About Gerard V. Bradley

Gerard V. Bradley was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended Catholic elementary and high schools. His parents were faithful, second-generation, Irish-American Catholics. They were reared in the same working class neighborhood in which they, in turn, raised their five children. During World War II, Bradley’s father, Vincent, served in the United States Navy. After that, he served for thirty-three years as a New York City police officer and retired as a Lieutenant in 1982. He died in 1991. Gerard Bradley’s mother, Katherine née Ednie, was a devoted homemaker. She died in 2004.

Bradley majored in history at Cornell University, where he graduated from college with honors in 1976. He was co-recipient of the prize given to the outstanding history major in his class. Mainly through college philosophy courses with Norman Kretzmann, Terence Irwin, David Lyons, and others, Bradley was introduced to philosophical themes and questions that he would later pursue in his scholarly writings.

After college graduation and a year spent working and traveling, Bradley entered Cornell Law School in 1977. There he developed a special interest in constitutional law and its history, as well as an expertise in criminal law, especially in organized crime control. While in law school, he also co-authored two books, one on labor racketeering and the other on organized crime and fraud. At the end of the second year of law school, Bradley received the Boardman Prize as the highest-ranking student in his class, and in 1980 he finished first in his class and received the J.D. degree summa cum laude.

During his last semester at Cornell, Bradley met Pamela Vivolo, a first-year law student from Cleveland, Ohio. They married on August 1, 1981, in the chapel of St. Ignatius High School on Cleveland’s west side. Pam graduated with honors from Cornell Law School in 1982 and was sworn into the New York Bar the following spring. By then she had given birth to Jennifer, the first of the Bradleys’ eight children.

Gerard Bradley’s interest in criminal justice issues along with his New York City roots led to his working in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office from 1980 to 1983. During his service as an Assistant District Attorney, he tried many serious cases and became proficient in trial advocacy. One consequence of that experience is that Bradley has taught Trial Advocacy to law students for the past twenty-eight years. During most of that time, he has supervised law students serving as unpaid interns in local public defender offices. Since 1997 he has also taught an upper-level class in legal ethics to the interns.

Bradley began teaching law in August 1983. His first academic appointment was as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana-Champaign. He was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in 1987 and promoted to Full Professor in 1989.

Bradley moved to the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1992. He is currently Professor of Law and Co-Director, with John Finnis, of the Natural Law Institute at the University of Notre Dame. Also with Finnis, Bradley has since 1997 edited The American Journal of Jurisprudence, a leading international forum for legal philosophy.

While at Illinois, Bradley published scholarly articles on various topics in constitutional law, including criminal procedure. Since 1983, he published scores of scholarly articles and popular reviews on church-state issues and is now recognized, both nationally and internationally, as a leader in the field. Since 1992 Bradley has lectured and published widely on topics in constitutional law, legal philosophy, the moral underpinnings of a just system of criminal justice, and the moral foundations of law more generally. The main focus of his current research and writing is a book on the legal regulation of pornography in a wired, globalized environment.

In addition to his scholarly publications, Bradley has written for many journals of opinion, including First Things, The Weekly Standard, Catholic World Report, and National Review.

Bradley was for many years Chair of the Federalist Society’s Religious Liberties Practice Group. He is presently Chair of the Board of Academic Advisors to the William E. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at The Witherspoon Institute, Princeton, New Jersey. He has testified many times as an expert witness before committees of the United States Congress and has filed friend-of-the-Court briefs in numerous Supreme Court cases. Bradley serves on the editorial board of The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, and on the governing boards of many scholarly and philanthropic organizations. He served as President of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars from 1995 to 2001 and from 2002 to 2004.

Gerard Bradley’s accomplishments as a scholar have been recognized and supported by many groups and organizations. He has received fellowships from the Bradley and Earhart Foundations, as well as from the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton. In 2005 Bradley received the Pope Pius XI Award from the Society of Catholic Social Scientists “for contributions toward building up of a true Catholic social science.” Also that year the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars bestowed its highest honor—the John Cardinal Wright Award—upon Bradley for his outstanding scholarly achievements. In the spring of 2009 he was Visiting Professor of Politics at Princeton University, and he is currently a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Bradley’s Publications


Labor Racketeering: Background Materials, with George Robert Blakey and Ronald Goldstock (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Institute on Organized Crime, 1979).

