Author: Mark A. Graber
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2015-03-06
A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism is the first text to study the entirety of American constitutionalism, not just the traces that appear in Supreme Court decisions. Mark A. Graber both explores and offers original answers to such central questions as: What is a Constitution, ? What are fundamental constitutional purposes? How are constitutions interpreted? How is constitutional authority allocated? How to constitutions change? How is the Constitution of the United States influenced by international and comparative law? and, most important, How does the Constitution work? Relying on an historical/institutional perspective, the book illustrates how American constitutionalism is a distinct form of politics, rather than a means from separating politics from law. Constitutions work far more by constructing and constituting politics than by compelling people to do what they would otherwise do. People debate the proper meaning of the first amendment, but these debates are influenced by the rule that all states are equally represented in the Senate and a political culture that in which political dissenters do not fear for their lives. More than any other work on the market, A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism highlights and expands on what a generation for law professors, political scientists and historians have said about the American constitutionalism regime. As such, this is the first truly interdisciplinary study of constitutional politics in the United States.
Author: Stephen M. Griffin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 1998-07-27
Despite the outpouring of works on constitutional theory in the past several decades, no general introduction to the field has been available. Stephen Griffin provides here an original contribution to American constitutional theory in the form of a short, lucid introduction to the subject for scholars and an informed lay audience. He surveys in an unpolemical way the theoretical issues raised by judicial practice in the United States over the past three centuries, particularly since the Warren Court, and locates both theory and practices that have inspired dispute among jurists and scholars in historical context. At the same time he advances an argument about the distinctive nature of our American constitutionalism, regarding it as an instance of the interpenetration of law and politics. American Constitutionalism is unique in considering the perspectives of both law and political science in relation to constitutional theory. Constitutional theories produced by legal scholars do not usually discuss state-centered theories of American politics, the importance of institutions, behaviorist research on judicial decision making, or questions of constitutional reform, but this book takes into account the political science literature on these and other topics. The work also devotes substantial attention to judicial review and its relationship to American democracy and theories of constitutional interpretation.
Author: Howard Gillman
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2015-04-07
The Complete American Constitutionalism is designed to be the comprehensive treatment and source for debates on the American constitutional experience. It provides the analysis, resources, and materials both domestic and foreign readers must understand with regards to the practice of constitutionalism in the United States. This first volume of a projected eight volume set is entitled: Introduction and The Colonial Era. Here the authors provide the building blocks for constitutional analysis with an in-depth exploration of the constitutional conflicts in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that formed the overall American constitutional experience. This is the first collection of materials that focuses on the crucial constitutional documents and debates that structured American constitutional understandings at the time of the American Revolution. It details the roots of the common law rights that Americans demanded be respected and the different interpretations of the English constitutional experience that increasingly divided Members of Parliament from American Revolutionaries.
Author: Stuart Streichler
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Release Date: 2005
During a career as both a lawyer and a Supreme Court justice, Benjamin R. Curtis addressed practically every major constitutional question of the mid-nineteenth century, making judgments that still resonate in American law. Aside from a family memoir written by his brother over one hundred years ago, however, no book-length treatment of Curtis exists. Now Stuart Streichler has filled this gap in judicial biography, using Curtis’s life and work as a window on the most serious constitutional crisis in American history, the Civil War. Curtis was the lead attorney for President Andrew Johnson in the Senate’s impeachment trial, where he delivered the pivotal argument, and his was an influential voice in the pervasive constitutional struggle between states and the federal government. He is best remembered, however, for dissenting in the Dred Scott case, in which he disputed Chief Justice Taney’s proslavery ruling that no black person could ever become a citizen of the United States. In the wake of the decision, Curtis resigned from the court, the only justice in the Supreme Court’s history to do so on grounds of principle. Yet he also clashed with Boston’s abolitionists over enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, and he opposed the Emancipation Proclamation. In a period when the Constitution was radically transformed from a charter that protected slavery to one that granted all persons equal rights of citizenship, Justice Curtis maintained his faith in the Constitution as an adaptable instrument of self-government and tried to mark out a path for gradual change. Streichler assesses Curtis’s common-law methods in the context of his divisive times and shows how the judge’s views continue to shed light on issues that have become once again relevant, such as the presidential impeachment process and, after 9/11, the use of military tribunals to try civilians.
