.

My first book, Completely Free: The Moral and Political Vision of John Stuart Mill, is with Princeton University Press. It provides an original and unified reconstruction of Mill’s practical philosophy, and advances a sympathetic yet critical argument for the cogency and potency of his Utilitarian liberalism. You can find it here and here.

  Yuval Levin

Yuval Levin is the director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he also holds the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Public Policy. The founder and editor of National Affairs, he is also a senior editor at The New Atlantis, a contributing editor at National Review, and a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times.

At AEI, Dr. Levin and scholars in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies research division study the foundations of self-government and the future of law, regulation, and constitutionalism. They also explore the state of American social, political, and civic life, focusing on the preconditions necessary for family, community, and country to flourish.

Dr. Levin served as a member of the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush. He was also executive director of the President’s Council on Bioethics and a congressional staffer at the member, committee, and leadership levels.

In addition to being interviewed frequently on radio and television, Dr. Levin has published essays and articles in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Commentary. He is the author of several books on political theory and public policy, most recently “A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream” (Basic Books, 2020).

He holds an MA and PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.
National Affairs: Founder; Editor in Chief, 2009–present
The New York Times: Contributing Opinion Writer, 2022–present
National Review: Contributing Editor (informal/advisory position), 2007–present
The New Atlantis: Senior Editor (informal/advisory position), 2003–present
Ethics & Public Policy Center: Vice President and Hertog Fellow, 2007–19
The White House: Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, 2004–07
The President’s Council on Bioethics: Executive Director, 2001–04

PhD, MA, Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago
BA, political science, School of Public Affairs, American University

  Micah Watson

Professor Watson is a native of the great golden state of California where he completed his undergraduate degree at U.C. Davis. He earned his M.A. degree in Church-State Studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and holds M.A. and doctorate degrees in Politics from Princeton University.   Professor Watson joined the faculty at Calvin College in the fall of 2015.  He was also selected to serve as the William Spoelhof Teacher-Scholar Chair for the 2015-16 year, and became the Program Director for Calvin's new Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) Program in 2020.   Also in 2020, he became the Executive Director of the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics and is currently the Paul B. Henry Chair in Political Science.  

  Ramesh Ponnuru

Ramesh Ponnuru is a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies politics and public policy with a particular focus on the future of conservatism. Concurrently, he is the editor of National Review, where he has covered national politics and public policy for 25 years, and a columnist for the Washington Post.

A prolific writer, Mr. Ponnuru is the author of The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life (Regnery Publishing, 2006) and The Mystery of Japanese Growth (1995).

A frequent contributor to television and radio, Mr. Ponnuru has appeared on CBS News’ Face the Nation, NBC News’ Meet the Press, ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos, PBS NewsHour, CNN, and National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He was a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion for more than a decade.

He holds an AB in history from Princeton University.

  Mark Regnerus

Mark Regnerus is Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research is in the areas of sexual behavior, family, marriage, and religion. Mark is the author of over 40 published articles and book chapters, and four books. The last two of these are The Future of Christian Marriage (Oxford, 2020), a seven-country study of the waning marital impulse, and Cheap Sex and the Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy (Oxford, 2017) in which he describes the world that has come to be due to the influence of technology on sex and sexuality. His published research is widely reviewed, including in outlets such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Christianity Today, and the Wall Street Journal. He’s a frequent contributor to First Things, National Review, and Public Discourse.

  Ian Rowe

Ian Rowe is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on education and upward mobility, family formation, and adoption. Mr. Rowe is also the cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies, a network of character-based International Baccalaureate high schools inaugurated in the Bronx in 2022; the chairman of the board of Spence-Chapin, a nonprofit adoption services organization; and the cofounder of the National Summer School Initiative. He concurrently serves as a senior visiting fellow at the Woodson Center and a writer for the 1776 Unites Campaign.

Mr. Rowe was CEO of Public Prep, a nonprofit network of public charter schools based in the South Bronx and Lower East Side of Manhattan, for a decade. Before joining Public Prep, he was deputy director of postsecondary success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, senior vice president of strategic partnerships and public affairs at MTV, director of strategy and performance measurement at the USA Freedom Corps office in the White House, and cofounder and president of Third Millennium Media. Mr. Rowe also joined Teach for America in its early days.

