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Constitutional Goods$
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Alan Brudner

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199225798

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199225798.001.0001

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Social and Economic Rights

Social and Economic Rights

(p.242) 7 Social and Economic Rights
Constitutional Goods


Oxford University Press

This chapter distinguishes those egalitarian transformations of equality rights that are organic developments of liberal justice from those incompatible therewith. Section 1 discusses the libertarian contribution to liberal distributive justice by depicting the partial justice of market outcomes. Section 2 identifies constitutionally relevant interpersonal inequalites and argues for an egalitarian complement to market justice that libertarians ought, given their conception of individual worth, to accept. Section 3 suggests a principle for distinguishing between claims to social and economic equality whose satisfaction is required by law's rule and those inconsistent therewith. Section 4 discusses the enforceability of social and economic entitlements by courts and suggests a principle for distinguishing between permissible and impermissible judicial activism. Section 5 exhibits in both legal doctrine and legal theory the despotic implications of a fundamentalist egalitarianism and depicts the logical transition from the constitution of equality to the constitution of community.

Keywords:   socio-economic rights, distributive justice, market justice, egalitarianism, equal opportunity, moral independence, civil independence, self-actualization, reverse discrimination, judicial activism

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