America's Unwritten Constitution

The Precedents and Principles We Live By

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Akhil Reed Amar,Akhil Amar

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465033091

Category: Law

Page: 640

View: 4633

Explores the little-understood relationship between the written Constitution and the many external factors that shape the interpretations of this foundational document.

America's Unwritten Constitution

The Precedents and Principles We Live by

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)

ISBN: 0465029574

Category: History

Page: 615

View: 8434

A renowned constitutional scholar explores the little-understood relationship between the written Constitution and the many external factors that shape our interpretations of this foundational document.

America's Unwritten Constitution

The Precedents and Principles We Live By

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465033091

Category: Law

Page: 640

View: 6111

onal discussions; and the writings of court justices. America’s Unwritten Constitution presents a bold new vision of the American constitutional system, one in which proper interpretation of the Constitution rests on the interplay between its written and unwritten manifestations, but in which interpretation does not, and cannot, depend wholly on one form or the other. Neither America’s written Constitution nor its unwritten Constitution stands alone, Amar shows, and with each eye-opening example he develops a deeper, more compelling way of thinking about constitutional law than has ever been put forth before—a methodology that looks past the basic text to reveal the diverse influences, supplements, and possibilities that comprise it.

America's Constitution

A Biography

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1588364879

Category: History

Page: 672

View: 733

In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it. We all know this much: the Constitution is neither immutable nor perfect. Amar shows us how the story of this one relatively compact document reflects the story of America more generally. (For example, much of the Constitution, including the glorious-sounding “We the People,” was lifted from existing American legal texts, including early state constitutions.) In short, the Constitution was as much a product of its environment as it was a product of its individual creators’ inspired genius. Despite the Constitution’s flaws, its role in guiding our republic has been nothing short of amazing. Skillfully placing the document in the context of late-eighteenth-century American politics, America’s Constitution explains, for instance, whether there is anything in the Constitution that is unamendable; the reason America adopted an electoral college; why a president must be at least thirty-five years old; and why–for now, at least–only those citizens who were born under the American flag can become president. From his unique perspective, Amar also gives us unconventional wisdom about the Constitution and its significance throughout the nation’s history. For one thing, we see that the Constitution has been far more democratic than is conventionally understood. Even though the document was drafted by white landholders, a remarkably large number of citizens (by the standards of 1787) were allowed to vote up or down on it, and the document’s later amendments eventually extended the vote to virtually all Americans. We also learn that the Founders’ Constitution was far more slavocratic than many would acknowledge: the “three fifths” clause gave the South extra political clout for every slave it owned or acquired. As a result, slaveholding Virginians held the presidency all but four of the Republic’s first thirty-six years, and proslavery forces eventually came to dominate much of the federal government prior to Lincoln’s election. Ambitious, even-handed, eminently accessible, and often surprising, America’s Constitution is an indispensable work, bound to become a standard reference for any student of history and all citizens of the United States.

The Constitution Today

Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465096344

Category: Law

Page: 464

View: 534

"I don't think there is anyone in the academy these days capable of more patient and attentive reading of the constitutional text than Akhil Amar."--Jeremy Waldron, New York Review of Books When the stories that lead our daily news involve momentous constitutional questions, present-minded journalists and busy citizens cannot always see the stakes clearly. In The Constitution Today, Akhil Reed Amar, America's preeminent constitutional scholar, considers the biggest and most bitterly contested debates of the last two decades--from gun control to gay marriage, affirmative action to criminal procedure, presidential dynasties to congressional dysfunction, Bill Clinton's impeachment to Obamacare. He shows how the Constitution's text, history, and structure are a crucial repository of collective wisdom, providing specific rules and grand themes relevant to every organ of the American body politic. Leading readers through the constitutional questions at stake in each episode while outlining his abiding views regarding the direction constitutional law must go, Amar offers an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand America's Constitution and its relevance today.