He has been widely published in the popular press, including in the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Examiner, and is often interviewed on talk radio programs.

Following the publication of his book Agency: The Four Point Plan (F.R.E.E.) for All Children to Overcome the Victimhood Narrative and Discover Their Pathway to Power (Templeton Press, 2022), Mr. Rowe leads AEI’s FREE Initiative. The FREE Initiative cultivates a deeper understanding of how family, religion, education, and entrepreneurship weave together a moral fabric that shapes children. Those insights have been shared with leaders around the country who can reinvigorate the crucial institutions that help develop agency in young people.

Mr. Rowe has an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was the first black editor-in-chief of the Harbus; a BS in computer science engineering from Cornell University; and a diploma in electrical engineering from Brooklyn Technical High School, one of New York City’s elite public schools, which specializes in science, technology, and mathematics.

  W. Bradford Wilcox

Brad Wilcox is a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he directs The Home Economics Project. Inaugurated in fall of 2013, the research project explores the links between family and the economy at home and abroad,

Wilcox is also Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, where he directs the National Marriage Project, and a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies. He has been a research fellow at Yale University, a research associate at Princeton University, and a Civitas Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is additionally the author of “When Marriage Disappears: The Retreat from Marriage in Middle America” and the coauthor, with Kathleen Kovner Kline, of “Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives.”

His research on marriage and family life has been featured in CBS News, National Public Radio, National Review, NBC News, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among other media outlets. He also consults regularly with companies on fertility and marriage trends in the United States.

Wilcox has a master’s degree and a doctorate in sociology from Princeton University. His bachelor’s degree in government is from the University of Virginia.

  Byron Johnson

Byron Johnson is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University and is the founding director of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR).  Johnson is a faculty affiliate of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University, and is co-executive director of the Center for Faith and the Common Good as well as Visiting Distinguished Professor in the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. In 2016, he co-founded of the Religious Freedom Institute, based in Washington, DC.

Johnson is a former member of the Coordinating Council for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Presidential Appointment). He has been the principal investigator on grants from private foundations as well as the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and the United States Institute for Peace, totaling more than $80 million. He is the author of more than 200 journal articles, monographs, and books. He is recognized as a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, and criminal justice. Recent publications have examined the impact of faith-based programs on offender treatment, drug addiction, recidivism reduction and prisoner reentry. These topics are the focus of his book More God, Less Crime: Why Faith Matters and How It Could (2011).

Johnson’s work examines the ways in which religion impacts key behaviors like volunteerism, generosity, and purpose. These topics are covered in four recent books, The Angola Prison Seminary (2016), which evaluates the influence of a Bible College and inmate-led congregations on prisoners serving life sentences; The Quest for Purpose: The Collegiate Search for a Meaningful Life (2017), which examines the link between religion and finding purpose and meaning, and the subsequent link to academic integrity; The Restorative Prison: Essays on Inmate Peer Ministry and Prosocial Corrections (2021), which looks at the empirical evidence in support of the link between religion and the emerging subfield of positive criminology; and Objective Religion: Freedom, Politics, Secularization (2023), which examines factors related to the importance and resilience of religion.

He is the project co-director (with Tyler J. VanderWeele) of the Global Flourishing Study (GFS) a five-year longitudinal data collection and research collaboration between researchers at Baylor University  and Harvard University, in partnership with Gallup and the Center for Open Science (COS), and with the support of a consortium of funders. This initiative includes data collection for approximately 200,000 participants from 22 geographically and culturally diverse countries. As part of this project, COS is making the data from the study an open access resource so researchers, journalists, policymakers, and educators worldwide can access detailed information about what makes for a flourishing life.

  Pete Peterson

ete Peterson is a leading national speaker and writer on issues related to civic participation, and the use of technology to make government more responsive and transparent. He was the first executive director of the bi-partisan organization, Common Sense California, which in 2010 joined with the Davenport Institute at the School of Public Policy to become the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership.

Peterson has co-created and currently co-facilitates the training seminar, "Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill in Difficult Times" a program that has been attended by over 4,500 municipal officials, and he also helped to develop the program, "Leading Smart Communities," which explores the ways in which technology is changing local government processes. Peterson has served as the chair of the Governance Committee for the Public Interest Technology-University Network.

