CLASSIC liberalism, going back to Locke, used the mechanisms and concepts of modern law to tame political power and put it at the service of the preeminent goal of protecting the pre-political freedom of the individual member of society. The core of a liberal constitution is the guarantee of equal individual liberties for everyone. This corresponds to Kant’s “Universal Principle of Right,”
according to which, “the freedom of choice of each can co-exist with everyone’s freedom according to a universal law.” Even the “rule of the people” remains an instrument of the “rule of law.” The political autonomy of citizens is not an end in itself; rather, it is a means of safeguarding the equal private autonomy of members of society.
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