Dworkin's View Of Political Integrity Essay

702 words - 3 pages

As Dworkin introduces his idea of political integrity, he begins by introducing his conception of three political ideals: fairness, justice, and procedural due process. According to his claims, a utopian society would only need these ideals to thrive because officials consistently doing what was perfectly just and fair would guarantee coherence. In our system of ordinary politics, Dworkin feels that integrity need be accepted as a fourth political ideal, if we accept it at all. In his definition of political integrity, Dworkin claims that it ought to be used to treat like cases alike, provide equality under the law, be parallel to personal integrity, and demand that the state act on a single set of consistent principles. In layman’s terms, the characterization of political integrity implies total equality under the law by all laws being justified by the same principles. Still though, he finds it important to make the assertion that it may well be the case that some “breaches” of integrity are, all things considered, better than the alternatives. Dworkin claims that we have two separate principles regarding political integrity. These principles, legislative and adjudication, try to make laws morally coherent, and allow them to be seen in such a manner. Also, when speaking of political integrity, he makes two important background assumptions. These background assumptions are that we all, as a society, believe in political fairness and that we know that different people hold different view about moral issues that they all treat as of great importance. From these assumptions and principles, Dworkin presents an interesting view of political compromise in the form of checkerboard laws.
Checkerboard laws are laws that treat similar accidents or occasions differently on different arbitrary grounds. An example of a checkerboard law could be refusing the legal right to abortion to any woman born on an odd day, but allowing the right to all women born on an even day. Our instincts, as inherently morally correct people, are to reject the premise of these laws as a possibility simply because of absurdity. No principle in the law gives the legislation any right to discern between citizens who get...

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