In 2017, SPP launched a new initiative titled the "American Project: On the Future of Conservatism", which is co-directed by Dean Peterson and Rich Tafel. The "Project" is a unique effort to gather scholars and activists from a variety points on the conservative spectrum to deliberate over, write about, and discuss the future of the conservative movement. In 2022, through a $10 million endowment gift, the "Project" transitioned into the academic center, Meese Institute for Liberty and the American Project.

Peterson writes widely on public engagement for a variety major news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle, as well as numerous blogs. He contributed the chapter, "Place As Pragmatic Policy" to the edited volume, Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America (New Atlantis Books, 2014), and the chapter "Do-It Ourselves Citizenship" in the volume, Localism in the Mass Age (Wipf & Stock, 2018).

Peterson has been a public affairs fellow at The Hoover Institution, and he serves on the Leadership Council of the bipartisan nonprofit, California Forward, on the National Advisory Council for the Ashbrook Center, as well as on the Scholars Council for Braver Angels. Peterson has served as a member of the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship, which is organized by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, as well as the nonprofit, Sophos Africa.

Peterson was the Republican candidate for California Secretary of State in 2014.

  Timothy P. Carney

Timothy P. Carney is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he works on civil society, family, localism, religion in America, economic competition, and electoral politics. He is concurrently a senior columnist at the Washington Examiner.

Mr. Carney’s forthcoming book, Family Unfriendly: How Our Culture Made Raising Kids Much Harder Than It Needs to Be, will be published by HarperCollins in March 2024. He is also the author of Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse (HarperCollins, 2019), which was a Washington Post bestseller; Obamanomics (Regnery Publishing, 2009); and The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money (John Wiley & Sons, 2006), which was awarded the 2008 Culture of Enterprise award by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

In addition to his Washington Examiner columns, Mr. Carney has been published widely, including in the Atlantic, National Review, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. His television appearances include CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and PBS NewsHour.

Mr. Carney has a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis.

  Eugene F. Rivers III

Reverend Eugene F. Rivers III, a former gang member from Philadelphia, was educated at Harvard College where he studied philosophy and history of science. He was the subject of a Newsweek cover story in 1998 and was prominently featured in a second cover story on the AIDS crisis in Africa two years later. Gustav Niebuhr in the New York Times identified Reverend Rivers as the Bush administration’s point man on faith-based and community service. He is the founder and director the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies and is a widely published writer and community activist who has lectured internationally. He also advised both Bush Administrations and the Clinton Administration on their faithbased initiatives and in the foreign policy arena regarding the AIDS crisis in Africa. He has provided commentary for ABC (Prime Time, Nightline, and ABC Morning News), CBS (CBS Evening News, Sixty Minutes II), PBS (Charlie Rose, Bill Moyers Show) and Fox Television (The O’Reilley Factor). He lives and works among the poor in inner-city Boston with his wife, Dr. Jacqueline C. Rivers

  Ryan Streeter

Ryan Streeter is Executive Director of Research and Publications for the Civitas Institute. Previously, Streeter was the State Farm James Q. Wilson Scholar and director of domestic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he facilitated research in education, technology, housing, urban policy, poverty studies, workforce development, and public opinion. Before joining AEI, he was executive director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the University of Texas at Austin. Streeter has had a distinguished career in government service. He has served as a policy advisor to a U.S. president, a governor, and a mayor. Outside of government, he has served as a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute and a research fellow at the Hudson Institute. Streeter is the co-editor of The Future of Cities (AEI, 2023), author of Transforming Charity: Toward a Results-Oriented Social Sector (Hudson Institute, 2001), the editor of Religion and the Public Square in the 21st Century (Hudson Institute, 2001), the coauthor of The Soul of Civil Society: Voluntary Associations and the Public Value of Moral Habits (Lexington Books, 2002), and a contributor to Stephen Goldsmith’s book Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work Through Grassroots Citizenship (Hudson Institute, 2002). In addition, he is the author, co-author, and editor of more than 150 articles and papers for outlets including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, USA Today, the Hill, City Journal, and National Review. Streeter has a PhD in political philosophy from Emory University.

  Alexandra DeSanctis

EPPC Fellow Alexandra DeSanctis writes on culture and family issues, with a particular focus on abortion policy and pro-life advocacy, as a member of the Life and Family Initiative.

