Short Definitions that work with what I wonder:
Formalism: A social/political position which takes the stance of 'if i want to do it, you have to be allowed to do it as well, all as long as no human rights are being violated' The Constitution of the U.S.A. is a strictly formalist document. "All Men Are Created Equal."
Utilitarianism: The most good for the largest amount of people over the longest period of time. The application of American law is utilitarian.
The problem is that formalism is a doctrine which preaches that one has no right to interfere with another's life unless that person in violating another person's human dignity. (human dignity is the right to autonomy, free will and decision, land, etc.)
So the question is: at what point does a formalist, such as any American, get involved with politics, if they are hardpressed to find themselves as morally allowed, in a sense, to interfere with anyone else's lives?
Well, that's simple, any laws that are being changed or reorganized must be doing so in order to further enforce the formalist way, so that people will not be violated and have freer lives.
The problem comes with things like the recent propositions 94-97. the main question of a formalist being with his concern for his fellow men. He cannot prevent them from gambling, thus he would love to foil the indian tribes to take advantage of his mentally weaker brothers-in-humanity; but he has no right to either prevent the indians from doing bussiness in itself, or the brothers from doing whatever the hell they want.
does the question become protecting them from themselves? how does the formalist work his way around these issues? how can we prevent sales of guns, alcohol, the legality of casino's, and all such things which we KNOW are detrimental to the people who participate (both the psychological states of the sellers and buyers)?