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Bruce P. Frohnen

Professor of Law
Tilton Hall #189
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Bruce P. Frohnen holds the Ella and Ernest Fisher chair in the College of Law. Prior to joining ONU Law in 2008, he served as a legislative aide for a United States senator, as a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and as secretary and director of program at the Earhart Foundation. He has held visiting posts as Charles Evans Hughes professor of jurisprudence at Colgate University and as Thomas Bahnson and Anne Bassett Stanley professor of ethics and integrity at the Virginia Military Institute.


Frohnen’s most recent book, Constitutional Morality and the Rise of Quasi-Law, co-authored with George W. Carey, was published in 2016 by Harvard University Press. He is the author of two other books and editor or co-editor of eight. His co-edited volume, American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia, was the subject of a front page article in The New York Times. His two most recent volumes, The American Nation: Primary Sources and Rethinking Rights (edited with Kenneth Grasso) were named Outstanding Academic Titles by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. His articles have appeared in journals such as the George Washington Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and the American Journal of Jurisprudence. In 2015, he received the Fowler V. Harper Award for Excellence in Legal Scholarship.


Frohnen teaches a variety of courses in public and commercial law. His research focuses on the development of constitutionalism, rights and the rule of law. He holds a J.D. from Emory University Law School and a Ph.D. in government from Cornell University.

J.D., Emory University School of Law
Ph.D., Government, Cornell University
M.A., University of California
B.A., California State University
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Teaching Interests: 

Constitutional Law

Commercial Law

Human Rights 

Legal Profession

Course materials: 
Faculty Activities

Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law:  Structure, Norms, and the Problem of Power.  Manuscript in progress, completion expected 12/2013 (with George W. Carey)

The New Communitarians and the Crisis of Modern Liberalism. University Press of Kansas, 1996

Virtue and the Promise of Conservatism: The Legacy of Burke and Tocqueville. University Press of Kansas, 1993

Edited Volumes:

The American Nation:  Primary Sources.  Liberty Fund, Spring 2009

Rethinking Rights:  Historical, Political and Philosophical Perspectives.  University of Missouri Press, Fall 2008 (with Kenneth L. Grasso)

Defending the Republic: Constitutional Morality in Time of Crisis.  ISI Books, Fall 2008 (with Kenneth L. Grasso)

American Conservatism:  An Encyclopedia.  ISI Books, 2006 (with Jeffrey O. Nelson and Jeremy Beer)

The American Republic: Primary Sources. Liberty Fund, 2002

The Anti-Federalists: Selected Writings and Speeches. Regnery Gateway, 2000

Community and Tradition: Conservative Perspectives on the American Experience. Rowman & Littlefield, 1998 (with George W. Carey)


"Conservative Crack-Up, Republican Rout?" (a review of George Hawley, Right-Wing Critics of Conservatism) was posted in the online journal, The University Bookman on November 6, 2016.

The Irreducible, Minimal Morality of Law:  Reconsidering the Positivist/Natural Law Divide in Light of Legal Purpose and the Rule of Law, 58 ST. LOUIS U. L.J. __ (2014)

A Problem of Power:  The Impact of Modern Sovereignty on the Rule of Law in Comparative and Historical Perspective, 20 TRANSNAT'L. L. & CONTEMP. PROBS. 599 (2011)

Constitutional Morality and the Rule of Law, 26 J.L. & POL. 497 (2011) (with George W. Carey)

Is Constitutionalism Liberal? 33 Campbell L. Rev. 529 (2011)

Law, Lawyers and the Question of Citizenship, 6 J. CATH. SOC. THOUGHT 417 (2009) (With Kevin P. Lee)

Whom do you Trust? Lying, Truth Telling, and Question of Enforcement, 27 QLR 425 (2009) (with Brian D. Eck)

The Practical Soul of Business Ethics: The Corporate Manager's Dilemma and the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church,1 U. SEATTLE L. REV. 139 (2005) (with Leo L. Clarke and Edward C. Lyons).

The One and the Many: Individual Rights, Corporate Rights and the Diversity of Groups,107 W.V. L. REV. 789 (2005).

Individual and Group, Natural and Acquired Rights: On the Need for Unclear Distinctions, 3 AVE MARIA L. REV. 171(2005).

Law's Culture: Conservatism and the American Constitutional Order, 27 HARV. J.L. & PUB. POL'Y 459 (2004).

Multicultural Rights? Natural Law and the Reconciliation of Universal Norms with Particular Cultures, 52 CATH. U.L. REV. 39 (2002).

Diversity in Western Constitutionalism: Chartered Rights, Federated Structures, and Natural Law Reasoning in Burke's Theory of Empire, 29 MCGEORGE L. REV. 27 (1997) (with Charles J. Reid, Jr.).
The Bases of Professional Responsibility: Pluralism, Community and the Legal Profession in Early America, 63 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 931 (1995).

Tocqueville's Law: Integrative Jurisprudence in the American Context,39 AM. J. JURIS. 241 (1994).


Lecture titled "What's At Stake November 8th: The Constitution in Crisis" given at Hope College, sponsored by the Pre-Law Club and the Tocqueville Forum on Nov. 3, 2016.

A talk to the Federalist Society at Michigan State University entitled "What's Wrong With Title IX" on Nov. 4, 2016.


"Constitutional Interpretation:  Originalism or the Living Constitution?"  Colgate University Constitution Day Debate with David Strauss of the University of Chicago Law School.  September 2013

American Political Science Association National Meeting.  Papers delivered on “Tocqueville’s Mode of Constitutional Analysis” and “George Carey’s Humane Methodology.”  August 2013

Rochester Institute of Technology Colloquium on “Statesmanship and the Constitution.”  Paper delivered on “The Statesmanship of John Adams.” April 2012

“Is there a Constitutional Right to Discriminate?”  American Constitution Society/Federalist Society-sponsored debate with Tobias Wolff held at the University of Georgia Law School.  March 2011

“CLS v. Martinez:  Freedom of Association or Discrimination?“  Federalist Society/McConnell Center-sponsored debate with Sam Marcosson held at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.  September 2010

Academy of Philosophy and Letters.  Annual Conference Keynote Address on “Whatever Happened to the Rule of Law?” June 2010

Calvin College Paul B. Henry Institute.  Lecture delivered on “The Papal Revolution, Conscience, and the Rule of Law,” November 2008

“Is the Election about Freedom or Virtue?”  Debate with Tibor Macahn held at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.  September 2008

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