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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

5 - Protecting Rights to Enter


Are individual rights, as understood, enjoyed, and deployed in American liberal legal culture, a danger to civil society? As briefly discussed in Chapter 1, for almost forty years, critical legal scholars have argued that while individual rights provide some protections to the individuals and corporations that hold them against an overreaching state, they also damage rather than support our aspirations for equality, by insulating, legitimating, or valorizing the private realm and the subordinating consequences of the individual’s rights-protected behavior within it. According to their many critics from the critical legal studies, feminist legal theory, and critical race theory movements of the last half century, individual rights, whatever good they do, also legitimate inequality. Chapter 1 of this book detailed these critiques in the context of antidiscrimination rights.