Justice and Empathy: Toward a Constitutional Ideal

Justice and Empathy: Toward a Constitutional Ideal


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An impassioned argument for the role of courts as a moral and social agent for change and protecting the vulnerable

The Supreme Court long considered its highest mission to be the protection of individual liberty from intrusion by government, but the court shifted its focus to social and economic equality. Constitutional scholar Robert A. Burt explores this shift and its implications, especially for the legal protection of the vulnerable. Crucial to Burt’s perspective is his unconventional view of the role of judges—not simply to decide disputes, but to promote a respectful dialogue leading to a genuine understanding between parties.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300224269
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 10/24/2017
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Robert A. Burt (1939–2015) was Alexander M. Bickel Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale University. The Honorable Frank Iacobucci is a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Robert C. Post, formerly dean of Yale Law School, is Sol and Lillian Goldman Professor of Law at Yale University.

Table of Contents

Foreword Robert C. Post vii

Introduction Frank Iacobucci xvii

Part 1 Protecting Vulnerable Groups in Principle 1

1 A Living Truth 3

2 Judicial Power to Command 21

3 All That Is Solid 27

4 This Word "Reason" 51

5 The Healthiest Possible Soul 69

6 The Democratic Path 85

Part 2 Protecting Vulnerable Groups in Practice 103

7 Enslaving Criminals 105

8 Respecting Same-Sex Relations 135

9 Abortion: Private and Public Considerations 157

10 Race Relations: Between Emancipation and Subjugation 170

11 Ordering Moral Deliberations 178

Notes 185

Index 203

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