Friday, September 25, 2009

Hilbink on Conservatism and the Making of Rights in Modern America

The Right’s Revolution?: Conservatism and the Making of Rights in Modern America, is a new article by Thomas Hilbink, Open Society Institute. It appears in Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (2009). Here's the abstract:

While many see the 1960s as the era of a ‘‘rights revolution’’ in American law, this article looks back from the present moment of conservative legal dominance to better understand the ways in which conservative ideas began to grow during the heyday of legal liberalism. Using recent histories of post-1945 grassroots conservatism, the author argues that conservative rights claims – while often legally questionable – constituted for many a powerful and persuasive understanding of the Constitution. Due to this popular conservative jurisprudence’s endurance and influence, its existence in the 1960s forces reconsideration of understandings of the 1960s as the era of the ‘‘rights revolution.’’

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