Equitable Sharing

Equitable Sharing : Distributing the Benefits and Detriments of Democratic Society

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In Equitable Sharing: Distributing the Benefits and Detriments of Democratic Society, Thomas Kleven argues that a principle of equitable sharing is fundamental to the concept of democracy and is implicit in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Kleven makes the case that the Supreme Court, interacting with the public and the legislature, has a meaningful role to play in the dialogue over the requirements of equitable sharing and can play this role in a manner consistent with democratic principles.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 246 pages
  • 160.02 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 498.95g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739184369
  • 9780739184363

Table of contents


Chapter 1: Equitable Sharing and Democratic Theory
Chapter 2: Equitable Sharing and the American Ideal
Chapter 3: Equitable Sharing in Practice
Chapter 4: Equitable Sharing and the Supreme Court
Chapter 5: Equitable Sharing and Same Sex Marriage
Chapter 6: Equitable Sharing and School Integration
Chapter 7: Equitable Sharing and the Electoral Process
Chapter 8: Equitable Sharing and States' Rights

Selected Bibliography
Cases Cited
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Review quote

Kleven makes three related claims: the principle of equitable sharing- 'all the benefits and detriments of social life must be fairly distributed among members of society'-is fundamental to the concept of democracy; the principle is implicit in America's founding documents; and the principle requires a right to same sex marriage, use of race in assigning students, and laws guaranteeing equal opportunity to participate in the electoral process, among others. Kleven argues that the principle was violated when the Court overturned campaign finance spending limits in Citizens United v. FEC, and when it prevented Congress from withholding Medicaid funds from states that opt out of the Affordable Care Act's expanded Medicaid requirement. . . .Is the reductio ad absurdum of the equitable sharing principle Kurt Vonnegut's 'Harrison Bergeron'? . . .[T]he work does address one of the central issues facing US democracy. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, upper-division undergraduate students, and graduate students. * CHOICE * Equitable Sharing holds democratic societies to the ideal and building on the work of John Locke, John Mills, and John Rawls, contends that a truly democratic society must ensure that social benefits and detriments are fairly distributed among all its members. This breath-taking observation is carefully scrutinized in a practical as well as theoretical matter in a clear, concise, and persuasive way. This ambitious book thoughtfully analyzes the relative roles of the courts (including the Supreme Court) and the legislature in bringing about the ideal of equitable sharing. Any person interested in social justice for American society-and societies generally-must read Equitable Sharing. -- Kevin Johnson, University of California, Davis Constitutional law sorely needs the fresh, judicious, and visionary thinking this book offers. It develops a compelling framework showing how equality is necessary to basic ideals of freedom and democracy. Equitable sharing has potential to outshine the similarly broad fundamental principles that have held sway over U.S. legal theory and doctrine in recent years, such as federalism or economic efficiency. The book astutely shows how equitable sharing can improve analysis of many current controversies, including affirmative action, campaign finance, same-sex marriage, and health insurance reform. -- Martha McCluskey, State University of New York at Buffalo A wonderful book that should be read by all who care about social justice. Professor Kleven explains the concept of `equitable sharing' and why it is essential for a just society and what it would mean. In a world with a growing gap between `haves' and `have nots' this book provides a brilliant progressive path forward. -- Erwin Chemerinsky, U.S. constitutional law and federal civil procedure scholar and current and founding dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law
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About Thomas Kleven

Thomas Kleven is professor of law at Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
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