Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Active Liberty

From today's Wall Street Journal: - Justice Breyer Takes 'Originalists' to Task In a New Book: "When he was nominated to fill the Supreme Court's last vacancy, Stephen Breyer said he would strive to make the 'law work for people.' Eleven years later -- with a new opening on the court and controversy raging over the judiciary's role -- Justice Breyer wants to tell a broader audience how that should be done.

In a book slated for release next month, Justice Breyer -- among the more liberal members of the court -- gives a detailed insight into his philosophy of deciding cases, namely that the Constitution should be viewed in light of its overarching goal, which he sees as creating a participatory, democratic society. In the process, he offers a rejoinder to a longtime intellectual opponent, Justice Antonin Scalia, who advocates 'originalism,' or a more literal interpretation of the Constitution's meaning at the time of its writing.
[Stephen Breyer]

'Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution' explains Justice Breyer's approach and applies it to some of the most divisive topics that come before the court. These include everything from freedom of speech and privacy rights to affirmative action and last June's Ten Commandments cases, which addressed the constitutionality of religious symbols on government property."

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