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Jedediah Purdy @JedediahSPurdy
, 10 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1/ I really appreciated the chance to write this for @nytopinion: what a constitutionalism for the resurgent left should look like, and why it's important to think about it now, in a time when many are very down about the courts & Constitution. nyti.ms/2N26ShB
2/ The pillars: a strong right to vote for everyone; taking economic power & economic citizenship seriously (including abortion funding); a new generation of criminal justice reform that reaches racialized policing & money bail; & protections for non-citizens in US institutions
3/ I understand anti-courts sentiment now. I've written before that courts have too much unaccountable power. Keeping courts out of policy disputes where they don't belong, like the Medicaid expansion & campaign finance, is part of a constitutional vision.
4/ But courts & the Constitution are key parts of US politics & government, & every political wave has had a vision for them. The pillars I suggest are all linked to the priorities of the current progressive resurgence, spelled out in jurisprudence.
5/ I also get the worry about politicizing the courts, but the myth that they don't have politics has served us poorly & led to a lot of bad-faith argument. I prefer starting with what Justice Robert Jackson wrote in a popular book (with Knopf) the year FDR put him on the Court:
6/ The Court is unavoidably part of power politics, working at the juncture the two great forces in US life: democratic power & economic power. Justices, & those who put them there, should be able to say what they see as the basic stakes of law in politics...
7/ ... and what role the Constitution and courts have in giving them a good shape.
8/ Anything good in here is owing in good part to joint work at the @LPEblog on thinking about principle & power, economy & democracy, all in a single picture with law near the center. This is a small point in an intellectual movement where I'm lucky to be thinking with...
9/ @akapczynski @ksabeelrahman David Grewal, @samuelmoyn @linamkhan Angela Harris, @droithmayr @FrankPasquale @GaneshSitaraman W. Forbath, Cary Franklin, Joey Fishkin, & too many more to name.
10/ Bottom line: principles always arise partly from the struggles & hopes of the time, & are braided with the contest for power--sometimes in resisting it, sometimes in exercising it. Any constitutional vision is part of all this, & any politics in the US will have such a vision
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