That Eminent Tribunal

Author: Christopher Wolfe
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400826285
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The role of the United States Supreme Court has been deeply controversial throughout American history. Should the Court undertake the task of guarding a wide variety of controversial and often unenumerated rights? Or should it confine itself to enforcing specific constitutional provisions, leaving other issues (even those of rights) to the democratic process? That Eminent Tribunal brings together a distinguished group of legal scholars and political scientists who argue that the Court's power has exceeded its appropriate bounds, and that sound republican principles require greater limits on that power. They reach this conclusion by an interesting variety of paths, and despite varied political convictions. Some of the essays debate the explicit claims to constitutional authority laid out by the Supreme Court itself in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and similar cases, and others focus on the defenses of judicial authority found commonly in legal scholarship (e.g., the allegedly superior moral reasoning of judges, or judges' supposed track record of superior political decision making). The authors find these arguments wanting and contend that the principles of republicanism and the contemporary form of judicial review exercised by the Supreme Court are fundamentally incompatible. The contributors include Hadley Arkes, Gerard V. Bradley, George Liebmann, Michael McConnell, Robert F. Nagel, Jack Wade Nowlin, Steven D. Smith, Jeremy Waldron, Keith E. Whittington, Christopher Wolfe, and Michael P. Zuckert.

Democratic Faith

Author: Patrick Deneen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400826896
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The American political reformer Herbert Croly wrote, "For better or worse, democracy cannot be disentangled from an aspiration toward human perfectibility." Democratic Faith is at once a trenchant analysis and a powerful critique of this underlying assumption that informs democratic theory. Patrick Deneen argues that among democracy's most ardent supporters there is an oft-expressed belief in the need to "transform" human beings in order to reconcile the sometimes disappointing reality of human self-interest with the democratic ideal of selfless commitment. This "transformative impulse" is frequently couched in religious language, such as the need for political "redemption." This is all the more striking given the frequent accompanying condemnation of traditional religious belief that informs the "democratic faith." At the same time, because so often this democratic ideal fails to materialize, democratic faith is often subject to a particularly intense form of disappointment. A mutually reinforcing cycle of faith and disillusionment is frequently exhibited by those who profess a democratic faith--in effect imperiling democratic commitments due to the cynicism of its most fervent erstwhile supporters. Deneen argues that democracy is ill-served by such faith. Instead, he proposes a form of "democratic realism" that recognizes democracy not as a regime with aspirations to perfection, but that justifies democracy as the regime most appropriate for imperfect humans. If democratic faith aspires to transformation, democratic realism insists on the central importance of humility, hope, and charity.

Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy

Author: Keith E. Whittington
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400827752
Format: PDF
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Should the Supreme Court have the last word when it comes to interpreting the Constitution? The justices on the Supreme Court certainly seem to think so--and their critics say that this position threatens democracy. But Keith Whittington argues that the Court's justices have not simply seized power and circumvented politics. The justices have had power thrust upon them--by politicians, for the benefit of politicians. In this sweeping political history of judicial supremacy in America, Whittington shows that presidents and political leaders of all stripes have worked to put the Court on a pedestal and have encouraged its justices to accept the role of ultimate interpreters of the Constitution. Whittington examines why presidents have often found judicial supremacy to be in their best interest, why they have rarely assumed responsibility for interpreting the Constitution, and why constitutional leadership has often been passed to the courts. The unprecedented assertiveness of the Rehnquist Court in striking down acts of Congress is only the most recent example of a development that began with the founding generation itself. Presidential bids for constitutional leadership have been rare, but reflect the temporary political advantage in doing so. Far more often, presidents have cooperated in increasing the Court's power and encouraging its activism. Challenging the conventional wisdom that judges have usurped democracy, Whittington shows that judicial supremacy is the product of democratic politics.

Freedom s Orphans

Author: David L. Tubbs
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691134703
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Has contemporary liberalism's devotion to individual liberty come at the expense of our society's obligations to children? Divorce is now easy to obtain, and access to everything from violent movies to sexually explicit material is zealously protected as freedom of speech. But what of the effects on the young, with their special needs and vulnerabilities? Freedom's Orphans seeks a way out of this predicament. Poised to ignite fierce debate within and beyond academia, it documents the increasing indifference of liberal theorists and jurists to what were long deemed core elements of children's welfare. Evaluating large changes in liberal political theory and jurisprudence, particularly American liberalism after the Second World War, David Tubbs argues that the expansion of rights for adults has come at a high and generally unnoticed cost. In championing new "lifestyle" freedoms, liberal theorists and jurists have ignored, forgotten, or discounted the competing interests of children. To substantiate his arguments, Tubbs reviews important currents of liberal thought, including the ideas of Isaiah Berlin, Ronald Dworkin, and Susan Moller Okin. He also analyzes three key developments in American civil liberties: the emergence of the "right to privacy" in sexual and reproductive matters; the abandonment of the traditional standard for obscenity prosecutions; and the gradual acceptance of the doctrine of "strict separation" between religion and public life.

