Constitutional Principles: Civil Rights


in Constitutional Goods

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780199225798
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191706516 | DOI:
Constitutional Principles: Civil Rights

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This chapter discusses the civil rights generated by the constitution of liberty. It identifies the libertarian reason for shielding the fundamental civil freedoms against legal regulation; and it assesses the grounds for the libertarian claim that this reason precludes regulation in all cases short of imminent constitutional crisis. It argues that libertarianism's reason for protecting the freedom of religion and civil speech against legal regulation is sound but that its reason for regarding this protection as virtually absolute is not. The chapter criticizes the libertarian police power as being rooted in a conception of public reason that is blind to constitutional goods capable of overriding property rights; and it illustrates this problem with the case of Lochner v. New York.

Keywords: civil rights; fundamental freedoms; freedom of religion; civil speech; liberty; property; police power; Lochner v. New York

Chapter.  20612 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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