Political and Constitutional Obligation
Louis Michael Seidman
Georgetown University Law Center
Boston University Law Review, Vol. 93, pp. 1257-1281, 2013
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 13-029
In his provocative, courageous, and original new book, "Against Obligation: The Multiple Sources of Authority in a Liberal Democracy," Abner Greene argues that there is “no successful general case for a presumptive (or ‘prima facie’) moral duty to obey the law.” In my own book, "On Constitutional Disobedience," I argue that there is no moral duty to obey our foundational law – the Constitution of the United States. This brief article, prepared for a symposium on the two books to be published by the Boston University Law Review, I address three issues related to these claims. First, I discuss what seem to me to be important ambiguities in and problems with Professor Greene’s argument. Second, I defend my own stance against criticisms advanced by Greene and others. Third, I explore the relationship between his claims and mine.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: constitution, obligation, obedience
JEL Classification: K00, K30, K39Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 19, 2013 ; Last revised: October 28, 2013
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