Justice and Empathy


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Toward a Constitutional Ideal

Robert A. Burt; Edited and Introduced by Frank Iacobucci; Foreword by Robert C. Post

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An impassioned argument for the role of courts as a moral and social agent for change and protecting the vulnerable

The Supreme Court long considered its highest mission to be the protection of individual liberty from intrusion by government, but the court shifted its focus to social and economic equality. Constitutional scholar Robert A. Burt explores this shift and its implications, especially for the legal protection of the vulnerable. Crucial to Burt’s perspective is his unconventional view of the role of judges—not simply to decide disputes, but to promote a respectful dialogue leading to a genuine understanding between parties.

Robert A. Burt (1939–2015) was Alexander M. Bickel Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale University. The Honorable Frank Iacobucci is a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Robert C. Post, formerly dean of Yale Law School, is Sol and Lillian Goldman Professor of Law at Yale University.

"We can only regret that we won’t be able to engage in a deliberative dialogue with Bo Burt about his provocative meditation about how insights from psychoanalysis can inform the judicial development of public law."—Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School

"Justice and Empathy is an original and compelling psychoanalytic account of how judges can further deeply held constitutional ideals by mediating social conflict with empathy and insight.  A provocative new look at constitutional law and essential reading for anyone interested in the psychological underpinnings of law."—Anne C. Dailey, University of Connecticut
ISBN: 9780300224269
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
248 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
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