Ronald Dworkin, Legal Philosopher, Dies at 81

Professor Dworkin’s central argument started with the premise that the crucial phrases in the Constitution — “the freedom of speech,” “due process of law,” “equal protection of the laws” — were, as he put it, “drafted in exceedingly abstract moral language.”

“These clauses,” he continued, “must be understood in the way their language most naturally suggests: they refer to abstract moral principles and incorporate these by reference, as limits on the government’s power.”

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