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Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places – Why State Constitutions Contain America's Positive Rights - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America's Positive Rights

Emily Zackin


Unlike many national constitutions, which contain explicit positive rights to such things as education, a living wage, and a healthful environment, the U.S. Bill of Rights appears to contain only a long list of prohibitions on government. American constitutional rights, we are often told, protect people only from an overbearing government, but give no explicit guarantees of governmental help. This book argues that we have fundamentally misunderstood the American rights tradition. The United States actually has a long history of enshrining positive rights in its constitutional law, but these ri ... More

Keywords: constitutional law, U.S. Bill of Rights, constitutional rights, U.S. Constitution, state governments, state constitutions, capitalism, positive rights, activists

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780691155777
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691155777.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Emily Zackin, author
Hunter College, The City College of New York