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Taking Rights Seriously

“If the provisions of the Constitution be not upheld when they pinch as well as when they comfort, they may as well be abandoned.” — Justice George Sutherland (1862-1942)

In his 2008 book “Taking Rights Seriously,” the late professor Ronald Dworkin explored the origins and governmental treatment of human liberty. He argued that Thomas Jefferson — who wrote the Declaration of Independence — and James Madison — the scrivener at the Constitutional Convention and the author of the Bill of Rights — were clear in their articulations that the premise of America at its birth is that our rights are personal and natural because they come from our humanity, not from the government.

Dworkin also recognized that government, which is essentially the negation of liberty, is only moral and valid when it enjoys the consent of the governed, respects individual rights as inalienable and interferes with them only after it proves fault to a jury at a fair trial.

The Dworkin

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Author
Andrew Napolitano
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is the author of seven books on the U.S. Constitution, two of which have been New York Times best sellers. Judge Napolitano has been Fox News’ Senior Judicial Analyst since 1998 and he is nationally known for watching and reporting on the government as it takes liberty and property.