Why We Vote (Inalienable Rights) (Hardcover)
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In Why We Vote, renowned legal scholar Owen Fiss offers a bold and daring reconstruction of judicial doctrine that gives expression to the democratic aspirations of the US Constitution. Fiss argues that embedded within the Constitution is a commitment to democracy, and that over the course of the twentieth century, the Supreme Court brought to fruition the principle that allows those who are ruled to choose their rulers. Each chapter focuses on Supreme Court cases that enlarged the freedom that democracy generates. Fiss points to rulings that allowed citizens to vote, facilitated the exercise of their right to vote, ensured the equality of votes, and provided feasible access to the ballot for independent candidates and new political parties. He celebrates these decisions and at the same time insists upon shifting the ground upon which these decisions rest--from equal protection of the laws to the recognition of a federal constitutional right to vote. Given the threat of democratic backsliding in a nation that has the world's oldest democratic constitution, Fiss's analysis and message are more important than ever.
About the Author
Owen Fiss is Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale University. He clerked for Thurgood Marshall when he served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and later for William J. Brennan, Jr. on the Supreme Court. Fiss also served in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice from 1966 to 1968. He is the author of many books, including The Law As It Could Be, The Irony of Free Speech, and Pillars of Justice. In 2020, the American Philosophical Society awarded Fiss the Henry M. Phillips Prize for his lifetime achievement in jurisprudence.