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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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The Many Faces of Political Integrity

The Many Faces of Political Integrity

(p.119) 6 The Many Faces of Political Integrity
Exploring Law's Empire

Dale Smith

Oxford University Press

In Law's Empire, Dworkin motivates the distinct political ideal of integrity by way of a discussion of ‘checkerboard solutions’ — statutes that treat people differently in a way that is unjust. For example, a ‘checkerboard’ abortion statute that prohibits only abortions by women born in odd-numbered years creates a puzzle. If people disagree about the permissibility of abortion, fairness would seem to support such arbitrary allocation of rights. Furthermore, justice would seem to be served by the above statute insofar as the statute limits injustice. Yet, Dworkin argues, most of us would be dismayed by checkerboard statutes such as this. Since the political ideals of justice and fairness seem ill-equipped to explain our intuitive rejection of such statutes, we must look to a third political ideal to do the explanatory work: integrity. This chapter argues that while Dworkin's discussion may establish that integrity provides a pro tanto reason for rejecting checkerboard solutions, Dworkin falls short of establishing that integrity merits the pre-eminent position he ascribes to it.

Keywords:   Dworkin, integrity, checkerboard statutes, justice, fairness

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