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Looking for Rights in All the Wrong PlacesWhy State Constitutions Contain America's Positive Rights$
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Emily Zackin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155777

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155777.001.0001

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Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places

Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places
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Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places
Author(s):

Emily Zackin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691155777.003.0001

This book examines the nature and political origins of America's positive constitutional rights. It is widely assumed that constitutional rights in the United States protect people from government alone, not to mandate that government to protect them from other sorts of dangers. In other words, America is often believed to be exceptional in its lack of positive rights and its exclusive devotion to negative ones. The book challenges this conventional wisdom about the nature of America's constitutional rights by focusing on three political movements: the campaign for education rights, the movement for positive labor rights, and the push for constitutional rights to environmental protection during the 1960s and 1970s. Together, these cases demonstrate that rights movements in the United States have used state constitutions for reasons that have been largely overlooked by theories of constitutional politics.

Keywords:   constitutional rights, positive rights, political movements, education rights, labor rights, environmental protection, state constitutions, rights movements, United States, constitutional politics

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