Constitutional Ethos

Liberal Equality for the Common Good
Author: Alexander Tsesis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199359849
Category: Constitutional law
Page: 224
View: 7931

Continue Reading →

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.

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: 4656

Continue Reading →

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

Lincoln's Gamble

The Tumultuous Six Months that Gave America the Emancipation Proclamation and Changed the Course of the Civil War
Author: Todd Brewster
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451693907
Category: History
Page: 368
View: 8390

Continue Reading →

“A masterful psychological portrait” (George Stephanopoulos) of the most critical six months in Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, when he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and changed the course of the Civil War. On July 12, 1862, Abraham Lincoln spoke for the first time of his intention to free the slaves. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, doing precisely that. In between, however, was a tumultuous six months, an episode during which the sixteenth president fought bitterly with his generals, disappointed his cabinet, and sank into painful bouts of clinical depression. Most surprising, the man who would be remembered as “The Great Emancipator” did not hold firm to his belief in emancipation. He agonized over the decision and was wracked by private doubts almost to the moment when he inked the decree that would change a nation. It was a great gamble, with the future of the Union, of slavery, and of the presidency itself hanging in the balance. In this compelling narrative, Todd Brewster focuses on this crucial time period to ask: was it through will or by accident, intention or coincidence, personal achievement or historical determinism that he freed the slaves? “Brewster brings elegant clarity to the tangle of conflicting ideologies, loyalties, and practicalities that pushed the proclamation forward” (Publishers Weekly), portraying the president as an imperfect man with an unshakable determination to save a country he believed in, even as the course of the Civil War remained unknown.

On Liberty


Author: John Stuart Mill
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Civil rights
Page: 223
View: 3225

Continue Reading →

The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution

Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic
Author: Ganesh Sitaraman
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 0451493915
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 423
View: 5945

Continue Reading →

"Argues that America's strong and sizable middle class is actually embedded in the framework of the nation's government and its founding document and discusses the necessity of taking equality-establishing measures,"--NoveList.

Steady Air

Exploring Catholicism at Work
Author: Orla Halpenny
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1443844462
Category: Religion
Page: 75
View: 9833

Continue Reading →

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.

American Character

A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good
Author: Colin Woodard
Publisher: Viking Adult
ISBN: 0525427899
Category: Common good
Page: 308
View: 4173

Continue Reading →

The struggle between individualism and the good of the community as a whole has been the basis of every major disagreement in America's history, from the debates at the Constitutional Convention to the civil rights movement to the Tea Party. In American Character, Colin Woodard traces these two key strands in American politics through the four centuries of the nation's existence, from the first colonies through the Gilded Age and Great Depression to the present day, and how different regions of the country have successfully or disastrously accommodated them.

Liberalism's Troubled Search for Equality

Religion and Cultural Bias in the Oregon Physician-assisted Suicide Debates
Author: Robert Patrick Jones
Publisher: Robert P. Jones
ISBN: 9780268032678
Category: Law
Page: 336
View: 3451

Continue Reading →

In Liberalism's Troubled Search for Equality, Robert P. Jones presents a penetrating examination of physician-assisted suicide that exposes unresolved tensions deep within liberal political theory. Jones asks why egalitarian liberal philosophers—most notably, Ronald Dworkin and John Rawls—support legalized physician-assisted suicide in direct opposition to groups of disadvantaged citizens they theoretically champion. Jones argues that egalitarian liberals ought to oppose physician-assisted suicide—at least until we find the political will to ensure access to health care for all. More broadly, Jones challenges progressives to find the heart of the liberal tradition not in allegedly neutral appeals to “choice” but in a renewed commitment to equality and social justice that welcomes public religious voices as allies. “Liberalism's Troubled Search for Equality is the most sophisticated analysis I have read that gives a social and philosophical context to the Oregon debate on assisted death. Jones's meaningful discussion of moral values in liberal political philosophy incorporates strong scholarship and an impressive use of interviews and ethnography.” —Courtney S. Campbell, Oregon State University "A fresh, challenging, and timely approach to the political intersections of religion and progressive politics. Cutting through the headlines on the contentious physician assisted suicide issue, Jones's intellectually rigorous focus on equality and justice as the key to shaping an authentic liberal response will have great appeal across political and religious lines. His approach offers precisely the right prescription for a stronger progressive movement." — Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Free Persons and the Common Good


Author: Michael Novak
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Philosophy
Page: 233
View: 6390

Continue Reading →

Bridges the gap between the Catholic idea of commonwealth and Protestant liberal tradition.

