The Making of a Libertarian, Contrarian, Nonobservant, but Self-Identified Jew

Randy E. Barnett

Georgetown University Law Center


Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Forthcoming

Many academics are unaware that I am Jewish, no doubt due, in part, to my last name as well as to my politics, Yet growing up as a Jew in Polish-Catholic Calumet City, Illinois and as a kid from Calumet City attending Temple in Hammond, Indiana made me quite conscious of the tyranny of the majority. This environment, together with the influence of my father, had a deep affect on my views of liberty, justice, individual rights, and the U.S. Constitution. In this brief essay, prepared for a symposium on “Judaism and Constitutional Law: People of the Book,” held at the DePaul University College of Law, I explain how being a contrarian Jew has affected my academic agenda, my scholarly commitments, and the future direction of my work. I also suggest implications of my latest work on Our Republican Constitution for Judaism itself.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 7

Keywords: Jew, Jewish, Judaism, libertarian, contrarian, constitutional law, legal theory, political theory

JEL Classification: K00, K30, K39

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Date posted: April 15, 2014 ; Last revised: January 13, 2015

Suggested Citation

Barnett, Randy E., The Making of a Libertarian, Contrarian, Nonobservant, but Self-Identified Jew (2015). Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2423397

Contact Information

Randy E. Barnett (Contact Author)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9936 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.randybarnett.com
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