William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal


The concept of human dignity has emerged in the United States in recent decades as an important theoretical and sometimes practical source of individual rights and liberties. Human dignity is cited in jurisprudential writings and discussed in some court opinions as a means of enhancing the broad phrases of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment. This Essay examines the pivotal role that the late Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., played on the United States Supreme Court in making concepts of human dignity a valued and essential part of rights formulation. This essay explores Justice Brennan 's vision of the role that human dignity should play in our constitutional system and evaluates criticism of this still controversial approach