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Welfare and the Constitution
Author: Sotirios A. Barber

ISBN: 9780691123752
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 10 July 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.77 x 15.85 x 1.12
Description:


"Welfare and the Constitution" defends a largely forgotten understanding of the U.S. Constitution: the positive or "welfarist" view of Abraham Lincoln and the Federalist Papers. Sotirios Barber challenges conventional scholarship by arguing that the government has a constitutional duty to pursue the well-being of all the people. He shows that James Madison was right in saying that the "real welfare" of the people must be the "supreme object" of constitutional government. With conceptual rigor set in fluid prose, Barber opposes the shared view of America's Right and Left: that the federal constitutional duties of public officials are limited to respecting negative liberties and maintaining processes of democratic choice.

Barber contends that no historical, scientific, moral, or metaethical argument can favor today's negative constitutionalism over Madison's positive understanding. He urges scholars to develop a substantive account of constitutional ends for use in critiquing Supreme Court decisions, the policies of elected officials, and the attitudes of the larger public. He defends the philosophical pos...

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