Should We Value Legislative Integrity?
25 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2004
Date Written: September 27, 2004
This essay challenges the widely held view that legislative integrity is a distinct political ideal. According to this ideal, lawmakers should try to make the total set of laws they enact as morally coherent as possible. I advance two types of arguments against this ideal. First, I try to show that the ideal of legislative integrity is directly at odds with the value of pluralism and the commitment of a liberal state to respect reasonable pluralism. Second, I explore the main causes of the failure of legislative integrity in democratic legislatures, arguing that there is nothing regrettable about these causes, on the contrary, they manifest commendable aspects of democratic law making.
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