Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Publication Information

49 Rev. Pol. 112 (1987) (book review)


In Liberalism and American Constitutional Law, Rogers M. Smith of Yale University takes stock of the American liberal tradition and its impact on the Supreme Court's constitutional jurisprudence. It argues that the tradition's political vision lacks philosophical coherence and that our constitutional law, by reflecting this incoherence, has failed to provide the legal community with a public philosophy suited to the needs of American society in the late twentieth century.His goal is to demonstrate the superiority of "rational liberty," both as a philosophical theory and practical guide to constitutional policymaking, over three major competing versions of liberal constitutionalism. To wit: majoritarian democracy, higher law traditionalism, and liberal egalitarianism.



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