DeSanctis has been a writer at National Review since 2016, where she covers politics, elections, culture, and abortion policy. She first joined NR as a William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow in Political Journalism with the National Review Institute and since 2018 has been a staff writer. She has been a regular commentator on NR’s podcast “The Editors.”

Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and The Atlantic, among other publications. She speaks for high-school and college audiences across the country about abortion and the pro-life movement.

DeSanctis is co-author, with Ryan T. Anderson, of the 2022 book Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing.

  Samuel Gregg

amuel Gregg is Distinguished Fellow in Political Economy and Senior Research Faculty at the American Institute for Economic Research. He has a D.Phil. in moral philosophy and political economy from Oxford University, and an M.A. in political philosophy from the University of Melbourne.

He has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, monetary theory and policy, and natural law theory. He is the author of sixteen books, including On Ordered Liberty (2003), The Commercial Society (2007), Wilhelm Röpke’s Political Economy (2010); Becoming Europe (2013); Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization (2019); The Essential Natural Law (2021); and The Next American Economy: Nation, State and Markets in an Uncertain World (2022). Two of his books have been short-listed for Conservative Book of the Year. Many of his books and over 400 articles and opinion pieces have been translated into a variety of languages. He is also a Contributor to Law and Liberty, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an Affiliate Scholar at the Acton Institute, a Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. He also serves as a Visiting Scholar at the Heritage Foundation.

He has published in journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy; Journal of Markets & Morality; Economic Affairs; Law and Investment Management; Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines; Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy; Oxford Analytica; Communio; Journal of Scottish Philosophy; University Bookman; Foreign Affairs; and Policy. He is a regular writer of opinion-pieces which appear in publications such as the Wall Street Journal Europe; First Things; Investors Business Daily; Law and Liberty; Washington Times; Revue Conflits; American Banker; National Review; Public Discourse; American Spectator; El Mercurio; Australian Financial Review; Jerusalem Post; La Nacion: and Business Review Weekly. He has served as an editorial consultant for the Italian journal, La Societa, and American correspondent for the German newspaper Die Tagespost. He has also been cited in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Time Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and the Holy See’s L’Osservatore Romano.

In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Member of the Mont Pèlerin Society in 2004. In 2008, he was elected a member of the Philadelphia Society, and a member of the Royal Economic Society. In 2017, he was made a Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. He served as President of the Philadelphia Society from 2019-2021.

He is the General Editor of Lexington Books’ Studies in Ethics and Economics Series. He also sits on the Academic Advisory Boards of the Institute of Economic Affairs, London; Campion College, Sydney; the La Fundación Burke, Madrid; the Instituto Fe y Libertad, Guatemala; and as well as the editorial boards of the Journal of Markets and Morality and Revista Valores en la sociedad industrial.

  V. Bradley Lewis

Bradley Lewis specializes in political and legal philosophy, especially in classical Greek political thought and in the theory of natural law. He holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. He has published scholarly articles in Polity, History of Political Thought, the Southern Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Communio, the Josephinum Journal of Theology, the Pepperdine Law Review, the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, and the Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, as well as chapters in a number of books.  He is currently working on a book project provisionally titled “The Common Good and the Modern State.” He is also a fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology and serves as associate editor of the American Journal of Jurisprudence. 

  Christopher O. Tollefsen

I received my Ph.D. at Emory University in 1995. After spending a year here at UofSC as a visitor, and then a year teaching philosophy in Ejisu, Ghana, I returned permanently to UofSC in 1997. I have twice had year-long fellowships at the James Madison Program at Princeton University; I’ve also had a visiting fellowship at the Eudaimonia Institute at Wake Forest University.

  Christopher Wolfe

From 1989 to 2021, Dr. Wolfe was President of the American Public Philosophy Institute, an interdisciplinary group of scholars from various universities, supported by local business and professional leaders, that promotes a natural law public philosophy rooted in the principles of the American Founding – one that pursues freedom and prosperity, grounded on the moral integrity of the culture and of our social and political institutions. The APPI is now the Dallas Forum for Law, Politics, and Culture, and Dr. Wolfe is President Emeritus. 

  Hadley Arkes

Hadley Arkes is a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute, Founder and Director of the James Wilson Institute, and the Edward N. Ney Professor in American Institutions (Emeritus) at Amherst College. 

