Ronald Dworkin and the City on the Hill

in Desperately Seeking Certainty

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780226238081
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226238104 | DOI:
Ronald Dworkin and the City on the Hill

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This chapter explains the transparency of Ronald Dworkin who seeks to base a grand constitutional interpretation on a foundational moral theory. Much focus is given here on his most fully developed version of his views, as presented in his recent book on constitutional interpretation, Freedom's Law. The essence of the originalist program is to free judges from making controversial moral judgments by casting the choice of principles back to the framers. However, Dworkin suggests that this program rests on a confusion between the two types of meaning, so that the relative determinacy of the framers' specific examples lends a spurious air of certainty to the enterprise. Thus, Dworkin cannot reject the established practice of leaving some issues, which he considers constitutional in nature, at least in part to other branches of government.

Keywords: Ronald Dworkin; foundational moral theory; Freedom's Law; judges; constitutional interpretation

Chapter.  7311 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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