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The Myth of RightsThe Purposes and Limits of Constitutional Rights$
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Ashutosh Bhagwat

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377781

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377781.001.0001

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The Myth of Rights

The Myth of Rights

Of Aliens, Corporations, and Guns

(p.1) 1 The Myth of Rights
The Myth of Rights


Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of the focus of the book, which is the provisions and amendments of the Constitution that are generally understood to grant the most important individual rights: the First Amendment, which is said to create the rights of free speech, freedom of assembly, free exercise of religion, and separation of church and state (i.e., no establishment of religion); the Second Amendment, which speaks of a right to keep and bear arms; and the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which are said to give rights to due process of law and to the equal protection of the laws. It examines some specific examples of important modern constitutional controversies, which are illuminated by analyzing them in terms of appropriate limits on governmental power, rather than in terms of individual rights.

Keywords:   U.S. Constitution, state action, positive rights, Second Amendment, constitutional rights

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