Abstract: "[This book presents the author's] new thesis about how the law should work in America, arguing that the courts best enable people to live together, despite their diversity, by resolving particular cases without taking sides in broader, more abstract conflicts. [The author] analyzes the way the law can mediate disputes in a diverse society, examining how the law works in practical terms, and showing that, to arrive at workable, practical solutions, judges must avoid broad, abstract reasoning. He states that judges purposely limit the scope of their decisions to avoid reopening large-scale controversies, calling such actions incompletely theorized agreements. In identifying them as the core feature of legal reasoning, he takes issue with advocates of comprehensive theories and systemization, from Robert Bork to Jeremy Bentham, and Ronald Dworkin. Equally important, [the author] goes on to argue that it is the living practice of the nation's citizens that truly makes law. Legal reasoning can seem impenetrable, mysterious, baroque. [This book] helps dissolve the mystery. Whether discussing abortion, homosexuality, or free speech, the meaning of the Constitution, or the spell cast by the Warren Court, ...[the author] moves the debate over fundamental values and principles out of the courts and back to its rightful place in a democratic state: to the legislatures elected by the people. In this second edition, the author updates the previous edition bringing the book into the current mainstream of twenty-first century legal reasoning and judicial decision-making focusing on the many relevant contemporary issues and developments that occurred since its initial 1996 publication."-- Provided by publisher.