© 2016

Constitutional Rights -What They Are and What They Ought to Be


  • Combines a theory of the nature of constitutional rights with ongoing debates about controversial examples

  • Clarifies the crucial issues and assesses the relevant pro and con arguments

  • Argues that there are four main classes of constitutional rights, not just two as is usually assumed in the US


Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 115)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Carl Wellman
    Pages 1-17
  3. Carl Wellman
    Pages 19-29
  4. Carl Wellman
    Pages 31-74
  5. Carl Wellman
    Pages 75-102
  6. Carl Wellman
    Pages 103-157
  7. Carl Wellman
    Pages 159-193
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 195-197

About this book


This work explains the nature of constitutional rights. It does so by means of an analysis of the nature of law in general, the nature of constitutions, and the nature of rights. It looks in detail at several aspects of constitutional law, rights and institutions, as well as aspects related to public officials, private persons and associations. In addition, the book critically examines a considerable number of debates about whether some actual or proposed constitutional rights ought to be established and maintained in the United States constitution. It then identifies the kinds of reasons that justify or fail to justify constitutional rights. The book advances the debate and makes a contribution to the theory and the practice of constitutional rights.


Constitutional Rights Constitutional Law Constitutional Institutions Separation of Powers Presidential System Bicameral Legislature Same-Sex Marriage Constitution of the United States Bill of Rights Constitutional rights and their moral foundations Civil right of private persons Freedom of speech Civil rights and administrative law Human rights Administrative law

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentWashington University in Saint LouisSaint LouisUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Constitutional Rights -What They Are and What They Ought to Be
  • Authors Carl Wellman
  • Series Title Law and Philosophy Library
  • Series Abbreviated Title Law,Philosophy Library
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-31525-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-81057-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-31526-3
  • Series ISSN 1572-4395
  • Series E-ISSN 2215-0315
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VIII, 197
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy of Law
    Constitutional Law
    Political Theory
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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