A Theory of Justice


Author: John RAWLS
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674042603
Category: Philosophy
Page: 623
View: 8866

Continue Reading →

Though the revised edition of A Theory of Justice, published in 1999, is the definitive statement of Rawls's view, so much of the extensive literature on Rawls's theory refers to the first edition. This reissue makes the first edition once again available for scholars and serious students of Rawls's work.

The Blank Slate

The Modern Denial of Human Nature
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101200322
Category: Psychology
Page: 528
View: 2970

Continue Reading →

A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature. "Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." -Time Now updated with a new afterword One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

The End Of Equality

Second Edition
Author: Mickey Kaus
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465098293
Category: Social Science
Page: 320
View: 9673

Continue Reading →

This inspiring book shows that the great unfinished business of American liberalism is not to equalize money but to limit the spheres in which money matters—to put money in its place.

Democracy in America


Author: Tocqueville Alexis de
Publisher: Xist Publishing
ISBN: 1681959011
Category: History
Page: 45
View: 5057

Continue Reading →

An Unabridged Explanation of America to Europeans and of Americans to themselves “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”-Alexis de Tocqueville Both Volumes of Democracy in America with annotations included in this eBook In the two volumes of Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, Tocqueville talks about the democratic revolution that had been occurring over the past seven hundred years and applies his insights to the United States in 1835. Democracy in America is essential reading for every American and is required reading in many high school and college courses. This Xist Classics edition has been professionally formatted for e-readers with a linked table of contents. This eBook also contains a bonus book club leadership guide and discussion questions. We hope you’ll share this book with your friends, neighbors and colleagues and can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it. Xist Publishing is a digital-first publisher. Xist Publishing creates books for the touchscreen generation and is dedicated to helping everyone develop a lifetime love of reading, no matter what form it takes

The Agnostic Age

Law, Religion, and the Constitution
Author: Paul Horwitz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019973772X
Category: Law
Page: 316
View: 5467

Continue Reading →

The Agnostic Age: Law, Religion, and the Constitution is a book for lawyers, law professors, law students, lawmakers, and any citizen who cares about church-state conflict and about the relationship between religion and liberal democracy. It provides a way to understand and balance the conflicts that inevitably arise when neighbors struggle with neighbors, and when liberal democracy tries to reach common ground with religious beliefs and practices. Paul Horwitz argues that the fundamental reason for the church-state conflict is our aversion to questions of religious truth. By trying to avoid the question of religious truth, law and religion has ultimately only reached a state of incoherence. He asserts that the answer to this dilemma is to take "the agnostic turn": to take an empathetic and imaginative approach to questions of religious truth, one that actually confronts rather than avoids these questions, but without reaching a final judgment about what that truth is. This book offers a sensitive and sensible approach to questions of church-state conflict, justifying what the courts have done in some cases and demanding new results in others. It explains how the church-state conflict extends beyond law and religion itself, and goes to some of the central questions at the heart of the troubled relationship between religion and liberal democracy in a post-9/11 era.

Created Unequal

The Crisis in American Pay
Author: James K. Galbraith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226278797
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 350
View: 4701

Continue Reading →

The strong U.S. economy in the late 1990s has validated the bold thesis of this book. "Created Unequal" shows that America's historically high inequality of pay and incomes is not the result of impersonal market forces such as technology or trade, but of bad economic policies over several decades and the poor performance they created. Featuring a new preface on the improvements since 1994, "Created Unequal" is a rousing book that reminds us we can reclaim our country through economic understanding, commonsense policy, and political action.

Political Liberalism

Expanded Edition
Author: John Rawls
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231527538
Category: Philosophy
Page: 576
View: 389

Continue Reading →

This book continues and revises the ideas of justice as fairness that John Rawls presented in A Theory of Justice but changes its philosophical interpretation in a fundamental way. That previous work assumed what Rawls calls a "well-ordered society," one that is stable and relatively homogenous in its basic moral beliefs and in which there is broad agreement about what constitutes the good life. Yet in modern democratic society a plurality of incompatible and irreconcilable doctrines—religious, philosophical, and moral—coexist within the framework of democratic institutions. Recognizing this as a permanent condition of democracy, Rawls asks how a stable and just society of free and equal citizens can live in concord when divided by reasonable but incompatible doctrines? This edition includes the essay "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited," which outlines Rawls' plans to revise Political Liberalism, which were cut short by his death. "An extraordinary well-reasoned commentary on A Theory of Justice...a decisive turn towards political philosophy." —Times Literary Supplement