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1998

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Rights Against Rules: The Moral Structure Of American Constitutional Law, Matthew D. Adler Jan 1998

Rights Against Rules: The Moral Structure Of American Constitutional Law, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

Constitutional rights are conventionally thought to be "personal" rights. The successful constitutional litigant is thought to have a valid claim that some constitutional wrong has or would be been done "to her"; the case of "overbreadth," where a litigant prevails even though her own conduct is permissibly regulated, is thought to be unique to the First Amendment. This "personal" or "as-applied" view of constitutional adjudication has been consistently and pervasively endorsed by the Supreme Court, and is standardly adopted by legal scholars.

In this Article, I argue that the conventional view is incorrect. Constitutional rights, I claim, are rights against ...