Summary: A historic occassion: at a time when the American judicial system is subject of much controversy, a United States Supreme Court Justice offers a new theory of constitutional interpretation.
Justice Stephen Breyer defines "active liberty" as a sharing of the nation's sovereign authority among its people. He sees the Constitution as a guide for the application of basic American principles to a living and changing society rather than as an arsenal of ...show more rigid legal means for binding and restricting it. He gives us examples of this view in the areas of free speech, federalism, privacy, affirmative action, and interpretation of the law. He makes clear why judges should place more emphasis on the consequences of legal decisions and less on literal readings of the law. In sum, he advocates the idea of a living Constitution--challenging the strict constructionism of judges who insist on limiting themselves to purely legal considerations.
Justice Breyer is widely regarded as one of the Court's most brilliant members. Active Liberty, based on the Tanner lectures he delivered last year at Harvard University, is a declaration of the first importance. ...show less