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What should society or individuals do when the compelling dictates of personal conscience conflict with the law? To what extent should lawyers and lawmakers be influenced by considerations of morality? Are there principles that go beyond legal jurisdiction to justify acts of civil disobedience? Is it right to violate the laws of society when they are opposed to personal moral convictions? Is it ever appropriate for religious considerations to influence lawyers or the law?
Few questions have had and will continue to have a more compelling effect on the human community. For this reason the editors have brought together this collection of intellectually stimulating articles, which grapple with the tough issues involving morality, justice, and the law.
Part One contains articles on the connection between morality and the law by such eminent thinkers as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Cass R. Sunstein, and others. Part Two focuses on issues of morality and lawyering by looking at such questions as how lawyers should represent clients with whom they disagree ethically and how criminal defense lawyers can represent guilty clients. This section also addresses the recent law and religion movement.
Part Three addresses the question concerning when civil disobedience is justified and includes an important essay by Ronald Dworkin. Part Four explores moral and legal questions related to capital punishment and includes the Supreme Court's most recent decision on capital punishment, in which the majority and the dissent had radically different views. Finally, Part Five examines the highly charged debate about immigration. This balanced anthology will be of interest to philosophers, legal scholars, and anyone concerned about the relation of law to morality.
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M. Katherine B. Darmer (Anaheim, CA) is professor of law at the Chapman University School of Law and formerly an Assistant United States Attorney in New York, NY. She is the coeditor (with Robert M. Baird and Stuart E. Rosenbaum) of Civil Liberties vs. National Security in a Post-9/11 World and the coeditor (with Robert M. Baird) of Homosexuality: Debating the Issues.
Robert M. Baird (Waco, TX) is a professor and the former chair of the philosophy department at Baylor University. He is co-series editor with Stuart E. Rosenbaum of Prometheus's Contemporary Issues series.
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