The second part is how to make it all work: The actual institution, agency, and policy program that will hook up individual workers with employment, organize their labor, and get them paid. Here, the legislation must specifically lay out the steps by which eligible workers are identified, ushered into the system, and ultimately provided with employment. Instead of having to oversee the process step by step, the court can simply refer to the playbook written by the legislature and identify where the government failed to uphold its commitment. “Those are the kind of bureaucratic steps that a court is willing to enforce,” Harvey continued.

You can see how central the legal right is to the entire job guarantee project. If a bill simply stated the legal right, but relied on far more robust use of traditional fiscal and monetary policy to actually deliver the jobs, it would fall prey to all the problems of court enforcement that Harvey laid out.

The aspirational commitment also serves a social and political purpose: It helps ignite the activists and movements on the ground that will press the legislators and the courts to make the right a reality.