Leopold and Kaiser highlight the obvious examples of constitutional law, family law, and professional responsibility as areas where Catholic thought should be part of the message to law students.
The four part text covers such topics as the historical influence of religion on western law, the fallacies of legal theories that fail to take into account religion, the efforts of law and religion to create a new world order, and the interactions between secular religion and the legal structures of the USSR and Russia.
The Church, Brownson writes, is the authoritative interpreter ofthe divine law. He reminds his readers that the state is ordainedof God; but the state is not the supreme and infallible organ ofGod's will on earth.
Suppose that we again recur to our earlier analogy between ethics (and politics) on the one hand and the various arts and skills on the other. For is it not plausible to say that there are right ways and wrong ways for physicians to go about the care and treatment of their patients, and that these ways are determined by the very nature of the case, in the light of the end and purpose of the medical art, which is human health? But analogously, then, when it comes just to the living of our lives, not as butchers or bakers or candlestickmakers, but simply as human beings, may it not be said that our natural end, or what we all naturally seek or aim at as human beings, is nothing if not simply our human well-being or human perfection just as such, and as contrasted with that more restricted sort of mere health or well-being that the physician is concerned with? For would we not all say - perhaps not Nietzsche, to be sure, but then we scarcely need deal with such an exception in the present context - that someone like Socrates managed to attain an excellence and a perfection, just in the business of being human, that a Hitler or a Stalin, or, in a different way, a Macbeth or a Hamlet, could not be said to have brought off at all? In the light of examples such as these, why would it not be possible to determine what some of those natural laws are - i.e., what some of the right ways, as over against some of the wrong ways, of our going about the living of our lives? As Richard Hooker in the sixteenth century phrased it - in a rhetoric that may put us off somewhat for being strangely Elizabethan, but which is still effective for all of that:
Natural law is a method, not a code. One does not reason from words but from facts. The nearest thing to a written code of natural law is the vast body of natural law precedent. But a precedent only applies to similar cases, and is thus rooted in the particular time and circumstances of the particular case, whereas natural law is universal, applying to all free men at all times and all places.
Thomas School of Law, uses the biblical practice of footwashing as a metaphor to address questions such as: “How are wronged and broken individuals best served?
The author concludes that such an incorporation is already underway in certain communities within the profession and should continue in a manner that is respectful to the declining priesthood paradigm which is similarly being effected by the issues of race, gender, political associations and sexual orientation which effect the behavior of lawyers, all under the overarching guidelines and demands of the legal profession.
Catholic lawyers especially should be inclined to supplement the Model Rules' baseline requirements with a communal life that engages in an organic, interactive and intellectual process of mutual moral influence.
Vischer's review begins by providing a background of acceptable ethical behavior and the exclusion of religious values, part three which illustrates the benefits of including those religious values into the ethical system and part four which examines the potential threats brought about by the inclusion of the personal religious beliefs of lawyers in how they practice the law.
At a time when law school curriculums are heavily sprinkled with "Law &" seminars that explore the rich connections between legal theory and the most varied social sciences and arts, and given that the texts of Catholic Social Thought are pregnant with a profound and multi-layered social critique, it would seem that its robust integration with jurisprudence is long overdue.
Based on our experience at Fordham University School of Law, the essay outlines several practical suggestions for drawing a more explicit connection between faith and justice in curricula, programs and faculty colloquia.
Equating a commitment to justice exclusively with pro bono and public interest law leaves many young attorneys at a loss for how to integrate into their day-to-day work any notions of justice informed by values other than those of the market.
This dearth is particularly anomalous in the current family law environment wherein increasingly strong preferences are asserted in favor of maintaining biological ties between children and their parents, and in favor of two-parent households.
After scriptural examination, he advises that at every stage from the request for representation to the closing of the case, the Christian lawyer must pray to confirm that he is acting according to God’s will.