Freedom's Law: The Moral Reading of the American Constitution

Oxford University Press UK (1996)

"The Constitution is America's moral sail, and we must hold to the courage of the conviction that fills it, a conviction that we can all be equal citizens of a moral republic. That is a noble faith, and only optimism can redeem it." So writes Ronald Dworkin in the introduction to this characteristically robust and provocative new book in which Dworkin argues the fidelity to the constitution and to law demands that judges make contemporary judgements backed on political morality, and why it encourages, or ought to encourage, an open display of the true grounds of judgement. The book discusses almost all of the great constitutional issues of the last two decades including abortion, affirmative action, pornography, race, homosexuality, euthanasia and free-speech and in doing so consistently offers a liberal view of the American Constitution. Dworkin's "moral reading" proposes that we all, judges, lawyers, citizens - interpret and apply the abstract language of the Constitution on the understanding that they invoke moral principles about political decency and justice. The "moral reading" therefore brings political morality into the heart of constitutional law. The various chapters of this book were first published seperately; now drawn together they bear all the hallmarks of Dworkin's legal and philosophical sophistication, his acute understanding of political process and his understanding of history. principles.
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Reprint years 1997, 1999
ISBN(s) 9780198264705   9780198265573
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