Dr. Arkes is the author of many books on politics, political philosophy and jurisprudence, including Bureaucracy, the Marshall Plan and the National Interest (1972), The Philosopher in the City (1981), First Things (1986), Beyond the Constitution (1990), and The Return of George Sutherland (1994),  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, but apart from his writing in more scholarly formats, he has become known to a wider audience through his writings in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, and National Review. He has been a contributor also to First Things, a journal that took its name from his book of that title. For eight years, he wrote a column for Crisis magazine under the title of "Lifewatch" and he has carried over that concern as one of the band of friends who formed the new web journal The Catholic Thing.

He was the main advocate, and architect, of the bill that became known as the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act. The account of his experience, in moving the bill through Congress, is contained as an epilogue or memoir in his book, Natural Rights & the Right to Choose. On August 5, President Bush signed the bill into law with Professor Arkes in attendance.

Arkes received a B.A. degree at the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

  O. Carter Snead

Professor Carter Snead is one of the world’s leading experts on public bioethics – the governance of science, medicine, and biotechnology in the name of ethical goods. His research explores issues relating to neuroethics, enhancement, human embryo research, assisted reproduction, abortion, and end-of-life decision-making.

He is the author of What It Means to be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics (Harvard University Press, October 2020), which was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the “Ten Best Books of 2020;” in his review for the same paper, Yuval Levin called it “among the most important works of moral philosophy produced so far in this century.” In May of 2022, it was listed in The New York Times as one of “Ten Books to Understand the Abortion Debate in the United States.” Snead and the book received the 2021 “Expanded Reason Award” (given by Francisco de Vitoria University (Madrid) and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation), and has been reviewed and discussed in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York Post, USA Today, Bloomberg Opinion, Il Foglio, Christian Post, The Review of Metaphysics, American Journal of Jurisprudence, America Magazine, First Things, The New Atlantis, Plough, The Boston Pilot, Public Discourse, Practical Ethics (Oxford University), Legal Ethics Forum, Church Life Journal, Law & Liberty, Angelus News, Mirror of Justice, Crux, Mars Hill Audio Journal, Mercator Net, BioEdge, Front Porch Republic, The National Catholic Register, The American Conservative, Fare Forward, Catholic World Report, The Gospel Coalition, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, The Human Life Review, Eikon, Salvo, The Catholic Thing, The Daily Signal, and National Review.

Additionally, he has written more than 70 journal articles, book chapters, and essays. His scholarly works appear in such publications as the New York University Law Review, the Harvard Law Review Forum, the Vanderbilt Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Quaderni Costituzionali (Italy’s premier journal of constitutional law), the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics, the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, and Political Science Quarterly. He is also the editor of two book series for the University of Notre Dame Press – “Catholic Ideas for a Secular World” and “Notre Dame Studies in Bioethics and Medical Ethics.” Snead teaches Law & Bioethics, Health Law, Torts, and Constitutional Criminal Procedure.

In addition to his scholarship and teaching, Snead has provided advice on the legal and public policy dimensions of bioethical questions to officials in all three branches of the U.S. government, and in several intergovernmental fora. Prior to joining the law faculty at Notre Dame, Snead served as general counsel to The President’s Council on Bioethics (Chaired by Dr. Leon R. Kass), where he was the primary drafter of the 2004 report, “Reproduction and Responsibility: The Regulation of New Biotechnologies.” He has testified in the U.S. House of Representatives on regulatory questions concerning RU-486 (the abortion pill). In 2013, he testified in the Texas state legislature on the constitutionality of a proposed fetal pain bill. Snead led the U.S. government delegation to UNESCO and served as its chief negotiator for the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, adopted in October 2005. He served as the U.S. government’s Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics, where he assisted in its efforts to elaborate international instruments and standards for the ethical governance of science and medicine. In conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has lectured to state and federal judges on the uses of neuroimaging in the courtroom. He regularly serves as an expert witness on bioethical matters before federal courts.

In 2008, he was appointed by the director-general of UNESCO to a four-year term on the International Bioethics Committee, a 36-member body of independent experts that advises member states on bioethics, law, and public policy. The IBC is the only bioethics commission in the world with a global mandate. In 2016, he was appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life, the principal bioethics advisory body to Pope Francis. He is also an elected fellow of The Hastings Center, the oldest independent bioethics research institute in the world.

