The Supreme Court and Fundamental Freedoms

The Supreme Court and Fundamental Freedoms

The Supreme Court and Fundamental Freedoms

The Supreme Court and Fundamental Freedoms

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to analyze in brief compass the role of the Supreme Court of the United States as guardian of those constitutional liberties which are assumed to be fundamental both to the well-being of the individual and to the effective operation of democratic institutions. It is regarded as an underlying assumption of the American constitutional system that the liberties of speech, press, assembly and religion, and freedom from arbitrary and unjust discrimination by public authority are essential to the realization of these objectives.

Unfortunately, limitations of space have made it necessary to confine the book to the consideration of those civil liberties which are deemed to be peculiarly fundamental to the realization of the ideals and principles of political democracy. Thus procedural rights have been given only incidental consideration, not because they are not considered important but rather because they are considered less important to the purposes of this work than the substantive rights mentioned.

It is hoped that the book will be useful both to the student of American government and constitutional law, and to the interested general reader.

It is a pleasure to register here my indebtedness to two friends and colleagues, Profesor Robert J. Harris, of Vanderbilt University, and Dean F. D. G. Ribble, of the University of Virginia Law School. The former read the entire manuscript, and the latter read Chapters 1, 3, and 4. Both not only made helpful suggestions for improving the manuscript, but also gave generous encouragement that the book was worthy of publication. Neither, of course, is in any way responsible for its shortcomings. I am also deeply grateful to the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences . . .

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