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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Jeremy Waldron’s Law and Disagreement (1999) is a landmark work in jurisprudence and in democratic theory. In retrospect, it also constitutes an intervention into a methodological debate over the aims of political theory, defending the study of institutions over work attending to the ends and ideals of a good society. A crucial insight of LD is the value of equal respect for the judgment of citizens and of legislatures. By entrenching rights in constitutions, and by shifting interpretive authority to courts via judicial review, framers and judges assert moral and epistemic priority over elected representatives and citizens. This priority is unwarranted, given the ineliminable character of political disagreement, and may entail a form of disrespect. Yet Waldron himself provides a sanitized account of legislatures, one that may prevent LD from fully realizing his vision of political political theory.

Keywords: judicial review, legislatures, democratic theory, jurisprudence, equal respect, disagreement, rights

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