Snead received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, and his bachelor of arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. He clerked for Judge Paul J. Kelly Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

  Andrew T. Walker

Walker joined the faculty of Southern Seminary in 2019. His previous appointment was Senior Fellow in Christian Ethics at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. His calling as a professor is to defend and advance the moral witness of the gospel. Additionally, he is a Fellow in Christian Political Thought at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and serves as the Managing Editor of WORLD Opinions.

He writes regularly for such outlets as National Review, First Things, Newsweek, WORLD Opinions, The Gospel Coalition, American Reformer, and Public Discourse. He is the author of the award-winning God and the Transgender Debate (now in its second edition), co-author of Marriage Is: How Marriage Transforms Society and Cultivates Human Flourishing, editor of The Gospel for Life series, and author of the award-winning Liberty for All: Defending Everyone’s Religious Freedom in a Secular Age. He has also written a curriculum with LifeWay titled The Gospel and the First Freedom. His most recent publications are two edited volumes, Social Conservatism for the Common Good: A Protestant Engagement with Robert P. George and Baptist Political Theology with Paul Miller and Thomas Kidd. His next book Faithful Reason: Natural Law Ethics for God’s Glory and Our Good (B&H Academic) publishes in May 2024. Andrew and his wife, Christian, are also co-authors of the forthcoming What Do We Say When…? A Parent’s Guide to Navigating Cultural Chaos for Children and Teens. He is also co-editor alongside Ryan T. Anderson of the forthcoming, Five Views on the Natural Law (Zondervan, 2025). He’s done additional study through the Witherspoon Institute and the James Madison Program at Princeton University. In 2023, he was one of the winners of the inaugural “Freedom and Opportunity” academic awards from the Heritage Foundation for his contributions to conservative thought.

A sought-after conference speaker and cultural commentator, Walker researches and writes about the intersection of Christian ethics, public theology, and the common good. His academic research interests include natural law theory, human dignity, theology of law, family stability, church-state studies, and social conservatism. His analysis and commentary have been cited in such outlets as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and many others.

He teaches courses in the areas of ethics, biomedical ethics, sexual ethics, moral theory, public theology, and religion in the public square. He oversees several Doctor of Ministry students and Research Doctoral students as well as serving as the primary program coordinator for Southern’s Ethics and Public Theology concentration.

An avid long-distance runner, Andrew resides in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife and three daughters and teaches a weekly community group in his local church.

  Sherif Girgis

Sherif Girgis joined Notre Dame Law School in 2021. His work at the intersection of philosophy and law—including criminal law, constitutional theory, and jurisprudence—has appeared or is forthcoming in academic and popular venues including the New York University Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, the Cambridge Companion to Philosophy of Law, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He is coauthor of What Is Marriage? (Encounter Books, 2012), cited in a dissent in United States v. Windsor (2013), and Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Prior to joining Notre Dame, he practiced appellate and complex civil litigation at Jones Day in Washington, D.C., having previously served as a law clerk to Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Thomas B. Griffith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Now completing his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton, Girgis earned his J.D. at Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal and won the Felix S. Cohen Prize for best paper in legal philosophy. He earned a master’s degree (B.Phil.) in philosophy from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and a bachelor’s in philosophy from Princeton, Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude.

  Daniel Mark

Daniel Mark, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University. He is also the former chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

  Melissa Moschella

Melissa Moschella is Associate Professor of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America, where her teaching and research focus on natural law, biomedical ethics, and the moral and political status of the family. Her book, To Whom Do Children Belong? Parental Rights, Civic Education and Children’s Autonomy was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Moschella speaks and writes on a variety of contemporary moral issues, including brain death, end-of-life ethics, parental rights, reproductive technologies, and conscience rights.  Her articles have been published in scholarly journals as well as popular media outlets, including Bioethics, The Journal of Medical Ethics, The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Christian Bioethics, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, The American Journal of Jurisprudence, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, and The Public Discourse.  She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, received a Licentiate in Philosophy summa cum laude from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, and received her Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Princeton University.

