I previously likened Kant’s categorical imperative to a kind of procedural justice. Due process and kindred notions are one place where it seems to be — at least in part — implicitly recognized by practitioners of law that rational ethics is a higher authority than any law, agency, or official. I have in mind not the particular historical form embodied in the U.S. Constitution, but the general idea. On the other hand, as I glance at the history, it does seem that what I think of as the general idea — construed as limiting the authority of laws, governments, and their agents — was in fact especially developed in the American legal tradition. This is a precious thing that should be protected, along with civil rights and civil liberties.
Published by Christopher Brinkley