Author: David J. Bederman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2008-02-11
The framers of the American Constitution were substantially influenced by ancient history and classical political theory, as exemplified by their education, the availability of classical readings, and their inculcation in classical republican values. This volume explores how the framing generation deployed classical learning to develop many of the essential structural aspects of the Constitution: federalism, separation of powers, a bicameral legislature, independent courts, and the war and foreign relations powers. Also examined are very contemporary constitutional debates, for which there were classical inspirations, including sovereign immunity, executive privilege, line-item vetoes, and the electoral college. Combining techniques of intellectual history, classical studies, and constitutional interpretation, this book makes a unique contribution to our understanding of contemporary constitutionalism.
Author: Richard G. Stevens
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 1997-01-01
In this comprehensive collection of essays representing a lifetime of scholarship, distinguished political scientist Richard Stevens examines the fundamental principles of the American Constitutional order. Stevens discusses the Constitution's roots in Renaissance and Enlightenment political philosophy, and evaluates several major twentieth-century constitutional commentators. With a focus on the core of constitutional principle, Stevens critiques such views as that the Constitution founds a mixed regime, or is rooted in Christianity, or is a 'living constitution, ' or is to be interpreted in the light of a 'higher law background.' Broad in scope and penetrating in analysis, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of constitutional law, American political thought, and American history.
Author: R. Kent Newmyer
Publisher: LSU Press
Release Date: 2007-04-01
John Marshall (1755--1835) was arguably the most important judicial figure in American history. As the fourth chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from 1801 to1835, he helped move the Court from the fringes of power to the epicenter of constitutional government. His great opinions in cases like Marbury v. Madison and McCulloch v. Maryland are still part of the working discourse of constitutional law in America. Drawing on a new and definitive edition of Marshall's papers, R. Kent Newmyer combines engaging narrative with new historiographical insights in a fresh interpretation of John Marshall's life in the law. More than the summation of Marshall's legal and institutional accomplishments, Newmyer's impressive study captures the nuanced texture of the justice's reasoning, the complexity of his mature jurisprudence, and the affinities and tensions between his system of law and the transformative age in which he lived. It substantiates Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.'s view of Marshall as the most representative figure in American law.
Author: Elisabeth Zoller
Publisher: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers
Release Date: 2008-02-06
Introduction to Public Law offers a new approach to public law, defined as the law of the public good, by drawing on historical and comparative analysis of England, France, Germany and the United States.
America is in the midst of a cultural and constitutional law crisis that began more than sixty years ago and was further exacerbated by the 2015 Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision. How did we become a culture that lacks objective morality and embraces secular ideas, hinging on the majority whim of nine justices? How do we get back to being a biblically moral, upright society and recognizing the U.S. Constitution as supreme law of the land? In The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution, Jenna Ellis makes a compelling case for the true roots of America’s Founding Documents in objective morality and how our system of government is founded upon the Christian worldview and God’s unchanging law, not a secular humanist worldview. She provides a unique perspective of the Founding Fathers as lawyers and how they understood the legitimate authority of biblical truth and appealed directly to God’s law for the foundation of America. Weaving together the legal history and underpinning worldview shifts in American culture, Ellis advocates how Christians must change the basic reasoning of our appeal and effectively engage our culture. Finally, she proposes the solution to reclaim objective, biblical morality in law that the Founders themselves provided for through Article V of the U.S. Constitution. This book is for every Christian who seeks to understand the times and our constitutional and cultural crisis.
Author: Bruce Ledewitz
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 2011-06-01
Since 1947, the Supreme Court has promised government neutrality toward religion, but in a nation whose motto is "In God We Trust" and which pledges allegiance to "One Nation under God," the public square is anything but neutral -- a paradox not lost on a rapidly secularizing America and a point of contention among those who identify all expressions of religion by government as threats to a free society. Yeshiva student turned secularist, Bruce Ledewitz seeks common ground for believers and nonbelievers regarding the law of church and state. He argues that allowing government to promote higher law values through the use of religious imagery would resolve the current impasse in the interpretation of the Establishment Clause. It would offer secularism an escape from its current tendency toward relativism in its dismissal of all that religion represents and encourage a deepening of the expression of meaning in the public square without compromising secular conceptions of government.
