Michael McConnell is one of the most influential constitutional scholars of the past thirty years. He has written a great deal about religious liberty, but relatively little about how his own religious beliefs may relate to his constitutional jurisprudence. This essay is the first to explore the connection between McConnell’s religious views and scholarship. The essay engages with a short piece by McConnell that sketches the outlines of a “reformed liberalism.” McConnell argued that reformed Christian theology is compatible with the classical liberalism that animated the framing of the U.S. Constitution. Though he did not develop this account into a full-blown theory, McConnell’s view deserves to be considered alongside others, whether they are liberal theories that downplay the importance of religion, or Christian political theologies that reject liberalism. McConnell’s view also illuminates his scholarship on religious liberty, religion in public discourse, and judicial humility.
A Reformed Liberalism: Michael McConnell’s Contributions to Christian Jurisprudence
Mark David Hall and Daniel Dresibach, Great Christian Jurists in American History (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/fac_artchop/1160