Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. John Tyler

Dr. John Tyler, Jr. is the program coordinator for HBU Legal Studies and associate professor of Government. Dr. Tyler practiced commercial, civil rights and toxic tort litigation as an attorney in Texas for 35 years. As a professor, his teaching emphasizes the dynamic conflict between the political, moral and historical dimensions of law that formed the Western legal tradition.


Dr. John Tyler is passionate about protecting the rule of law in the United States. He spoke with Dr. Jerry Johnston, VP of Innovation and Strategic Marketing for Houston Baptist University, about the importance of maintaining the legal system as it was founded.

“What I want to do the rest of my career is raise up a generation of ethical and very capable attorneys that share a Christian worldview because I think we’re in a crisis point in our jurisprudence,” Tyler says.

He explains how some judges are violating the principles of the Constitution by litigating according to their own preferences. “There is a phrase that I make all of my students memorize,” he says. “Aristotle famously said, ‘Man beset by passion is the worst of all creatures, and even the best of men are subject to corruption by passion.’” Tyler outlines the violation of the rule of the governed in his article, “The Fortune Cookie Court.” As a professor in the HBU School of Humanities, he has started a pre-law program, and helped further the cause of the Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty at HBU.

“For many years, I was concerned with the direction that our jurisprudence was taking in this country,” Tyler says. “All of my courses begin with ancient Athens. Plato and Socrates’ primary purpose was to determine, ‘What do we need to have a stable society?’ Both of them came to the same conclusion, which was that law has to be sovereign. We all have feet of clay, and we’ve learned from history that we need to base all of our political power on the consent of the governed, and not on a particular group of people who manage to get a political position. I love teaching and it’s a real privilege to get to teach here.”


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