Freedom from want and fear: revisiting Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s second Bill of Rights from a Canadian perspective
LE3 .A278 2020
Master of Arts
What does the entrenchment of a specific right into a constitution do that political leadership and willpower cannot? This thesis examines President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s proposal to constitutionally entrench social and economic rights with a second Bill of Rights in the U.S. — the bill’s influences, history, conceptualization, and broader connection with the patterns of financial deregulation, government rollback, and economic deprivation that prefaced the Great Depression and the promise of a New Deal. While popular politicians and personalities in Canada and the U.S. have revived calls for a “Second Bill of Rights” or a “New Deal,” this thesis draws important lessons from analogous Canadian and American experiences with constitutional reform to advance a new plan to entrench socio-economic rights in Canada that overcomes institutional and constitutional challenges to structural economic change. This thesis also discusses what role the judiciary should play in the entrenchment and enforcement of socio-economic rights.
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