Title

Natural Law: U.S. Law

Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type

Encyclopedia Entry

Publication Date

2009

ISBN

9780195336511

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Language

en-US

Abstract

In U.S. law, appeals to natural law, natural rights, and unalienable rights are less common than appeals to higher law, fundamental law, and fundamental rights. But there are general affinities among these ideas. Furthermore, appeals to natural law, in the sense of a law imposing obligations on government or individuals to comply with precepts of right reason, a tradition associated with Thomas Aquinas, are less common than appeals to natural rights, in the sense of rights that individuals have against government, a tradition associated with John Locke. Finally, natural law is commonly pitted against legal positivism as a competing conception of the relationship between law and morals—with the latter insisting upon the separation of law and morals and the former holding that there is a necessary connection between them.

Comments

This is an encyclopedia entry written by James Fleming regarding United States Natural Law.

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