Paragraph Completion- Battles in Culture Wars

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Paragraph Completion - Battles in Culture Wars

When a constitutional challenge pits individuals against the state, the court’s task is clear: if it finds that there has been a breach by the state, it must strike down the offending law, and vindicate the rights at issue. When, however, the court is called upon to settle a battle in the culture wars, the task is fraught with greater complexity. This is because these conflicts often represent deep, long-standing and irreconcilable divisions in society, touching issues of personal belief and conviction.

  1. But ironically, these battles in culture wars are the ones that are particularly ill-suited for resolution through courtroom litigation, for they risk creating deeply embittered and alienated communities, and an erosion of faith in the neutrality and impartiality of state institutions.
  2. Ideally, in resolving these, the court's reasoning should be limited to technical points of law, avoiding constitutional questions and deciding only the case before it, while refraining from expressing any opinion on the validity of any personal belief or conviction.
  3. It would be a betrayal of the Constitution’s transformative purpose if the court were to retreat in the face of strident claims to cultural integrity, and duck deciding the “real” questions before it.
  4. Constitutional documents often consciously refrain from directly addressing them: for example, the framers of the Constitution deliberately placed the provision for a uniform civil code in the unenforceable “Directive Principles” chapter, thinking that it was too divisive to be made a fundamental right.

    • Correct Answer
      Choice D

    Detailed Solution

    The paragraph declares that the court's task is 'clear' when a constitutional challenge pits an individual against the state. However, this is not the case when it is is called upon to settle a battle in the culture wars. The penultimate line offers a reason for this: these conflicts represent deep divisions in society.

    To complete the paragraph, let's consider the answer options.

    Option A is easily ruled out. It restates the point made in the penultimate line about creating deeply alienated communities and the paragraph already declares battles in culture wars to be fraught with complexity.

    Option C also does not seem apt, as it speaks of "the Constitution's transformative purpose" and "real questions" before the court. None of these ideas are related to the paragraph given.

    Options B and D are close. B talks of how the court should "ideally" resolve battles in culture wars, whereas D explains why the court's task is fraught with complexity in these cases.

    To choose between these, let's consider what the main idea of the paragraph is. The paragraph presents a contrast between a straightforward challenge ( individuals vs the state) and a more complex case (a battle in the culture wars) in relation to constitutional rights. The emphasis is not on how a battle in the culture wars should be resolved, but on why it is difficult to resolve.

    Option D adds to the point made in the penultimate line about why the task before the court is challenging. So, it is better suited to complete the paragraph than B.

    Correct Answer: Choice (D)

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