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Justice Kennedy's Jurisprudence: The Full and Necessary Meaning of Liberty

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

To understand today's Supreme Court, it is essential to understand the judicial philosophy of its swing vote. For twenty years, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy has voted with the majority more than any of his colleagues. He has provided the deciding vote in cases involving politically charged issues such as affirmative action, the 2000 presidential election, religious expression, gay rights, and executive power to detain suspected terrorists. With a record reliably neither liberal nor conservative, Kennedy has generally been viewed as a capricious, indecisive moderate.

Frank Colucci, however, argues that Kennedy indeed displays a coherent approach to constitutional interpretation. Colucci digs deep into the Justice's record, offering a close analysis of not only of Kennedy's opinions on the Court but also his prior opinions on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, his off-the-bench speeches delivered before becoming a Justice, and his testimony at confirmation hearings. Colucci identifies Kennedy's core belief: that judges have a duty to ensure the word liberty in the Constitution be given its full and necessary meaning.

Colucci shows that Kennedy rejects theories of originalism and judicial restraint. Instead, Kennedy adopts a moral reading of the Constitution—similar to that championed by Ronald Dworkin and Randy Barnett as well as former Justice William J. Brennan—in which liberty and human dignity trump even democracy.

Depicting Kennedy as seeking an alternative to the perceived excesses of both the Warren Court and originalist overreaction, Colucci also compares Kennedy's rhetoric to Catholic teaching and shows him as struggling to disassociate his personal beliefs from his official duties. Separate chapters offer close readings of Kennedy's jurisprudence regarding abortion, free speech, equality, and government structure.

Colucci's persuasive account offers readers a more nuanced understanding of Justice Kennedy's arguments about the nature of personal liberty and the proper role of courts in defining and enforcing it.

Synopsis:

Examines the judicial philosophy of Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who has been the critical swing vote on the Court for the last 20 years.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

1. Liberty, Dignity, and Personality

2. Still Struggling: Anthony Kennedy and Abortion

3. Kennedy's Expansive Conception of Free Speech

4. Kennedy's Equality of Neutral Individualism

5. Splitting the Atom of Sovereignty: Dignity and Divided Power

Conclusion: Liberty above Democracy

Appendix A:. Transcription of Kennedy's handwritten note Blackmun, June 21, 1990

Appendix B. Transcription of Blackmun's notes from meeting with Kennedy, May 30, 1992

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780700616626
Subtitle:
The Full and Necessary Meaning of Liberty
Author:
Colucci, Frank J.
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Subject:
Civil rights -- United States.
Subject:
Kennedy, Anthony M.
Subject:
Constitutional
Subject:
Jurisprudence
Subject:
Government - Judicial Branch
Subject:
Courts - Supreme Court
Subject:
Law-Legal Guides and Reference
Publication Date:
20090903
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.20x6.18x.88 in. 1.15 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » Constitutional Law
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Law » Legal Guides and Reference
History and Social Science » Politics » General

Justice Kennedy's Jurisprudence: The Full and Necessary Meaning of Liberty New Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages University Press of Kansas - English 9780700616626 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Examines the judicial philosophy of Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who has been the critical swing vote on the Court for the last 20 years.
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