The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy

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Overview

In this new work in political and constitutional theory, Michael J. Perry elaborates and defends an account of the political morality of liberal democracy: the moral convictions and commitments that in a liberal democracy should govern decisions about what Jaws to enact and what policies to pursue. The fundamental questions addressed in this book concern (1) the grounding, (2) the content, (3) the implications for one or another moral controversy, and (4) the judicial enforcement of the political morality of liberal democracy. The particular issues discussed include whether government may ban previability abortion, whether government may refuse to extend the benefit of law to same-sex couples, and what role religion should play in the politics and law of a liberal democracy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"....wide-ranging and forceful...." -
William A. Galston, Brookings Institution, Commonweal

"...this new book from Michael J. Perry surely contributes to a rich and essential discussion on the interaction between religion and the law.... original, enlightening, challenging and persuasive.... Perry shows brilliantly in this book what many authors fail to point out: a very inclusive and hopeful reminder that proves wrong those who forget that (a) religion can be and often is a source of adherence to liberal democracies and (b) that all citizens, regardless of their (non)religious practices and beliefs, share much more in terms of political morality than what sporadically divides them." -
Benjamin Prud'homme, Quebec Journal of International Law

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521115186
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael J. Perry holds a Robert W. Woodruff Chair at Emory University, where he teaches in the law school. Previously, Perry held the Howard J. Trienens Chair in Law at Northwestern University, where he taught for fifteen years, and the University Distinguished Chair in Law at Wake Forest University. Perry has written on American constitutional law and theory; law, morality and religion; and human rights theory in more than sixty articles and ten books, including The Idea of Human Rights; We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court; Under God? Religious Faith and Liberal Democracy; Toward a Theory of Human Rights: Religion, Law, Courts; and Constitutional Rights, Moral Controversy, and the Supreme Court.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Pt. I Liberal Democracy, Human Rights, and Religious Faith

1 Liberal Democracy and Human Rights 9

2 Liberal Democracy and Religious Faith 27

Pt. II First Principles

3 The Right to Moral Equality 61

4 The Right to Religious Freedom 65

5 Beyond Religious Freedom: The Right to Moral Freedom 88

6 Religion as a Basis of Lawmaking 100

Pt. III First Principles Applied

7 Abortion 123

8 Same-Sex Unions 138

Pt. IV The Constitution of Liberal Democracy

9 Protecting Constitutionally Entrenched Rights: The Courts' - In Particular, the U.S. Supreme Court's - Proper Role 159

Conclusion: In the Matter of the Adoption of John Doe and James Doe 198

Index 205

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