Investigation and Prosecution of Organized Crime and Fraud: Background Materials, with S. M. Israel and J. L. Sander (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Institute on Organized Crime, 1980).

Church-State Relationships in America (New York: Greenwood, 1987).

Set No Limits: A Rebuttal to Daniel Callahan’s Proposal to Limit Health Care for the Elderly, edited with Robert L. Barry (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois, 1992).

Catholicism, Liberalism, and Communitarianism: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the Moral Foundations of Democracy, edited with Kenneth L. Grasso and Robert P. Hunt (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1995).

Science and Faith: Proceedings of the Twenty-First Annual Convention of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, edited with Don de Marco (South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustine’s, 2001).

Same-Sex Attraction: A Parent’s Guide, edited with John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S. (South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustine’s, 2003).

A Student’s Guide to the Study of Law (Washington, D.C.: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2006).

Religious Liberty in the American Republic (Washington, D.C.: Heritage Foundation, 2008).

Challenges to Religious Liberty in the Twenty-First Century, edited (New York: Cambridge University, 2012).

Essays on Law, Religion and Morality (South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustine’s 2012).

Catholicism in the Public Domain (South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustine’s, 2012).

Articles in Scholarly Journals and
  Chapters in Books

“Dogmatomachy: A ‘Privatization’ Theory of the Religion Clause Cases,” Saint Louis University Law Journal, 30 (1985–86): 275–330.

“Present At the Creation? A Critical Guide to Weeks v. United States and Its Progeny,” Saint Louis University Law Journal, 30 (1985–86): 1031–97.

“Imagining the Past and Remembering the Future: The Supreme Court’s History of the Establishment Clause,” Connecticut Law Review, 18 (1986): 827–43.

“The No Religious Test Clause and the Constitution of Religious Liberty: A Machine That Has Gone of Itself,” Case Western Reserve Law Review, 37 (1987): 674–747.

“Law Enforcement and The Separation of Powers,” Arizona Law Review, 30 (1988): 901–88.

“The Constitutional Theory of the Fourth Amendment,” DePaul Law Review, 39 (1989): 817–72.

“Does Autonomy Require Informed and Specific Refusal of Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment?” Issues in Law and Medicine, 5 (1989): 301–35.

“Church Autonomy in the Constitutional Order,” Louisiana Law Review, 49 (1989): 1057–87.

“The Enduring Revolution: Law and Theology in a Secular State,” Emory Law Journal, 39 (1990): 217–51.

“Slaying the Dragon of Politics with the Sword of Law,” University of Illinois Law Review (1990): 243–87.

“Commentary,” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy, 4 (1990): 639–48.

“The Curran Case,” Ius Ecclesiae, 2 (1990): 193–209.

“Remaking the Constitution: A Critical Reexamination of the Bowers v. Hardwick Dissent,”Wake Forest Law Review, 25 (1990): 1–45.

“Tribe’s ‘Jurisprudence of the Religion Clauses’,” Benchmark, 4 (1990): 137.

“Beyond Murray’s Articles of Peace and Faith,” in The Thought of John Courtney Murray, ed. Robert P. Hunt and Kenneth L. Grasso (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1992), 181–204.

“The Bill of Rights and Originalism,” University of Illinois Law Review (1992): 417–43.

“Beguiled: Free Exercise Exemptions and the Siren Song of Liberalism,” Hofstra Law Review, 20 (1992): 245–319.

“Protecting Religious Liberty: Judicial and Legislative Responsibilities,” De Paul Law Review, 42 (1992): 253–261.

“Morality and Legal Reasoning,” Review of Politics, 55 (1993): 311–29.

“The Right of Privacy Sustained,” Public Interest Law Review (1993): 41–58.

“Life’s Dominion: A Review Essay,” Notre Dame Law Review, 69 (1993): 329–91.

“John Courtney Murray and the Privatization of American Religion,” in We Hold These Truths and More: Further Reflections on the American Proposition: The Thought of Fr. John Courtney Murray, S.J. and Its Relevance Today, ed. Donald J. D’Elia and Stephen M. Krason (Steubenville, Ohio: Franciscan University, 1993), 120–33.

“Inescapably a Liberal: Richard Rorty as Social Theorist,” in Liberalism at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Contemporary Liberal Theory and Its Critics, ed. Christopher Wolfe and John Hittinger (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1994), 135–150 (2nd ed. rev., 2002).

