I have previously blogged about the importance of competence in the Latin language as a tool in constitutional interpretation. This new article, published by a legal journal, the Federalist Society Review, explains the background in more detail.

It ends with the suggestion that Latin competency be required for those pursuing academic careers in constitutional law or interpretation (mostly law professors, but also some historians). This recommendation may be provocative, but it makes sense. No research university would hire a purported historian of medieval England who was utterly ignorant of Norman French (then the language of the English upper classes).  Those aspiring to be professors in the Greek and Roman classics are required to know, in addition to Greek and Latin, German and French and/or Italian, because so much has been published in the latter three languages.

Constitutional commentators who are ignorant of Latin and its effects on 18th century English have done a great deal of interpretive damage. One reason, of course, is that they are not properly equipped for the job. The other reason is that zealots whose principal goal is to promote their political views—rather than engage in objective scholarship—tend to flock to constitutional law. The lack of a Latin requirement (or of any educational requirements other than a law degree) has encouraged them to do so.

The article is here.

Rob Natelson

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles


Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog


State of the Nullification Movement

232 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report


Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty


Maharrey Minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens. maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues - history, and application today


Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!



The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.