The United States is generally believed to be a liberal, rights-based culture. In such a society, according to Richard S. Markovits, arguments of moral principle dominate legal discourse. Markovits analyzes various rights related to our society's basic duties of showing appropriate, equal respect for all creatures capable of moral integrity and appropriate, equal concern for their actualizing this potential. By taking moral- and legal-rights arguments seriously, the book counters the tendencies of legal academics to substitute non-right-focused policy analysis for rights analysis and of judges to indulge their own political preferences under the guide of executing arcane, morally-disconnected "legal analysis." Ranging widely and covering in depth such flashpoint issues as educational rights, minimum real-income rights, privacy rights, abortion, parenting, sexual liberties, and the right to die, Matters of Principle is a deeply engaged and thoughtful work, certain to be controversial and much debated.
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