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2006

National Security Law

University of Michigan Law School

Burke (Edmond)

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Burkean Minimalism, Cass R. Sunstein Nov 2006

Burkean Minimalism, Cass R. Sunstein

Michigan Law Review

Burkean minimalism has long played an important role in constitutional law. Like other judicial minimalists, Burkeans believe in rulings that are at once narrow and theoretically unambitious; what Burkeans add is an insistence on respect for traditional practices and an intense distrust of those who would renovate social practices by reference to moral or political reasoning of their own. An understanding of the uses and limits of Burkean minimalism helps to illuminate a number of current debates, including those involving substantive due process, the Establishment Clause, and the power of the president to protect national security. Burkean minimalists oppose, and …