“The New Natural Law Theory: A Reply to Jean Porter,” with Robert George, American Journal of Jurisprudence, 39 (1994): 303–15.

“Natural Law as Real ‘Law’: Response to Hittinger,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 39 (1994): 33–34.

“Shall We Ratify the New Constitution? The Judicial Manifesto in Casey and Lee,” in Benchmarks: Great Constitutional Controversies in the Supreme Court, ed. Terry Eastland (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W. B. Eerdmans, 1995), 117–40.

“Moral Truth, the Common Good, and Judicial Review,” in Catholicism, Liberalism, and Communitarianism, ed. Kenneth L. Grasso, Gerard V. Bradley, and Robert P. Hunt (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1995), 115–32.

“America’s Catholic Institutions and the New Evangelization,” in Catholicity and the New Evangelization, Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Convention of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, ed. Anthony J. Mastroeni (Steubenville, Ohio: Franciscan University, 1994): 95–111; reprinted in The Battle for the Catholic Mind, ed. Kenneth Whitehead and Willaim E. May (South Bend, Ind: St. Augustine’s, 2001), 514–26.

“The Post-Constitutional Era,” in Reinventing the American People: Unity and Diversity Today, ed. Robert Royal (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1995), 137–50.

“Marriage and the Liberal Imagination,” with Robert P. George, Georgetown Law Journal, 84 (1995): 301–20.

“Overcoming Posner,” Michigan Law Review, 94 (1996): 1898–1926.

“Natural Law and Constitutional Law,” Catholic Social Science Review, 1 (1996): 36–42.

“Pluralistic Perfectionism: A Review Essay of Making Men Moral,Notre Dame Law Review, 71 (1996): 671–706.

“Catholic Faith and Legal Scholarship,” Journal of Legal Education, 47 (1997): 13–18.

“The Pluralist Game: Francis Canavan on Law, Public Morality, and Pluralism in Contemporary America,” Catholic Social Science Review, 2 (1997): 13–19.

“Outer Limits: The Commerce Clause and Judicial Review,” with Robert P. George, in The Supreme Court and American Constitutionalism, ed. Bradford P. Wilson and Ken Masugi (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997), 195–209.

“A Case for Proposition 209,” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, 11 (1997): 97–119.

“The Tragic Case of Capital Punishment,” in Constitutional Stupidities, Constitutional Tragedies, ed. William N. Eskridge and Sanford V. Levinson (New York: New York University, 1998), 129–38.

“No Intentional Killing Whatsoever: The Case of Capital Punishment,” in Natural Law and Moral Inquiry: Ethics, Metaphysics, and Politics in the Work of Germain Grisez, ed. Robert P. George (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University, 1998), 155–73.

“Religion and the Common Good,” in The Family, Civil Society, and The State, ed. Christopher Wolfe (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1998), 119–25.

“Originalism and Criminal Procedure,” in Liberty Under Law: American Constitutionalism, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, ed. Kenneth L. Grasso and Cecelia Rodriquez Castillo (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1998), 85–94.

“Law and Morality,” in Law and the Free Society, ed. T. William Boxx and Gary M. Quinlivan (Latrobe, Penn.: Center for Economic and Policy Education, Saint Vincent College, 1998), 13–20.

“Criminal Procedure as Constitutional Law,” Criminal Justice Ethics, 17 (1998): 58–66.

“‘Marriage’ Hawaiian Style?” in Homosexuality and American Public Life, ed. Christopher Wolfe (Dallas: Spence, 1999), 192–99.

“Plea Bargaining and the Criminal Defendant’s Obligation to Plead Guilty,” South Texas Law Review, 40 (1999): 65–82.

“Retribution and the Secondary Aims of Punishment,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 44 (1999): 105–123.

“Legal Beagle: ECE’s [ECE = Ex Corde Ecclesiae] Best Friend May Be the Civil Law,” Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, 22:4 (Fall 1999): 24–30.

“A Catholic View of Criminal Justice,” Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, 23:3 (Fall 2000): 10–12.

“Same-Sex Marriage: Our Final Answer?” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, 14 (2000): 729–52.

“The Case against Same-Sex Marriage,” Catholic Social Science Review, 6 (2001): 87–94.

“The Ends of Marriage: A Response to Robert George,” in Marriage and the Common Good: Proceedings from the Twenty-Second Annual Convention of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, ed. Kenneth Whitehead (South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustine’s, 2001), 99–103.

