Chapter 9. Constitutional Law and Equality

  1. Dennis Patterson Professor2,3,4
  1. Maimon Schwarzschild Professor member

Published Online: 27 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320114.ch9

A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition

A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition

How to Cite

Schwarzschild, M. (2010) Constitutional Law and Equality, in A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition (ed D. Patterson), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444320114.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 2

    European University Institute, Florence, Italy

  2. 3

    Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, New Jersey, USA

  3. 4

    Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom

Author Information

  1. University of San Diego School of Law, Alcala Park, San Diego, California, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2010
  2. Published Print: 19 MAR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405170062

Online ISBN: 9781444320114



  • constitutional law and equality;
  • enlightenment and its antecedents;
  • Jewish and Christian sides of Western heritage - egalitarian and inegalitarian tendencies;
  • secular Enlightenment - source for modern ideals of equality;
  • Enlightenment thinkers - putting high value on individual as a person with natural rights;
  • radical critique and radical dilemma - great inequality of condition;
  • John Rawls's book A Theory of Justice - reflecting resurgence of egalitarian radicalism;
  • equality of resources, for Dworkin - people's unequal talents and luck not to produce inequalities of wealth;
  • equality of capabilities - theoretical criticism of capability egalitarianism;
  • equality unmodified or spheres of justice


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Enlightenment and Its Antecedents

  • Equal Rights and American Constitutional Law

  • Liberty and Equality under the Constitution

  • The Radical Critique and the Radical Dilemma

  • Rawls

  • Dworkin

  • Equality of Capabilities

  • Equality Unmodified or Spheres of Justice

  • Is Equality a Value?

  • References