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The “Constitution of Opportunity” in Politics and in the Courts

Essay - Volume 94 - Issue 7

Cynthia Estlund focuses on a long-running conflict within the democracy of opportunity tradition as we understand it: the perennially fraught relationship between, on the one hand, the principle of inclusion, especially across racial lines, and on the other, a commitment to preventing oligarchy and preserving a broad, open middle class. Using conflicts over labor law as her central case, Estlund argues that the future prospects of the democracy of opportunity tradition are threatened by the same political and economic forces that so often cleave apart economically struggling whites and racial minorities. She then explores the potential implications the democracy of opportunity tradition might have for the law of labor and work.

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