“Natural Law,” in Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought, ed. Michael W. McConnell, Robert F. Cochran, Jr., and Angela C. Carmella (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University, 2001), 277–90.

“An Unconstitutional Stereotype: Catholic Schools as ‘Pervasively Sectarian’,” Texas Review of Law and Politics, 7 (2002): 1–24.

“Looking Ahead at Catholic Higher Education,” Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, 25 (Spring 2002): 16–29.

E Pluribus Unum: The Aftermath of September 11,” Journal of the Historical Society, 2 (2002): 193–201.

“The Constitutionality of Recent Pro-Life Legislation,” in Human Dignity and Reproductive Technology, ed. Nicholas C. Lund-Molfese and Michael L. Kelly (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2003), 111–22.

“Family Research Council and Roe v. Wade,Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, 26 (Winter 2003): 14–19.

“Retribution: The Central Aim of Punishment,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, 27 (2003): 19–31.

“Liberalism and Marriage: The Pluralist Game Revisited,” in A Moral Enterprise: Politics, Reason, and the Human Good: Essays in Honor of Francis Canavan, ed. Kenneth L. Grasso and Robert P. Hunt (Wilmington, Del.: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2003), 185–202.

“Is Constitutional Law What The Winners Say It Is,” in That Eminent Tribunal: Judicial Supremacy and the Constitution, ed. Christopher Wolfe (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 2004), 10–19.

“Religious Liberties: The Prodigal Argument: McCollum v. Board of Education,Engage, 5:1 (Oct. 2004): 141–42.

“Law and the Culture of Marriage,” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, 18 (2004): 189–217.

“The Public Morality of Having Children,” in Bioethics: A Culture War, ed. Nicholas C. Lund-Molfese and Michael L. Kelly (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2004), 72–82.

“Reflections on Newdow,” with Paul J. Griffiths, Engage, 5:2 (Oct. 2004): 141–44.

“John Paul II,” with Robert P. George, in The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics, and Human Nature, vol. 1, ed. John Witte, Jr., and Frank S. Alexander (New York: Columbia University, 2005), 220–57.

“Response to Endicott: The Case of the Wise Electrician,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 50 (2005), 257–62.

“‘And What Do You Say I Am?’ The Meaning of the Kentucky Display,” Engage, 6:2 (Oct. 2005): 144–46.

“The Choice to Homeschool,” in The Great Life: Essays on Doctrine and Holiness in Honor of Father Ronald Lawler, O.F.M.Cap., ed. Michael Aquilina and Kenneth Ogorek (Steubenville, Ohio: Emmaus Road, 2006), 103–25.

“The Judicial Experiment with Privatizing Religion,” Liberty Law Review, 1 (2006): 17–36.

“The Blaine Amendment of 1876: Harbinger of Secularism?” Engage, 8:1 (Feb. 2007): 138–43.

“Pope John Paul II and Religious Liberty,” Ave Maria Law Review, 6:1 (2007): 33–59.

“Religion at a Public University,” William and Mary Law Review, 49 (2008): 2217–63.

“What’s In A Name? A Philosophical Critique of ‘Civil Unions’ Predicated Upon a Sexual Relationship,” Monist, 91 (2008): 606–31.

“Three Liberal—But Mistaken—Arguments for Same Sex-Marriage,” South Texas Law Review, 50 (2008): 45–76.

“The Public Square: Naked No More?” in The Naked Public Square Reconsidered, ed. Christopher Wolfe (Washington, D.C.: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2009), 1–32.

“Amerykanskie prawo aborcyjne przed Obama i za jego kadencji [American abortion law before Obama and his taking office],” Pressje, 17 (2009): 219–24.

“The Moral Bases for Legal Regulation of Pornography,” in The Social Costs of Pornography, ed. James R. Stoner, Jr. and Donna M. Hughes (Princeton, N.J.: Witherspoon Institute, 2010), 199–217.

“The Role of the Family in Criminal Law” [a review article on Privilege or Punish: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties, by Dan Merkel, Jennifer M. Collins, and Ethan J. Leib], Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, 33 (2010): 1151–76.

“The Audacity of faith,” Krakowskie Studia Midzynarodowe, 6:2 (2009): 183–98.