  Elizabeth Kirk

Elizabeth Kirk joined the Columbus School of Law after serving as the Director and Kowalski Chair of Catholic Thought at the Institute for Faith and Culture at the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas. From 2005 to 2010, she served as the Associate Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, an interdisciplinary center inspired by the teachings of St. Pope John Paul II and dedicated to bringing the Catholic moral, intellectual and cultural tradition to bear upon the formation of students. From 2012 to 2016, Kirk served as a resident fellow in cultural and legal studies at the Stein Center for Social Research at Ave Maria University. She previously taught law at The Columbus School of Law from 2002-03 and at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 2003-05, and clerked for the Honorable Daniel A. Manion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 2000-02. Prior to entering academia, she practiced law, representing religious and charitable organizations and in the area of estate planning.

Kirk holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Missouri, a law degree from the University of Notre Dame, and has done graduate studies in theology. She studied jurisprudence with Charles E. Rice and John Finnis, Aquinas on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics with Ralph McInerny, the Catholic intellectual renaissance of the 20th century with Michael Novak, and the relationship between philosophy and theology with Fr. Matthew Lamb.

Kirk has considerable experience in matters pertaining to the family in law and policy, and is a frequent speaker, media expert, and writer on such matters. She is an associate scholar for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, serving as a legal policy expert, with a special interest in adoption law and policy. In 2010, she helped found the Vita Institute, an intensive interdisciplinary training program for leaders in the national and international pro-life movement held annually at the University of Notre Dame. Kirk is a board member of The Catholic Bar Association and the Fellowship for Catholic Scholars, and formerly served as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Committee under Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

  Marc O. DeGirolami

Marc O. DeGirolami is the Cary Fields Professor of Law and the Co-Director of the Center for Law and Religion at St. John's Law School. His publications include The Tragedy of Religious Freedom (Harvard University Press) and past and future articles in the Yale Law Journal, Notre Dame Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Legal Theory, and the Boston College Law Review, among others. He has written in the popular press for The New York Times, The New Republic, First Things, Commonweal, and The Library of Law and Liberty. 

He has been a Visiting Professor and Visiting Fellow at Princeton University's Department of Politics, as well as a Visiting Professor at Notre Dame Law School and Catholic University, Columbus School of Law. Before St. John's, he was a fellow at Columbia Law School. His professional experience includes service as an Assistant District Attorney in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  

At St. John's, he has taught Constitutional Law, Constitutional Theory, Criminal Law, Jurisprudence, Law and Religion, Professional Responsibility, and Torts.

  Steven D. Smith

Steven D. Smith, J.D. Yale 1979, B.A. BYU 1976, is a Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego, and Co-Director of that university's Institute for Law and Religion. Before moving to San Diego, he was the Robert and Marion Short Professor at Notre Dame Law School and the Byron R. White Professor of Law at the University of Colorado.

Professor Smith's first book, Foreordained Failure: The Quest for a Constitutional Principle of Religious Freedom (Oxford 1995), critically examines both the standard historical and normative accounts of religious freedom. This examination is continued in his most recent book, The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom (Harvard 2014), which offers a "revised account" in contrast to the standard story of religious freedom in this country. Recently described as a kind of "conservative Crit," Professor Smith has offered critical analyses of more general philosophical and jurisprudential themes in Law's Quandary (Harvard 2004) and The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse (Harvard 2010).

  Thomas B. Griffith

Judge Thomas B. Griffith, special counsel to the firm, recently served as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Judge Griffith served on the DC Circuit from 2005–2020. The Washington Post has described him as “widely respected by people in both parties” and a “sober lawyer with an open mind.” Judge Griffith joined the firm in 2021, focusing his practice on appellate litigation, congressional and internal investigations, and strategic counseling.

Judge Griffith began his legal career in private practice before serving for four years as Senate Legal Counsel, the nonpartisan chief legal officer of the United States Senate (1995–1999). In this capacity, he represented the interests of the Senate in litigation as well as advising Senate leadership and committees on investigations. After a brief return to private practice, Judge Griffith served for five years as General Counsel of Brigham Young University, the largest religious university in the country.

As a member of the DC Circuit, Judge Griffith was the author of approximately 200 opinions on a range of matters including administrative, environmental and energy law, and congressional investigations. He was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to serve on the Judicial Conference’s Committee on the Judicial Branch, which involves the judiciary’s relationship to the Executive Branch and Congress, and the Code of Conduct Committee, which sets the ethical standards that govern the federal judiciary. Judge Griffith is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, and has held the same faculty position at the law schools at Stanford and Brigham Young Universities. He has long been active in rule of law projects in Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Asia and domestically.