In Defense of Equality: A Reply to Professor Westen

Part I of this essay analyzes Professor Westen’s arguments that the concept of equality is unnecessary. My contention is that Professor Westen never demonstrates that equality is meaningless; his arguments only prove the obvious, that equality by itself is insufficient. Part II argues that equality is a necessary principle: It is the only concept that tells us that different treatment of people does matter. Part III addresses Professor Westen’s suggestion that equality is misleading and points out that none of his criticisms of the idea of equality are in any way inherent to that concept. Finally, Part IV demonstrates that even Professor Westen does not do away with equality. He merely hides the concept under a different label.