Modest judicial restraint



  • It is perhaps surprising that after more than 200 years there is substantial disagreement in the United States about the nature of its government and the role of its Constitution. One of the profound differences concerns the relationship between self-government and the liberties protected by the Constitution. All constitutional actors, including legislators, are obligated to the Constitution and thus must interpret it. While many constitutional issues involve the application of an acknowledged right to new circumstances, or at least to a new statute, on occasion the principle a court relies on has never been previously acknowledged, at least explicitly and officially. Part of the rationale for the presumption of constitutionality is to be found in the political importance of compromise, including compromise of principle. Principles as employed in contexts are matters of pressing moral importance, not merely considerations having some degree of weight that are balanced against others.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13

  • 9781138721685
  • Start Page

  • 153
  • End Page

  • 173