Tag: common good

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

;P I stayed home, sick, from my home office yesterday, and I had a lot of time to browse and catch up on things. One of them left me shaken to my core. Marco Rubio had become a fascist. Well, fascist would be too much of an ugly exaggeration, but he certainly advocates for dictatorship […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Problem with ‘Common Good Constitutionalism’

 

In 1980, Stanford Law School Professor Paul Brest wrote his famous article, “The Misconceived Quest for An Original Understanding,” in which he defined “originalism” as an “approach to constitutional adjudication that accords binding authority to the text of the Constitution or the intentions of its adopters.” Brest concluded that originalism failed to deal adequately with two fundamental problems: the multiple intentions of different parties, and the danger of constitutional obsolescence attributable to changed circumstances.

Brest’s skeptical view of originalism was quickly championed by other writers, most notably the legal scholar Ronald Dworkin, who advocated a “moral reading” of the Constitution. In his book Freedom’s Law, Dworkin treats the text as the basis for understanding key constitutional conceptions like liberty, equality, and dignity, which judges, lawyers, and citizens have to flesh out under some ideal normative theory.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Vermeule’s Gleeful Illiberal Legalism

 

Few have been brave enough to flesh out what the Ahmarist, or “anti-Frenchist,” vision of the common good should be. Some have said articulating specifics is beside the point, that Ahmarists’ refreshing achievement is unapologetically asserting a common good exists, even if they decline to say what, exactly, it is. And then, there are guys like Adrian Vermeule, writing in The Atlantic, brave enough, at least, to flesh out a vision of sorts. Vermeule calls it “common-good constitutionalism”, which he describes as “an illiberal legalism that is not ‘conservative’ at all, insofar as standard conservatism is content to play defensively within the procedural rules of the liberal order.” When Vermeule writes,

[U]nlike legal liberalism, common-good constitutionalism does not suffer from a horror of political domination and hierarchy, because it sees that law is parental, [emphasis added] a wise teacher and an inculcator of good habits. Just authority in rulers can be exercised for the good of subjects, if necessary even against the subjects’ own perceptions of what is best for them—perceptions that may change over time anyway, as the law teaches, habituates, and re-forms them. Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires…

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I was always an odd ball where ever I worked. It may have been because I always found myself surrounded by individuals that did not look like me. I was the first female chef in the Hotel I worked at. I was the first female programmer in many places I worked at. Often I am […]

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