Author: Howard Gillman
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2016-08-02
In American Constitutionalism, Second Edition, renowned authors Howard Gillman, Mark A. Graber, and Keith E. Whittington offer an innovative approach to the two-semester Constitutional Law sequence (Volume 1 covers Institutions and Volume II covers Rights and Liberties) that presents the material in a historical organization within each volume, as opposed to the typical issues-based organization. Looking at Supreme Court decisions historically provides an opportunity for instructors to teach--and students to reflect on--the political factions and climate of the day. The second edition has been streamlined and also features updated cases, analysis, illustrations, and figures. FEATURES Covers all important debates in U.S. constitutionalism, organized by historical era Clearly lays out the political and legal contexts in chapter introductions Integrates more documents and cases than any other text on the market, including decisions made by elected officials and state courts Offers numerous pedagogical features, including topical sections within each historical chapter, bulleted lists of major developments, explanatory headnotes for the readings, questions on court cases, illustrations and political cartoons, tables, and suggested readings Additional material previously available in the first edition is now located on the book's free, open-access Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/gillman
Author: Jefferson Powell
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 1993
Genre: Political Science
Debate over the relationship between morality and the law characterizes the contemporary discussion of American constitutionalism. Many theorists equate constitutionalism with the social morality of the American community; others deny the existence of such a community and identify constitutionalism simply as the positive law of the state. In this thoughtful and innovative book, H. Jefferson Powell presents a theological interpretation of the connection between constitutionalism and morality. Powell locates the origins of constitutional law in the Enlightenment attempt to control the violence of the state by subjecting power to reason. He then traces constitutionalism's rapid evolution into a tradition of rational inquiry centered in the practice of adjudication and embodied in a community of lawyers and judges. Finally, Powell shows how the tradition's nineteenth-century presuppositions about the autonomy and rationality of constitutional argument have been undermined in the twentieth century, within the constitutional community itself, by the acceptance of a positivist and "democratic" understanding of law. Powell shows how the continued willingness of the courts to resolve moral questions by invoking "the Constitution" has thrown the constitutional tradition into an epistemological crisis. He critiques the work of many major theorists—John Hart Ely, Bruce Ackerman, Frank Michaelman, Rogers Smith, Michael Perry, Mark Tushnet, Robert Bork, Sanford Levinson—who, he claims, persist in attempting to resolve the crisis by redefining constitutionalism as American social morality. With reference to Alasdair MacIntyre's concepts of moral tradition and social practice and John Howard Yoder's theological account of the state, Powell places his analysis of current constitutionalism within a contemporary Christian theological critique of Western liberalism. With certain exceptions, Powell concludes, there are theological grounds in the United States to prefer decision making by elected officials to decision by constitutional courts. Despite the controversial implications for judicial practice and legal argument, Powell ultimately argues that the liberal tradition of rational inquiry--American constitutionalism--be renounced by the Christian community in favor of the majoritarian political process.
Author: Glenn A. Phelps
Release Date: 1993-01
Known as the Father of His Country, George Washington is viewed as a demigod for what he was and did, not what he thought. In addition to being a popular icon for the forces of American nationalism, he served as commander-in-chief of the victorious Continental Army. That he played a key role in securing the adoption of the Constitution is well known, but few credit him with a political philosophy that actively shaped the constitutional tradition. In this revisionist study, Glenn Phelps argues that Washington's political thought influenced the principles informing the federal government then and now. Disinclined to enter the debates by which the framers hammered out a consensus, Washington instead sought to promote his way of thinking through private correspondence, and the example of his public life. From these sources Phelps draws out his political ideas and demonstrates that Washington developed a coherent and consistent view of a republican government on a continental scale long before Madison, Hamilton, and other nationalists-a view grounded in classically conservative republicanism and continentally-minded commercialism. That he was only partially successful in building the constitutional system that he intended does not undercut his theoretical contribution. Even his failures affected the way our constitutional tradition developed. Phelps examines Washington's political ideas not as they were perceived by his contemporaries but in his own words, that is, he shows what Washington believed, not what others thought he believed. He shows how Washington's political values remained consistent over time, regardless of who his counselors or "ghost writers" were. Using letters Washington wrote to friends and family—written free from the constraints of public politics—Phelps reveals "a man with a passionate commitment to a fully developed idea of a constitutional republic on a continental scale." In recent years scholarship about Washington has seemed to focus on mythmaking. For readers interested in the founding period, the framing of what Hamilton called the "frail fabric," and constitutionalism, Phelps explores the substance behind the myth.
Author: George Athan Billias
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2011-12-01
American constitutionalism represents America's greatest gift to human freedom, yet its story remains largely untold. For over two hundred years, its ideals, ideas, and institutions influenced different peoples in different lands at different times. Historian George Athan Billias traces the spread of American constitutionalism--from Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean region, to Asia and Africa--beginning chronologically with the American Revolution and the fateful "shot heard round the world" and ending with the conclusion of the Cold War in 1989. The American model contributed significantly by spearheading the drive to greater democracy throughout the Western world, and Billias's landmark study tells a story that will change the way readers view the important role American constitutionalism played during this era. George Athan Billias is Jacob and Frances Hiatt Professor Emeritus of History at Clark University. His numerous books includeAmerican Constitutionalism Abroad: Selected Essays in Comparative Constitutional HistoryandGeorge Washington's Generals and Opponents.
Author: Jennifer Nedelsky
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 1994-06-15
The United States Constitution was designed to secure the rights of individuals and minorities from the tyranny of the majority—or was it? Jennifer Nedelsky's provocative study places this claim in an utterly new light, tracing its origins to the Framers' preoccupation with the protection of private property. She argues that this formative focus on property has shaped our institutions, our political system, and our very understanding of limited government.
