Toleration and the Constitution

Toleration and the Constitution

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Why have the issues of religious liberty, free speech and constitutional privacy come to figure so prominently in our society? What are the origins of the basic principles of our constitutional law? This work develops a general theory of constitutional interpretation based on an original synthesis of political theory, history, law, and a larger approach to the interpretation of culture. In fusing these myriad components, Professor Richards argues against the notion of "interpretivism"--the view that constitutional interpretation is concerned exclusively with the text of the Constitution and the views of its authors--and contends that the best political theory is one in which courts are permitted use contractarian theory to decide about individual rights that are immunized from majoritarian control. Presenting both historical and theoretical arguments in support of a theory that affirms the moral sovereignty of the people, Richards maintains that toleration, or respect for conscience and individual freedom, is the central constitutional ideal. He discusses such current topics of constitutional controversy as church-state relations, the scope of free speech, and the application of the constitutional right to privacy to abortion and consensual adult sexual relations.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 165.1 x 242.82 x 25.4mm | 693.99g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019504018X
  • 9780195040180

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