State Speech and Political Liberalism (Reviewing Books by Jim Fleming and Linda Mcclain, and by Corey Brettschneider)
28 Constitutional Commentary 421 (2013)
15 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2013 Last revised: 17 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 11, 2013
In their book, Ordered Liberty: Rights, Responsibilities, and Virtues, Jim Fleming and Linda McClain offer, among other things, a thin perfectionist view of state speech, according to which the state may and should use persuasive power to promote citizen autonomy, but not to steer in one direction or another. In his book, When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?, Corey Brettschneider similarly offers a non-directive view of state speech, except that the state should focus on promoting the ideal of free and equal citizenship. In this review essay, Greene suggests that both books offer versions of comprehensive liberalism, that we would be better off developing a conception of state speech that is true to political liberalism, and that such a view would support a more pluralistic view of what the state may say.
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