Natural Law and the United State Constitution
Robert S. Barker, J.D.
June 11, 2013: 12:00 – 12:50 p.m.
Rivers Club in Pittsburgh
The Founding Fathers of the United States Constitution believed that God, in creating the universe, implanted in the nature of man a body of law to which all human beings are subject, which is superior
to all manmade law, and which is knowable by human reason. Thus, the Natural Law of the American Founders was traditional Natural Law as understood and expounded by classical and Medieval writers and carried forward in the English Common Law, and not the “Enlightenment” version in vogue in eighteenth-century Europe. The classical-traditional Natural Law understanding of Madison, Hamilton, Wilson, and other leaders of the Philadelphia Convention are reflected in the three most important characteristics of the Constitution: the principle of limited government; the principle of subsidiarity (in both political and larger societal matters); and the practice of guaranteeing traditional rights, and only as against government.
At our next American Founders Luncheon at noon on June 11 at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Club, The Center for Vision & Values will feature leading natural law expert Dr. Robert Barker of Duquesne University. Invite your friends to join us for a $17.76 lunch where Dr. Barker will help us gain a better understanding of our nation’s challenges and how we as individuals can make a difference in the debate over our future. Please register here or contact Mrs. Brenda Vinton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724.450.1541.
Professor Robert S. Barker earned his undergraduate degree at Duquesne University, where he majored in History and Political Science and was captain of the debate team. He graduated in 1966 from Duquesne University School of Law, where he was Case Editor of the Duquesne Law Review. Following his admission to the Pennsylvania bar, he served for two years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama. Upon his Return to Western Pennsylvania, he worked as an attorney for Neighborhood Legal Services, an official of the City of Pittsburgh’s Model Cities Program, an associate of the law firm of Rose, Schmidt and Dixon, and Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor at Duquesne University School of Law. In 1974, he earned a Master’s degree in American History at Duquesne. Thereafter, as Assistant Allegheny County Solicitor, he was Legal Counsel to Pittsburgh International Airport for six years, and served as Vice Chairman and, later, Chairman of the American Bar Association Committee on Airport Law. He returned to the full-time Duquesne Law faculty in 1982. Since then he has written and spoken throughout the Western Hemisphere, in English and Spanish, on a wide range of Constitutional Law topics. For twelve years he was Chairman of the Constitutional Law Committee of the Inter-American Bar Association (IABA), and for five years was the IABA’s General Reporter. In 1995 he was a Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. His books include La Constitución de los Estados Unidos y su dinámica actual. In 2001, Duquesne University conferred on him the rank and title of “Duquesne University Distinguished Professor of Law.”
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