From Subsistence to Exchange and Other Essays

Author: Peter Tamas Bauer
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691117829
Format: PDF
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Peter Bauer, a pioneer of development economics, is an incisive thinker whose work continues to influence fields from political science to history to anthropology. As Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen writes in the introduction to this book, "the originality, force, and extensive bearing of his writings have been quite astonishing." This collection of Bauer's essays reveals the full power and range of his thought as well as the central concern that underlies so much of his diverse work: the impact of people's conduct, their cultural institutions, and the policies of their governments on economic progress. The papers here cover pressing and controversial issues, including the process that transforms a subsistence economy into an exchange economy, the reputed correlation between poverty and population density, the alleged responsibility of the West for Third World poverty, the often counterproductive results of foreign aid, and the effects of egalitarian policies on individual freedoms. Bauer addresses these and other matters with clarity, verve, and wit, combining his deep understanding of economic theory and methodology with keen insights into human nature. The book is a penetrating account of how to develop a prosperous economy alongside a free and fair society and a stimulating introduction to the work of a man who has done so much to shape our modern understanding of developing economies and of the relationship of economics to the other social sciences. "This selection of essays will give readers a wonderful opportunity to learn about the rich world of cognizance and analysis erected by one of the great architects of political economy. I feel privileged to be able to offer this letter of invitation."--From the introduction by Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in economics

The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

Author: Neil M. Gorsuch
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691140971
Format: PDF, Kindle
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After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments for assisted suicide and euthanasia, Gorsuch builds a nuanced, novel, and powerful moral and legal argument against legalization, one based on a principle that, surprisingly, has largely been overlooked in the debate; the idea that human life is intrinsically valuable and that intentional killing is always wrong. At the same time, the argument Gorsuch develops leaves wide latitude for individual patient autonomy and the refusal of unwanted medical treatment and life-sustaining care, permitting intervention only in cases where an intention to kill is present.

Lincoln Speeches

Author: Abraham Lincoln
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 0143121987
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Collects some of the sixteenth president's best speeches, including the renowned Gettysburg Address.

Great Cases in Constitutional Law

Author: Robert P. George
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691049526
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Slavery, segregation, abortion, workers' rights, the power of the courts. These issues have been at the heart of the greatest constitutional controversies in American history. And in this concise and thought-provoking volume, some of today's most distinguished legal scholars and commentators explain for a general audience how five landmark Supreme Court cases centered on those controversies shaped the country's destiny and continue to affect us even now. The book is a profound exploration of the Supreme Court's importance to America's social and political life. It is also, as many of the contributors show, an intriguing reflection of what some have seen as an important trend in legal scholarship away from an uncritical belief in the essentially benign nature of judicial power. Robert George opens with an illuminating survey of the themes that unite and divide the five cases. Other contributors then examine each case in detail through a lively commentary-and-response format. Mark Tushnet and Jeremy Waldron exchange views on Marbury v. Madison, the pivotal 1803 case that established the power of the courts to invalidate legislation. Cass Sunstein and James McPherson discuss Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), the notorious case that confirmed the rights of slaveowners, declared that black people could not be American citizens, and is often seen as a cause of the Civil War. Hadley Arkes and Donald Drakeman explore the legacy of Lochner v. New York (1905), a case that ushered in decades of judicial hostility to social welfare laws. Earl Maltz and Walter Murphy assess Brown v. Topeka Board of Education (1954), the famous case that ended racial segregation in public schools. Finally, Jean Bethke Elshtain and George Will tackle Roe v. Wade (1973), still a flashpoint a quarter of a century later in the debate over abortion. While some of the contributors show sympathy for strong judicial interventions on social issues, many across the ideological spectrum are sharply critical of judicial activism. A compelling introduction to the greatest cases in U.S. constitutional law, this is also an enlightening glimpse of the state of the art in American legal scholarship.

Judicial Dictatorship

Author: William J. Quirk
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351510428
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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American society has undergone a revolution within a revolution. Until the 1960s, America was a liberal country in the traditional sense of legislative and executive checks and balances. Since then, the Supreme Court has taken on the role of the protector of individual rights against the will of the majority by creating, in a series of decisions, new rights for criminal defendants, atheists, homosexuals, illegal aliens, and others. Repeatedly, on a variety of cases, the Court has overturned the actions of local police or state laws under which local officials are acting. The result, according to Quirk and Birdwell, is freedom for the lawless and oppression for the law abiding. 'Judicial Dictatorship' challenges the status quo, arguing that in many respects the Supreme Court has assumed authority far beyond the original intent of the Founding Fathers. In order to avoid abuse of power, the three branches of the American government were designed to operate under a system of checks and balances. However, this balance has been upset. The Supreme Court has become the ultimate arbiter in the legal system through exercise of the doctrine of judicial review, which allows the court to invalidate any state or federal law it considers inconsistent with the constitution. Supporters of judicial review believe that there has to be a final arbiter of constitutional interpretation, and the Judiciary is the most suitable choice. Opponents, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln among them, believed that judicial review assumes the judicial branch is above the other branches, a result the Constitution did not intend. The democratic paradox is that the majority in America agreed to limit its own power. Jefferson believed that the will of the majority must always prevail. His faith in the common man led him to advocate a weak national government, one that derived its power from the people. Alexander Hamilton, often Jefferson's adversary, lacking such faith, feared "the amazing violence an