“Proselytism Pros and Cons,” in Report of the Georgetown Symposium on Proselytism and Religious Freedom in the 21st Century (Washington, D.C: Berkley Center [Georgetown University], 2010), 11–14.

“The Story of Burstyn v. Wilson” in First Amendment Stories, ed. Richard W. Garnett and Andrew Koppelman (New York: Foundation, 2011), 145–69.

We Hold These Truths and the Problem of Public Morality” Catholic Social Science Review, 16 (2011): 123–32.

“Retribution and Overcriminalization,” Legal Memorandum No. 77 (Washington, D.C.: Heritage Foundation, 2012), http://report.heritage.org/lm77

“Dueling Clios: Stevens and Scalia on the Original Meaning of the Establishment Clause” in Challenges to Religious Liberty in the Twenty-First Century, ed. Gerard V. Bradley (New York: Cambridge University, 2012), forthcoming.

“Emerging Challenges to Religious Freedom in America and Other English-Speaking Countries” in Constituting the Future: Religious Liberty, Law and Flourishing Societies, ed. Allen D. Hertzke (New York: Oxford University, 2012), forthcoming.

Book Reviews

Review of The Establishment Clause: Religion and the First Amendment by Leonard W. Levy, Journal of Church and State, 29 (1987): 535–36.

Review of The Union at Risk: Jacksonian Democracy, States’ Rights, and the Nullification Crisis by Richard E. Ellis, Law and History Review, 8 (1990): 139–44.

Review of Real Threat and Mere Shadow: Religious Liberty and the First Amendment, (Rutherford Institute Report, vol. 5), by Daniel L. Dreisbach, This World, 23 (Fall 1988): 144–48.

Review of Jewish-Christian Dialogue: A Jewish Justification by David Novak, Journal of Law and Religion, 7 (1989): 251–55.

Review of The Search for an American Public Theology: The Contribution of John Courtney Murray by Robert W. McElroy, Social Justice Review, 81 (1990): 151.

Review of Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law by Robert H. Bork, Review of Politics, 52 (1990): 491–96.

Review of Beyond the Constitution by Hadley Arkes, Review of Politics, 54 (1992): 144–50.

Review of Love and Power: The Role of Religion and Morality in American Politics by Michael J. Perry, Review of Metaphysics, 46, (1992): 419–21.

Review of Moral Absolutes: Tradition, Revision, and Truth, 1988 Michael J. McGivney Lectures of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, by John M. Finnis, New Oxford Review, 60:8 (Sept. 1993): 30–31.

Review of Jewish Social Ethics by David Novak, Review of Politics, 56 (1994): 775–79.

Review of American Jews and the Separationist Faith: The New Debate on Religion in Public Life by David G. Dalin, Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Newsletter, 18:1 (Dec. 1994): 48–50.

Review of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality by Robert P. George, New Oxford Review, 61:4 (May 1994): 29–30.

Review of Natural Law Theory: Contemporary Essays edited by Robert P. George, New Oxford Review, 62:3 (Apr. 1995), 32.

Review of John Courtney Murray and the Dilemma of Religious Toleration by Keith J. Pavlischek, New Oxford Review, 63:1 (Jan.-Feb. 1996): 31–32.

Review of Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered by Stephen B. Presser, Review of Politics, 58 (1996): 197–99.

Review of Private Consciences and Public Reasons by Kent Greenawalt, Hastings Center Report 26:2 (Mar.-Apr. 1996): 47.

Review of A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law by Antonin Scalia, Crisis, Sept. 1997, 54.

Review of The Way of the Lord Jesus, vol. 3, Difficult Moral Questions by Germain Grisez, New Oxford Review, 65:9 (Oct. 1998): 42–46.

Review of The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of the Secular State by Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore, Religious Liberties News, 3 which issue??? (1998) page numbers???.

Reviews of Sexual Orientation and Human Rights in American Religious Discourse edited by Saul M. Olyan and Martha C. Nussbaum, National Review, 50:23 (Dec. 7, 1998): 73; First Things, Oct. 1999, 75–76.

Reviews of The Catholic University as Promise and Project: Reflectitons in a Jesuit Idiom by Michael J. Buckley, S.J., Crisis, July/August 1999, 44–46; Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, 22:3 (Summer 1999): 36–40.

Other Publications

“Privatizing Religion,” Crisis, (1986): 4.

“The Constitution, Religion and American Public Life,” 40 This World (1988).