Constitutional Ethos

Liberal Equality for the Common Good

Author: Alexander Tsesis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199359865

Category: Law

Page: 336

View: 9873

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Judges, courts, and scholars in the United States agree that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, but there is much disagreement about its meaning. So what seems to be incontestable truth is riddled with disagreements about every day questions of decision making on matter such as whether people are entitled to government created programs, what rights are fundamental, the criteria for voting, the three branches of governments' several responsibilities, and even who should have the final say in defining the Constitution's meaning. Constitutional Ethos is a groundbreaking investigation into the fundamental principles of constitutional principle, meaning, and interpretation. It explores the core purposes of American representative democracy in light of historical sources, recent precedents, and contemporary debates. Alexander Tsesis argues that a central norm of U.S. law can be derived from the Declaration of Independence and Preamble. This book develops a theory of constitutional law structured on the public duty to protect individual rights for the general welfare. The maxim of constitutional governance synthesizes the protection of individual and public rights. The ideal is neither solely theoretical nor customary but tied to a firm foundation that the people then build upon by lobbying elected officials and petitioning appointed judges. Representative government has an interlinked obligation to the individual and the general welfare. This paradigm for responsible governance sets the baseline against which citizens can hold policy makers accountable to the structural and normative commitments of the Constitution. A pluralistic system must respect human dignity and govern for the betterment of the body politic. Those mandates set the terms for exercising legitimate power at the federal, state, and local levels to protect individual rights to achieve the common good of civil society. Tsesis demonstrates that ethos is binding on the conduct of all three branches of government and their officeholders. His argument challenges the more common U.S. perspective among academics and judges, who typically discount the existence of any objective constitutional value, regarding the document as a construct of social norms. To the contrary, Tsesis shows that the people established the terms of the nation's founding documents to protect universal, unalienable rights. The structure of government provides the mechanisms of those in a pluralistic state to set reasonable limitations for the betterment of society as a whole. Understanding the Constitution's special place in American legal culture is essential for resolving a host of contemporary issues; including, those involving marital, gender, and voting equalities. The state is a means of optimizing the well-being of individuals. Human productivity can best flourish in a society of equals, where talents can be brought to bear in the betterment of self and other members of the community. The Constitution does not create rights but protects those universal ideals of representative democracy first set out in the Declaration of Independence. It further grants authority to political institutions for the enforcement of policies and concrete laws for the betterment of society or some relevant segment of it. Many scholars with leanings in legal realism and process theory believe the authority of government is a social construct created by popular majorities; Tsesis convincingly demonstrates, to the contrary, that even those laws enacted by popular majorities are not authoritative unless they accord with a central maxim of constitutionalism, which is the protection of individual rights for the common good.
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The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy

Essays in Political Philosophy and on Catholic Social Teaching

Author: Martin Rhonheimer

Publisher: CUA Press

ISBN: 0813220092

Category: Philosophy

Page: 535

View: 8206

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The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy offers a rich collection of essays in political philosophy by Swiss philosopher Martin Rhonheimer. Like his other books in both ethical theory and applied ethics, which have recently been published in English, the essays included are distinguished by the philosophical rigor and meticulous attention to the primary and secondary literature of the various topics discussed
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Steady Air

Exploring Catholicism at Work

Author: Orla Halpenny

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 1443844462

Category: Religion

Page: 75

View: 9977

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Can Catholics in Ireland influence the direction of the liberal democratic process, or must they simply fume against it? In this collection of essays, a philosopher, a GP, an academic, a politician and a geriatrician examine the case for active involvement of Catholics in Irish civil society through their professional work.
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Piero Gobetti and the Politics of Liberal Revolution

Author: James Martin

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 9780230602748

Category: Political Science

Page: 220

View: 9603

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Piero Gobetti was an astonishing figure. A radical liberal and fierce critic of Italian politics in the years after World War I, he was fascinated by the workers' struggles in his native Turin and by Gramsci's vision of a factory-based democracy. Gobetti proposed liberalism as an emancipatory theory grounded in social conflicts. "Revolutionary liberalism," as he called it, guided his opposition to Fascism and, following his untimely death at twenty-five, inspired key figures in the Italian Resistance. Accessible but critical, this volume is the first English-language study of Gobetti's political ideas and offers a balanced assessment of his enduring significance.
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The New Deal and Its Legacy

Critique and Reappraisal

Author: Robert Eden

Publisher: Praeger Pub Text

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 263

View: 4739

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The New Deal remains at the center of the national debate concerning the role and function of government--a controversy that reflects increasingly deep divisions within the American body politic. Placing contemporary political issues in a broad, constructive framework, this book provides new perspectives on a pivotal episode in modern American history and gives us a deeper understanding of the political, economic, and constitutional challenges we currently face.
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Growth, Inequality and Social Development in India

Is Inclusive Growth Possible?

Author: R Nagaraj

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137000767

Category: Political Science

Page: 238

View: 1518

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With six essays exploring different aspects of economic growth, poverty, inequality and social security, this book offers a critical perspective on India's development experience since independence. Incisive and empirically rich, the book opens up new vistas in development discourse and informs current policy debates.
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The British Constitution in the Twentieth Century

Author: Vernon Bogdanor

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 795

View: 3962

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This is the first scholarly survey of the British constitution in the twentieth century. Indeed, it fills a very real gap in the history of Britain during the last hundred years. The book is a product of interdisciplinary collaboration by a distinguished group of constitutional lawyers, historians and political scientists, and draws where possible on primary sources. Its evaluation of the recent constitutional reforms will be of particular interest. This major interpretation of the constitution will remain authoritative for many years. It is essential reading for all those seeking to understand the impact of the constitutional reforms of recent years.
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