Chapter

Social and Economic Rights

ALAN BRUDNER

in Constitutional Goods

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780199225798
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191706516 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199225798.003.0008
Social and Economic Rights

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This chapter distinguishes those egalitarian transformations of equality rights that are organic developments of liberal justice from those incompatible therewith. Section 1 discusses the libertarian contribution to liberal distributive justice by depicting the partial justice of market outcomes. Section 2 identifies constitutionally relevant interpersonal inequalites and argues for an egalitarian complement to market justice that libertarians ought, given their conception of individual worth, to accept. Section 3 suggests a principle for distinguishing between claims to social and economic equality whose satisfaction is required by law's rule and those inconsistent therewith. Section 4 discusses the enforceability of social and economic entitlements by courts and suggests a principle for distinguishing between permissible and impermissible judicial activism. Section 5 exhibits in both legal doctrine and legal theory the despotic implications of a fundamentalist egalitarianism and depicts the logical transition from the constitution of equality to the constitution of community.

Keywords: socio-economic rights; distributive justice; market justice; egalitarianism; equal opportunity; moral independence; civil independence; self-actualization; reverse discrimination; judicial activism

Chapter.  28072 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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