This book limits its claim to substantive rights—namely, rights that impede governmental action in the interest of individual freedom. It also captures the doctrinal framework the Supreme Court employs to wrestle with modern cases touching substantive rights and to identify and analyze the many hard questions that doctrine calls on the justices to make in order to clarify the true meaning of the individual rights their decisions elaborate. Justices of the Supreme Court can rest their pronouncements of constitutional meaning on an objective foundation that cabins their personal predilections. They are also constrained by the conventions of legal practice, collegial decision making, and opinion-writing. The book also makes a sustained effort to establish rational instrumentalism as the doctrinal guide to the content of substantive rights. An overview of the chapters included in the book is finally given.
Keywords: substantive rights, individual freedom, Supreme Court, justices, rational instrumentalism