The True Scales of Justice

The First Grace by Russell Hittinger

The First Grace: Rediscovering the Natural Law in a Post-Christian World
ISI Books, 2003
(334 pages, $24.95, hardcover)

reviewed by J. Daryl Charles

St. Thomas Aquinas would have rolled in his grave. Natural lawyers from Cicero to Grotius to John Courtney Murray would have been mortified. The occasion? The 1991 Senate hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court. The speaker? Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, who was grilling Judge Thomas to find out whether Thomas held to a “good” or “bad” theory of natural law.

The “bad” view, as Biden lectured both Thomas and the nation, . . .

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J. Daryl Charles serves as the Acton Institute Affiliated Scholar in Theology & Ethics. He is author, co-author or editor of seventeen books, including: Wisdom’s Works: Essays on Ethics, Vocation, and Cultural Engagement (Acton Institute, forthcoming), America and the Just War Tradition: A History of U.S. Conflicts (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2019), Natural Law and Religious Freedom (Routledge, 2018), and The Just War Tradition: An Introduction (ISI Books, 2012). He is a contributing editor to Touchstone.

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