Liberty for All


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Reclaiming Individual Privacy in a New Era of Public Morality

Elizabeth Price Foley

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In the opening chapter of this book, Elizabeth Price Foley writes, “The slow, steady, and silent subversion of the Constitution has been a revolution that Americans appear to have slept through, unaware that the blessings of liberty bestowed upon them by the founding generation were being eroded.” She proceeds to explain how, by abandoning the founding principles of limited government and individual liberty, we have become entangled in a labyrinth of laws that regulate virtually every aspect of behavior and limit what we can say, read, see, consume, and do. Foley contends that the United States has become a nation of too many laws where citizens retain precious few pockets of individual liberty.

With a close analysis of urgent constitutional questions—abortion, physician-assisted suicide, medical marijuana, gay marriage, cloning, and U.S. drug policy—Foley shows how current constitutional interpretation has gone astray. Without the bias of any particular political agenda, she argues convincingly that we need to return to original conceptions of the Constitution and restore personal freedoms that have gradually diminished over time.

Elizabeth Price Foley is professor of law, Florida International University College of Law. She lives in Key Largo, FL.

"In this book, Professor Foley systematically describes how traditional governmental approaches to various cultural institutions and customs (marriage, sex, reproduction, medical care, and food/drugs/alcohol) deny specific fundamental liberties, and in so doing proves her point that ‘instead of a land of individual liberty and … tolerance, America has become a land of public morality and intolerance.’ Foley's book provides indispensable guiding principles for limited government and personal sovereignty we can only wish America’s leaders would (and may again one day) embrace."—Michael Anthony Lawrence, Michigan State University College of Law


"Elizabeth Price Foley's path-breaking account of the Founders' views of ‘individual sovereignty’ and the limits this entails for both federal and state power is well worth the price of the book. Her powerful advocacy of the American ‘morality of law,’ as embodied in the Constitution, is a compelling antidote to those who would limit personal liberty by appealing to ‘public morality.’ A must read for everyone interested in how the Constitution is supposed to protect individual liberties."—Randy Barnett, author of Restoring the Lost Constitution and The Structure of Liberty





"Elizabeth Foley has authored a slim and provocative volume, making a persuasive case that much of contemporary constitutional law thinking is mistaken. It's the most engaging book on constitutional law I've read in quite a while."—Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Tennessee

“This book will surprise and unsettle everyone who reads it. It grabs hold of some of the most familiar precedents and principles in constitutional law and shakes them hard, as if in a kaleidoscope. It then invites us all to look at them again, harder and better. It is that rare work of scholarship that really does earn the title, original. It is learned, eccentric, cogent, and provocative, all at once. And it leaves me thinking that Professor Foley may well be right in her radical reinterpretation of constitutional liberty.”—Tom Gerety, Collegiate Professor, New York University and President Emeritus, Amherst College


Winner of the 2006 Lysander Spooner Award given by Laissez Faire Books
ISBN: 9780300191455
Publication Date: July 28, 2012
304 pages, 6 x 9