Active Liberty Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution

ISBN-10: 0307263134
ISBN-13: 9780307263131
Edition: 2005
List price: $24.95 Buy it from $2.39
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Description: This book," "based on the Tanner lectures on Human Values that Justice Stephen Breyer delivered at Harvard University in November 2004, defines the term " active liberty" as a sharing of the nation' s sovereign authority with its citizens. Regarding  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/13/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 176
Size: 5.75" wide x 7.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

This book," "based on the Tanner lectures on Human Values that Justice Stephen Breyer delivered at Harvard University in November 2004, defines the term " active liberty" as a sharing of the nation' s sovereign authority with its citizens. Regarding the Constitution as a guide for the application of basic American principles to a living and changing society rather than as an arsenal of rigid legal means for binding and restricting it, Justice Breyer argues that the genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems. Giving us examples of this approach in the areas of free speech, federalism, privacy, affirmative action, statutory interpretation, and administrative law, Justice Breyer states that courts should take greater account of the Constitution' s democratic nature when they interpret constitutional and statutory texts. He also insists that the people, through participation in community life, can and must develop the experience necessary to govern their own affairs. His distinctive contribution to the federalism debate is his claim that deference to congressional power can actually promote democratic participation rather than thwart it. He argues convincingly that although Congress is not perfect, it has done a better job than either the executive or judicial branches at balancing the conflicting views of citizens across the nation, especially during times of national crisis. With a fine appreciation for complexity, Breyer reminds all Americans that Congress, rather than the courts, is the place to resolve policydisputes. " Active Liberty" is a declaration of the first importance, made by a judge often regarded as one of the court' s most brilliant members.

Acknowledgements
Introduction
The Theme: Active Liberty
The Theme Considered...
...as Falling Within an Interpretive Tradition...
...and Consistent with the Constitution's History
Applications
Speech
Federalism
Privacy
Affirmative Action
Statutory Interpretation
Administrative Law
Recapitulation
A Serious Objection
Epilogue
Notes
Index

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