Active Liberty by Stephen Breyer
Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution

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Synopsis

A brilliant new approach to the Constitution and courts of the United States by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.For Justice Breyer, the Constitution’s primary role is to preserve and encourage what he calls “active liberty”: citizen participation in shaping government and its laws. As this book argues, promoting active liberty requires judicial modesty and deference to Congress; it also means recognizing the changing needs and demands of the populace. Indeed, the Constitution’s lasting brilliance is that its principles may be adapted to cope with unanticipated situations, and Breyer makes a powerful case against treating it as a static guide intended for a world that is dead and gone. Using contemporary examples from federalism to privacy to affirmative action, this is a vital contribution to the ongoing debate over the role and power of our courts.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Stephen Breyer

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Stephen Breyer is an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. He is a resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 176 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical, History, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Active Liberty

The New York Times

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Justice Stephen Breyer explains his judicial philosophy.

Feb 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Active Liberty: Interpreting ...

The New York Times

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Justice Stephen Breyer explains his judicial philosophy.

Feb 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Active Liberty: Interpreting ...

The New York Times

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In his clear and elegant new book, "Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution," based on his 2004 Tanner lectures at Harvard University (where he taught before becoming a federal judge), Breyer offers an extended reflection on why he would have deferred to Congress and upheld the s...

Feb 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Active Liberty: Interpreting ...

BC Books

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Significantly, an effort to answer those questions can produce a decision that is not only subjective but also unclear, lacking transparency about the factors that the judge considers truly significant.

Oct 08 2005 | Read Full Review of Active Liberty: Interpreting ...

BC Books

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Finally he takes a significant swipe at the literalist interpretative tradition First, the more "originalist" judges cannot appeal to the Framers themselves in support of their interpretive views....Why would the Framers have preferred (1) a system of interpretation that relies heavily on lingu...

Oct 08 2005 | Read Full Review of Active Liberty: Interpreting ...

http://www.truth-out.org

On February 14, 2006, the Associated Press quoted U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, while addressing the Federalist Society in Puerto Rico, as criticizing "those who believe in what he called the 'living Constitution.'" The specific quote from Scalia was: "[T]he argument of fle...

Mar 08 2006 | Read Full Review of Active Liberty: Interpreting ...

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