Saturday, June 30, 2012

Jack Balkin on why institutions count

Politically, society is orded by a social compact through its institutions. When those institutions and their arrangements are established by law, the social compact become a social contract, and it is enforceable in law. The social compact is otherwise carried out through custom and social pressure to conform to custom. These two terms are often used interchangeably without drawing this distinction. I believe that this is a mistake.

Prof. Balkin's point, generally correct, I believe, is that the social compact changes over time and those changes are eventually reflected in formal changes to the social contract through laws, regulation, and judicial interpretation.

Read it at Balkinization
The Health Care Case and the Social Contract
by Jack Balkin | Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School

1 comment:

John Zelnicker said...

The Atlantic article he wrote and links to is excellent.