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Constitutional Conscience : The Moral Dimension of Judicial Decision

By: Powell, H. Jefferson.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2014Description: 1 online resource (161 p.).ISBN: 9780226677309.Subject(s): Constitutional law -- United States | Judges -- United States | Judicial discretion -- United States | Judicial process -- United States | Justice, Administration of -- United StatesGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Constitutional Conscience : The Moral Dimension of Judicial DecisionDDC classification: 347.732634 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
CONTENTS -- PREFACE -- INTRODUCTION -- CHAPTER ONE The Rule of Five -- CHAPTER TWO Playing the Game -- CHAPTER THREE A Question of Degree -- CHAPTER FOUR Men and Women of Goodwill -- CHAPTER FIVE Making It Up as We Go Along -- CONCLUSION To Govern Ourselves in a Certain Manner -- NOTES -- INDEX
Summary: While many recent observers have accused American judges-especially Supreme Court justices-of being too driven by politics and ideology, others have argued that judges are justified in using their positions to advance personal views. Advocating a different approach-one that eschews ideology but still values personal perspective-H. Jefferson Powell makes a compelling case for the centrality of individual conscience in constitutional decision making.             Powell argues that almost every controversial decision has more than one constitutionally defensible resolution. In such cases, he goes
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
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CONTENTS -- PREFACE -- INTRODUCTION -- CHAPTER ONE The Rule of Five -- CHAPTER TWO Playing the Game -- CHAPTER THREE A Question of Degree -- CHAPTER FOUR Men and Women of Goodwill -- CHAPTER FIVE Making It Up as We Go Along -- CONCLUSION To Govern Ourselves in a Certain Manner -- NOTES -- INDEX

While many recent observers have accused American judges-especially Supreme Court justices-of being too driven by politics and ideology, others have argued that judges are justified in using their positions to advance personal views. Advocating a different approach-one that eschews ideology but still values personal perspective-H. Jefferson Powell makes a compelling case for the centrality of individual conscience in constitutional decision making.             Powell argues that almost every controversial decision has more than one constitutionally defensible resolution. In such cases, he goes

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

In this fascinating work, Powell (law, Duke) compares the interpretive philosophies of Chief Justice John Marshall and federal judge/legal philosopher Richard Posner, the former emphasizing the moral dimensions of constitutional interpretation and the latter advocating a pragmatic/economic approach to that task. Agreeing more with Marshall than Posner, Powell contends that judges should act in good faith by deciding legal questions based upon the "constitutional virtues" of candor, intellectual honesty, humility, and a willingness to acknowledge that judges do not have all the answers. Powell notes that when judges base their decisions upon these constitutional virtues the people will see the courts as credible and they will acknowledge the ultimate decisions as legitimate, even when they do not agree with those decisions. In the end, judges must not allow themselves the frailties of arrogance and overconfidence but must accept that they are instruments of the law and not their own political orthodoxy. Equally important is that other civil servants and the citizens themselves must live out those virtues as well if the country is to achieve the common goals of alleviating human suffering and empowering citizens to live their lives freely. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. M. W. Bowers University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Author notes provided by Syndetics

H. Jefferson Powell is a professor at Duke Law School. His books include A Community Built on Words : The Constitution in History and Politics , also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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