The Nature and Scope of Individual Rights provides historical context for the cases, articles and wide range of materials presented throughout the book. Readers explore how theories of social freedom and governance were developed and articulated in national debates on the most controversial matters of law and social science. Comparing specific legislation with purported state interests yields insights into judicial processes in those areas where law appears to operate without an obvious correlation between ends and means.
The book covers topics related to military conscription, euthanasia, capital punishment, monogamy, incest, marital and statutory rape, race, gender, sexual orientation, workplace privacy, and public response to the Patriot Act, as changes in domestic surveillance and telecommunications technology continue to transform the dialogue around privacy. Barnes ultimately encourages readers to consider how many of these debates are consistent with (or even worthy of) our highest aspirations in relation to liberty, autonomy and governance for the general welfare.
“Most law professors skip topics because of the fear of making our students uncomfortable… The genius of Barnes’ book is that it brings together so many of these topics that they become safer to cover… The materials are well-chosen and obviously provocative. The issues are central to our conception of self, family and society, and the concepts of right and wrong that animate the relationships. So, the only remaining question is: Do you have the courage to teach this course?” — Matthew Spitzer, University of Southern California Law School
“Professor Barnes is to be credited with constructing a textbook that is relevant in every sense of the term. Students learn best when they feel that they are learning issues that impact their own lives. The subset of constitutional law that is the focus of Professor Barnes’ book — intimate individual rights — and the author’s choice of materials will foster precisely this type of classroom experience.” — Terry Smith, Fordham University School of Law
If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.