Emily Zackin shows how they instead have been included in America's state constitutions, in large part because state governments, not the federal government, have long been primarily responsible for crafting American social policy. Although state constitutions, seemingly mired in trivial detail, can look like pale imitations of their federal counterpart, they have been sites of serious debate, reflect national concerns, and enshrine choices about fundamental values. Zackin looks in depth at the history of education, labor, and environmental reform, explaining why America's activists targeted state constitutions in their struggles for government protection from the hazards of life under capitalism.
Shedding much-needed light on the variety of reasons that activists pursued the creation of new state-level rights, Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places challenges us to rethink our most basic assumptions about the American constitutional tradition.
|Emily Zackin (credit)|
"Emily Zackin argues that the United States has a long history of positive rights protection, created and fostered by political outsiders who wanted to change society and disrupt the status quo. We will find this tradition not in the federal constitution, but in our country's many state constitutions. This is a crucially important book revealing an unjustly neglected feature of America's constitutional traditions."--Jack M. Balkin, Yale Law SchoolThe TOC:
"This is an extremely important book that will be widely discussed. One of the pathologies of the standard approach to American constitutionalism is its exclusive focus on the U.S. Constitution and the concomitant ignorance of the rich materials to be found in the literally dozens of American state constitutions. This book will be an extremely important wake-up call for most readers."--Sanford Levinson, author of Constitutional Faith
Chapter 1: Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places 1The first chapter is available here.
Chapter 2: Of Ski Trails and State Constitutions: Silly Details or Serious Principles? 18
Chapter 3: Defining Positive Rights 36
Chapter 4: Why Write New Rights?: Understanding Constitutional Development Apart From Entrenchment 48
Chapter 5: Education: A Long Tradition of Positive Rights in America 67
Chapter 6: Workers' Rights: Constitutional Protections Where (and When) We Would Least Expect Them 106
Chapter 7: Environmental Protection: Positive Constitutional Rights in the Late Twentieth Century 146
Chapter 8: Conclusion 197