Author: Mark V. Tushnet
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Constitutional law
The Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution offers a comprehensive overview and introduction to the U.S. Constitution from the perspectives of history, political science, law, rights, and constitutional themes, while focusing on its development, structures, rights, and role in the U.S. political system and culture. This Handbook enables readers within and beyond the U.S. to develop a critical comprehension of the literature on the Constitution, along with accessible and up-to-date analysis. The historical essays included in this Handbook cover the Constitution from 1620 right through the Reagan Revolution to the present. Essays on political science detail how contemporary citizens in the United States rely extensively on political parties, interest groups, and bureaucrats to operate a constitution designed to prevent the rise of parties, interest-group politics and an entrenched bureaucracy. The essays on law explore how contemporary citizens appear to expect and accept the exertions of power by a Supreme Court, whose members are increasingly disconnected from the world of practical politics. Essays on rights discuss how contemporary citizens living in a diverse multi-racial society seek guidance on the meaning of liberty and equality, from a Constitution designed for a society in which all politically relevant persons shared the same race, gender, religion and ethnicity. Lastly, the essays on themes explain how in a "globalized" world, people living in the United States can continue to be governed by a constitution originally meant for a society geographically separated from the rest of the "civilized world." Whether a return to the pristine constitutional institutions of the founding or a translation of these constitutional norms in the present is possible remains the central challenge of U.S. constitutionalism today.
Author: Howard Gillman
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2012-12-14
Constitutionalism in the United States is not determined solely by decisions made by the Supreme Court. Moving beyond traditional casebooks, renowned scholars Howard Gillman, Mark A. Graber, and Keith E. Whittington take a refreshingly innovative approach in American Constitutionalism. Organized according to the standard two-semester sequence - in which Volume I covers Structures of Government and Volume II covers Rights and Liberties - this text is unique in that it presents the materialin a historical organization within each volume, as opposed to the typical issues-based organization.
Author: Colin Crawford
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Release Date: 2018
Constitutionalism in the Americas unites the work of leading scholars of constitutional law, comparative law and Latin American and U.S. constitutional law to provide a critical and provocative look at the state of constitutional law across the Americas today. The diverse chapters employ a variety of methodologies – empirical, historical, philosophical and textual analysis – in the effort to provide a comprehensive look at a generation of constitutional change across two continents.
Author: András Sajó
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-10-26
Constitutional democracy is more fragile and less "natural" than autocracy. While this may sound surprising to complacent democrats, more and more people find autocracy attractive, because they were never forced to understand or imagine what despotism is. Generations who have lived in stabledemocracies with the promise that their enviable world will become the global "normal" find government rule without constitutionalism difficult to conceive. It is difficult, but never too late, to see one's own constitutional system as something that is fragile, or up for grabs and in need ofconstant attention and care. In this book, Andras Sajo and Renata Uitz explore how constitutionalism protects us and how it might be undone by its own means. Sajo and Uitz's intellectual history of the constitutional ideal is rich in contextual detail and informed by case studies that give an overview of both the theory and practice of constitutionalism worldwide. Classic constitutions are contrasted with twentieth-century and contemporary endeavours,and experimentations in checks and balances. Their endeavour is neither apologetic (and certainly not celebratory), nor purely defensive: this book demonstrates why constitutionalism should continue to matter. Between the rise of populist, anti-constitutional sentiment and the normalization of theapparatus of counter-terrorism, it is imperative that the political communities who seek to sustain democracy as freedom understand the importance of constitutionalism. This book is essential reading for students of law and general readers without prior knowledge of the field, as well as those inpolitics who believe they know how government works. It shows what is at stake in the debate on constitutionalism.
Author: Gary L. McDowell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2010-06-28
"In this fine book, Gary McDowell shows that the Constitution is our fundamental law---not our master, but our guide and mentor. Only at our peril do we try to make it our servant."---Harvey Mansfield, Harvard University "Erudite and lucid: McDowell's book is a must-read for those who wish to understand the philosophical and linguistic roots of the originalist tradition of constitutional interpretation."-R. Kent Newmyer, University of Connecticut School of Law "This book adds a major dimension of depth to the case for guiding judicial interpretation of the Constitution by the original intent of the framers. McDowell articulates a deeply thought-provoking meditation, informed by a fertile understanding of key foundations for originalism articulated by major figures in political philosophy, in the common law, and among the Founders themselves who shaped the theorizing that informs our constitutional order."---Thomas Pangle, University of Texas at Austin "For several decades, Gary McDowell has been one of our most brilliant and learned students of law and political philosophy. This book is his summa, a profound defense of originalism as a moral Constitutional philosophy, a brilliant discourse on the framers and their philosophical forbears and successors, and a powerful handbook of strategy in what McDowell calls `the contemporary war for the Constitution.'This work is essential reading for anyone who cares about the Supreme Court and the Constitution, but it is more. It is, simply stated, one of this generation's most important contributions toward preserving the rule of law itself."---Stephen Presser, Northwestern University School of Law "In this timely book, the case against the so-called `living' constitution is so powerfully argued and so clearly presented that it cannot be ignored."---Gordon S. Wood, Brown University