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Liberty for AllReclaiming Individual Privacy in a New Era of Public Morality$
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Elizabeth Price Foley

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300109832

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300109832.001.0001

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Introduction: A Nation of Laws, Not Men

Introduction: A Nation of Laws, Not Men

(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction: A Nation of Laws, Not Men
Liberty for All

Elizabeth Price Foley

Yale University Press

This book explores individual privacy versus public morality and whether an individual should be at liberty to act in a manner that does not harm others but is offensive to many. It considers whether the public, acting through its elected representatives, may enact laws restricting individual liberty because the majority believe that the act is offensive or immoral. The book discusses the significance of limited government and residual individual sovereignty—two foundational principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution—and how they manifest a morality of American law itself. It looks at ordinary laws, which are subordinate to the Constitution and often reflect public morality, and whether they are legitimate exercises of governmental power. The book argues that public morality-based laws are immoral exercises of governmental power and inconsistent with the morality of American law.

Keywords:   privacy, public morality, individual liberty, law, limited government, residual individual sovereignty, Constitution, governmental power

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