Thinking Matters: Justice and the Constitution
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Thinking Matters: Justice and the Constitution

October 10, 2019


[MUSIC] There are three really large and really important values,
liberty, equality, and security. There’s lots of different ways of
understanding not merely what the value is but then how to relate
the values to each other. And so the class when we teach justice and
the constitution is navigating between these abstract
values and how to understand them and how they’re actually implemented or,
constructed within the law.>>Right.
And we did this with actual US Supreme Court
cases complicated debates around affirmative action.>>Mm-hm.
>>What is means to, provide opportunities for traditionally
disadvantaged groups, whether or not that is somehow constraining liberty,
whether or not it provides equality
in a meaningful way.>>Or let’s take another example that
often gets talked about today in the news, which is trying to provide new
mechanisms of school choice. One way from a political
philosophy perspective to understand school choice is to
ask whether the driving and most important value behind
school choice plans is liberty. It’s really important that parents
have the liberty to choose the kind of school that their children attend. A completely different way of interpreting
the importance of school choice is to say, no, no, it’s mainly about equality and
providing equal opportunity for children. We’re not interested
in making this like a, a debate where you can score points by
occupying some intellectual territory. Don’t tell me that it’s possible
to view the decision this way. We want to know what you actually
think at the end of the day. What is your sincere view about
this particular issue based on what we’ve learned. Don’t give me a debater’s point of view.>>Right.
>>Give me your view.>>Right.
I gotta say as a lawyer, this is where I think we can add a lot of
value to the conversation because I’ve got to make a decision. That judge has to make a decision. That legislative party has to
make a decision at some point. It’s based on imperfect information but
they’ve got to rule. They have to decide at some point. And we want to make sure that we’re
making the best decisions possible as, you know, faculty and students and
as really society here in the U.S. [MUSIC]

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  1. I absolutely love the concept of this class. But how do we go beyond the sincere opinion of students, and like Professor Koski says make a decision upon the discussion and start implementing that decision in our lives. Although I love the analysis and debating aspect of these complex issues, I think knowing how to influence the world with those decision made in the classroom is vital. I would love to hear you’re thoughts. Thanks. 

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