Revolution by Judiciary

The Structure of American Constitutional Law

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Jed Rubenfeld

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674017153

Category: Law

Page: 241

View: 1732

Although constitutional law is supposed to be fixed and enduring, its central narrative in the twentieth century has been one of radical reinterpretation--Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, Bush v. Gore. What, if anything, justifies such radical reinterpretation? How does it work doctrinally? What, if anything, structures it or limits it? Jed Rubenfeld finds a pattern in American constitutional interpretation that answers these questions convincingly. He posits two different understandings of how constitutional rights would apply or not apply to particular legislation. One is that a right would be violated if certain laws were passed. The other is that a right would not be violated. He calls the former "Application Understandings" and the latter "No-Application Understandings." He finds that constitutional law has almost always adhered to all of the original Application Understandings, but where it has departed from history, as it did in the Brown decision, it has departed from No-Application Understandings. Specifically, the Fourteenth Amendment did not prohibit racial segregation, so Rubenfeld argues that the Supreme Court had no problem reinterpreting it to prohibit it. It was a No-Application Understanding. This is a powerful argument that challenges current theories of constitutional interpretation from Bork to Dworkin. It rejects simplistic originalism, but restores historicity to constitutional theorizing.

The Law of the Land

A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Akhil Reed Amar,Akhil Amar

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465065899

Category: Law

Page: 352

View: 2936

From Kennebunkport to Kauai, from the Rio Grande to the Northern Rockies, ours is a vast republic. While we may be united under one Constitution, separate and distinct states remain, each with its own constitution and culture. Geographic idiosyncrasies add more than just local character. Regional understandings of law and justice have shaped and reshaped our nation throughout history. America’s Constitution, our founding and unifying document, looks slightly different in California than it does in Kansas. In The Law of the Land, renowned legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar illustrates how geography, federalism, and regionalism have influenced some of the biggest questions in American constitutional law. Writing about Illinois, “the land of Lincoln,” Amar shows how our sixteenth president’s ideas about secession were influenced by his Midwestern upbringing and outlook. All of today’s Supreme Court justices, Amar notes, learned their law in the Northeast, and New Yorkers of various sorts dominate the judiciary as never before. The curious Bush v. Gore decision, Amar insists, must be assessed with careful attention to Florida law and the Florida Constitution. The second amendment appears in a particularly interesting light, he argues, when viewed from the perspective of Rocky Mountain cowboys and cowgirls. Propelled by Amar’s distinctively smart, lucid, and engaging prose, these essays allow general readers to see the historical roots of, and contemporary solutions to, many important constitutional questions. The Law of the Land illuminates our nation’s history and politics, and shows how America’s various local parts fit together to form a grand federal framework.

Originalism and the Good Constitution

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: John O. McGinnis,Michael B. Rappaport

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 067472626X

Category: Law

Page: 308

View: 4537

Originalism holds that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted according to its meaning at the time it was enacted. In their innovative defense of originalism, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport maintain that the text of the Constitution should be adhered to by the Supreme Court because it was enacted by supermajorities--both its original enactment under Article VII and subsequent Amendments under Article V. A text approved by supermajorities has special value in a democracy because it has unusually wide support and thus tends to maximize the welfare of the greatest number. The authors recognize and respond to many possible objections. Does originalism perpetuate the dead hand of the past? How can originalism be justified, given the exclusion of African Americans and women from the Constitution and many of its subsequent Amendments? What is originalism's place in interpretation, after two hundred years of non-originalist precedent? A fascinating counterfactual they pose is this: had the Supreme Court not interpreted the Constitution so freely, perhaps the nation would have resorted to the Article V amendment process more often and with greater effect. Their book will be an important contribution to the literature on originalism, now the most prominent theory of constitutional interpretation.

Living Originalism

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Jack M. Balkin

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674063031

Category: Law

Page: 480

View: 9525

Originalism and living constitutionalism, often seen as opposing views, are not in conflict. So argues Jack Balkin, a leading constitutional scholar, in this long-awaited book. Step by step, Balkin shows how both liberals and conservatives play important roles in constitutional construction, and offers a way past the angry polemics of our era.

