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Exploring Law's EmpireThe Jurisprudence of Ronald Dworkin$
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Scott Hershovitz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546145

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546145.001.0001

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Should Constitutional Judges be Philosophers?

Should Constitutional Judges be Philosophers?

Chapter:
(p.5) 1 Should Constitutional Judges be Philosophers?
Source:
Exploring Law's Empire
Author(s):

Christopher L. Eisgruber

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546145.003.0002

Ronald Dworkin's ‘moral reading of the Constitution’ insists that the Constitution ‘invokes moral principles about political decency and justice’. Some critics worry that the moral reading is too moral in that it gives short shrift to text and history. This chapter argues that Dworkin's moral reading can accommodate text and history. But it also argues that Dworkin's moral reading, as it stands, is incomplete. What Dworkin needs and has failed to articulate is a theory explaining why people might adopt super-majoritarian amendment procedures if their aim is to accommodate evolving judgments about abstract standards of justice.

Keywords:   Dworkin, constitutionalism, moral reading, originalism, super-majoritarianism, justice

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