Author: John R. Vile
Publisher: Praeger Publishers
Release Date: 1991
In this unique historical work, Vile analyzes over forty proposals to rewrite the U.S. Constitution. In each case he examines the substance of the proposal, the author's goals and methods as well as response to the proposal and its overall influence.
Author: Adam Winkler
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2011-09-19
A provocative history that reveals how guns—not abortion, race, or religion—are at the heart of America's cultural divide. Gunfight is a timely work examining America’s four-centuries-long political battle over gun control and the right to bear arms. In this definitive and provocative history, Adam Winkler reveals how guns—not abortion, race, or religion—are at the heart of America’s cultural divide. Using the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller—which invalidated a law banning handguns in the nation’s capital—as a springboard, Winkler brilliantly weaves together the dramatic stories of gun-rights advocates and gun-control lobbyists, providing often unexpected insights into the venomous debate that now cleaves our nation.
Author: Richard Rothstein
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
Release Date: 2017-05-02
Genre: Social Science
"Rothstein has presented what I consider to be the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation." —William Julius Wilson In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation—that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north. As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post–World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. “The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book” (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein’s invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.
Author: Adam Winkler
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
Release Date: 2018-02-27
We the Corporations chronicles the revelatory story of one of the most successful, yet least known, “civil rights movements” in American history. We the Corporations chronicles the astonishing story of one of the most successful yet least well-known “civil rights movements” in American history. Hardly oppressed like women and minorities, business corporations, too, have fought since the nation’s earliest days to gain equal rights under the Constitution—and today have nearly all the same rights as ordinary people. Exposing the historical origins of Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, Adam Winkler explains how those controversial Supreme Court decisions extending free speech and religious liberty to corporations were the capstone of a centuries-long struggle over corporate personhood and constitutional protections for business. Beginning his account in the colonial era, Winkler reveals the profound influence corporations had on the birth of democracy and on the shape of the Constitution itself. Once the Constitution was ratified, corporations quickly sought to gain the rights it guaranteed. The first Supreme Court case on the rights of corporations was decided in 1809, a half-century before the first comparable cases on the rights of African Americans or women. Ever since, corporations have waged a persistent and remarkably fruitful campaign to win an ever-greater share of individual rights. Although corporations never marched on Washington, they employed many of the same strategies of more familiar civil rights struggles: civil disobedience, test cases, and novel legal claims made in a purposeful effort to reshape the law. Indeed, corporations have often been unheralded innovators in constitutional law, and several of the individual rights Americans hold most dear were first secured in lawsuits brought by businesses. Winkler enlivens his narrative with a flair for storytelling and a colorful cast of characters: among others, Daniel Webster, America’s greatest advocate, who argued some of the earliest corporate rights cases on behalf of his business clients; Roger Taney, the reviled Chief Justice, who surprisingly fought to limit protections for corporations—in part to protect slavery; and Roscoe Conkling, a renowned politician who deceived the Supreme Court in a brazen effort to win for corporations the rights added to the Constitution for the freed slaves. Alexander Hamilton, Teddy Roosevelt, Huey Long, Ralph Nader, Louis Brandeis, and even Thurgood Marshall all played starring roles in the story of the corporate rights movement. In this heated political age, nothing can be timelier than Winkler’s tour de force, which shows how America’s most powerful corporations won our most fundamental rights and turned the Constitution into a weapon to impede the regulation of big business.
'...a 'must read' for all students of constitutional law, whatever their academic discipline...this excellent book accomplishes the author's purpose: it forces us to take textualism seriously.'-LEGAL STUDIES FORUM