Ryan T. Anderson researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory.
Anderson, who joined Heritage’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society in 2012, also is the editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, N.J.
Anderson’s recent work focuses on the moral and constitutional questions surrounding same-sex “marriage.” He is the co-author with Princeton’s Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis of “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense” (Encounter Books, December 2012). The three also co-wrote the article “What is Marriage?” in the winter 2011 issue of Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.
Anderson, George and Girgis filed amicus briefs with the 9th Circuit Court on the appeal of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case reviewing the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, and with the 1st Circuit Court on the challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In January 2013, the co-authors filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court after it agreed to hear the cases.
Anderson’s previous positions include assistant editor of First Things; journalism fellow of the Phillips Foundation; and executive director of the Witherspoon Institute, where he was research assistant to Robert P. George and Jean Bethke Elshtain.
His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, First Things, Weekly Standard, National Review, Ricochet.com, New Atlantis, Claremont Review of Books, Touchstone, Books and Culture, Christianity Today, The City and Human Life Review.
Anderson received his bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. He is a doctoral candidate in political philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where he received his master’s degree. His research spans the natural law tradition in conversation with classical and contemporary liberalism. The tentative title of his dissertation: “Beyond Private Property and Social Welfare: Economic Justice and Economic Rights.”
Anderson, who was born in Baltimore, Md., currently resides in Washington, D.C.
At stake in the two cases expected to be decided by the Supreme Court later this month is whether citizens and their elected officials have the constitutional authority to make laws that reflect the truth about marriage.