The Negative Constitution: A Critique

Part I describes the current approach, which demands adherence to the notion of a negative constitution. Part II critiques the assumptions underlying the current approach and demonstrates its undesirable consequences in decisional law. Part III explores the tenacious barriers to recognition of affirmative governmental duties: the constitutional, philosophical, and common law roots of the notion of a negative constitution, as well as the belief that recognizing affirmative duties would be an invitation to chaos. Finally, Part IV proposes discarding the rhetoric of negative rights and suggests an approach for constructing a theory better designed to effectuate constitutional goals.