This Article makes the argument that broad principles often get in the way of sensible public policy analysis and that one should be prepared to abandon them rather quickly when encountering heavy philosophical or political arguments. The author uses Richard Epstein's book Forbidden Grounds: The Case Against Employment Discrimination as a good example of the difficulty of developing plausible policy prescriptions while engaging in an argument based on broad principles. The Article notes weaknesses in Epstein's arguments concerning liberty, utility and efficiency as starting points for an evaluation of antidiscrimination law. The author applies his analysis to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Jerry L. Mashaw,
Against First Principles,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol31/iss1/11