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slavery, constitutional evil, morality, legal history, political science, political philosophy


Jack Balkin’s Constitutional Redemption and Sandy Levinson’s Constitutional Faith understand the problem of constitutional evil quite differently than Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil. Balkin and Levinson regard constitutional redemption and faith as rooted in the possibility that Americans will eventually defeat evil. Constitutional Evil takes the far more pessimistic view that evil will never be defeated. Constitutional faith and redemption in our permanently fallen state is rooted in the possibility that Americans will find ways of living with each other peaceably knowing that the price of union is the continual obligation to make what the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison described as “a convenant with death, and an agreement with hell.”

Publication Citation

71 Maryland Law Review 101 (2012).


Constitutional Law