Courts and the Culture Wars

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Bradley C. S. Watson
Lexington Books, 2002 - Law - 209 pages
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For much of the second half of the twentieth century, America's courts--state and federal--have injected themselves into what many critics consider to be fundamentally moral or political disputes. By constitutionalizing these disputes, many feel that the courts have reduced the ability of Americans to engage in traditional, political modes of settling differences over issues that excite particular passion. While legal discourse is well suited to choosing decisive winners and losers, political discourse is perhaps more conducive to reasonable compromise and accommodation. In Courts and the Culture Wars Bradley C. S. Watson has brought together some of America's most distinguished names in constitutional theory and practice to consider the impact of judicial engagement in the moral, religious, and cultural realms--including such issues as school prayer, abortion, gay rights, and expressive speech.
 

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Contents

Courts and the Culture Wars
3
From Ockham to Blackmun The Philosophical Roots of Liberal Jurisprudence
15
The Death of the Legalized Constitution and the Specter of Judicial Review
27
Cultural Controversies and the Courts Abortion Homosexuality Church and State
43
The Culture of Death the Higher Law and the Courts
45
Who Owns the Right to Privacy?
63
Tolerance and American Constitutionalism The Case of Gay Rights
79
Religious Freedom Without Religious Neutrality Our Once and Future Constitutional Common Sense
99
Stare Decisis Conservatisms OneWay Ratchet Problem
127
The California Supreme Court in the Culture Wars A Case Study in Judicial Failure
139
Courts Culture and Liberal Democracy
151
Courts Culture and Community Rescuing Constitutional Supremacy from Judicial Supremacy
153
The Voting Rights Act and the Politics of Multiculturalism The Challenge to Commercial Republicanism at Centurys Turn
167
Index
197
About the Contributors
205
About the Editor
209

Judicial Practice and the Culture Wars
125

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About the author (2002)

Bradley C. S. Watson is Associate Professor of Political Science and Fellow in Politics and Culture in the Center for Economic and Policy Education at Saint Vincent College. He is the author of Civil Rights and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy, (Lexington Books, 1999).

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