On Human Rights and Majority Politics: Felix Frankfurter's Democratic Theory
31 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2019 Last revised: 17 Oct 2019
Date Written: January 20, 2019
This symposium piece is primarily a reading of Felix Frankfurter's dissent in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, attempting to draw some lessons from his theory of majoritarian rights for our own moment of crisis for the human rights movement. The situations then and now are only partly comparable, but Frankfurter's call for allowing democratic processes to self-correct even when elite shortcuts beckon—including when it comes to defining and protecting rights—provides food for thought.
Note: This is a first draft; comments welcome.
Keywords: Human Rights, Democracy, Majority Rule, Felix Frankfurter
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