The paper challenges the view that public justification sits well with emancipatory and egalitarian intuitions. I distinguish between the depth, scope and the purchase of the discursive standing that such justification allocates, and situate within this matrix Rawls’s view of public justification. A standard objection to this view is that public justification should be more inclusive in scope. This is both plausible and problematic in emancipatory and egalitarian terms. If inclusive public justification allocates discursive standing that is rich in purchase, as seems desirable in emancipatory terms, it may be unable to allocate equal standing to all relevant people. And if it is to allocate equal standing, then the equality of that standing should be construed in terms that allow for unequal discursive purchase.