San Francisco Fellows 2017: Session Three

Hayek and the Rule of Law

Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Guest Discussion Leader: Steve Hayward, Thomas Smith Distinguished Fellow at the John M. Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy. Pepperdine School of Public Policy.

The rule of law is the foundation, the pediment, of a free society. This session will explore Friedrich Hayek’s vision of a “constitution of liberty” centered on the rule of law. 

Required Reading:

Hayek, Friedrich A., The Constitution of Liberty (1960). Chapter 12, “The American Contribution: Constitutionalism.” pp. 176-192.

Recommended Reading:

McCarthy, Andrew C. Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment (2014). Introduction, “The Ruler of Law.” pp. 1-7. 

Session Reading

Discussion Questions

1. What are the principal American contributions to Constitutionalism according to Hayek? How did Americans move beyond a simple articulation of “the rights of Englishmen”?

2. American constitutionalism simply the product of “design”? What other factors play a role in the development of our tradition? 

3. What role do “general principles” play in the Hayekian understanding of law? 

4. What lesson can be learned from the “forgetting” of the ninth amendment—and its more recent rediscovery?

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