The Bill of Rights

Creation and Reconstruction

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300127089

Category: Law

Page: 430

View: 6036

Are the deep insights of Hugo Black, William Brennan, and Felix Frankfurter that have defined our cherished Bill of Rights fatally flawed? With meticulous historical scholarship and elegant legal interpretation a leading scholar of Constitutional law boldly answers yes as he explodes conventional wisdom about the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution in this incisive new account of our most basic charter of liberty. Akhil Reed Amar brilliantly illuminates in rich detail not simply the text, structure, and history of individual clauses of the 1789 Bill, but their intended relationships to each other and to other constitutional provisions. Amar's corrective does not end there, however, for as his powerful narrative proves, a later generation of antislavery activists profoundly changed the meaning of the Bill in the Reconstruction era. With the Fourteenth Amendment, Americans underwent a new birth of freedom that transformed the old Bill of Rights. We have as a result a complex historical document originally designed to protect the people against self-interested government and revised by the Fourteenth Amendment to guard minority against majority. In our continuing battles over freedom of religion and expression, arms bearing, privacy, states' rights, and popular sovereignty, Amar concludes, we must hearken to both the Founding Fathers who created the Bill and their sons and daughters who reconstructed it. Amar's landmark work invites citizens to a deeper understanding of their Bill of Rights and will set the basic terms of debate about it for modern lawyers, jurists, and historians for years to come.

Life's Dominion

An Argument About Abortion, Euthanasia, and Individual Freedom

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Ronald Dworkin

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780307787910

Category: Law

Page: 288

View: 4373

Internationally renowned lawyer and philosopher Ronald Dworkin addresses the crucially related acts of abortion and euthanasia in a brilliantly original book that examines their meaning in a nation that prizes both life and individual liberty. From Roe v. Wade to the legal battle over the death of Nancy Cruzan, no issues have opened greater rifts in American society than those of abortion and euthanasia. At the heart of Life's Dominion is Dworkin's inquest into why abortion and euthanasia provoke such controversy. Do these acts violate some fundamental "right to life"? Or are the objections against them based on the belief that human life is sacred? Combining incisive moral reasoning and close readings of indicidual court decisions with a majestic interpretation of the U.S. Constitution itself, Dworkin gives us a work that is absolutely essential for anyone who cares about the legal status of human life.

Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking

Cases and Materials

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Paul Brest,Sanford Levinson,Jack M. Balkin,Akhil Reed Amar,Reva B. Siegel

Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

ISBN: 1454887494

Category: Law

Page: 1856

View: 2722

In Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking, an extraordinary team of authors traces the historical, political, and social development of constitutional law. Students will consider constitutional questions in a broad historical context, with cutting-edge insights from contemporary scholars. This book has been updated to include all new developments in the field, and delivers strong chapters on the constitutional treatment of sex equality, race, civil rights, separation of powers, and federalism. Key Features: Coverage of recent cases and materials including: Obergefell v. Hodges - Same-Sex Marriage Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt – Abortion Regulation Zivotofsky v. Kerry – Presidential Power Fisher v. University of Texas – Affirmative Action New Discussion of Cooperative Federalism Sessions v. Morales–Santana – Sex Equality

American Epic

A Reader's Guide to the U.S. Constitution

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Garrett Epps

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199974748

Category: Law

Page: 274

View: 2121

"The United States is the only nation in the world in which political leaders, judges and soldiers all swear allegiance not to a king or a people but to a document, the Constitution. The Constitution today, however, is much revered but little read. . Readers of AMERICAN EPIC will never think of the Constitution in quite the same way again. Garrett Epps, a legal scholar who is also a journalist and writer of prize-winning fiction, takes readers on a literary tour of the Constitution, finding in it much that is interesting, puzzling, praiseworthy, and sometimes hilarious. Reading the Constitution like a literary work yields a host of meanings that shed new light on what it means to be an American"--

Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Adam Winkler

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393082296

Category: History

Page: 361

View: 9210

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.

Fault Lines

Tort Law as Cultural Practice

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: David Engel,Michael McCann

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804756139

Category: Law

Page: 384

View: 1362

This pioneering collection examines tort law as a cultural phenomenon, drawing on the theories and methods of law, sociology, political science, and anthropology and comparative cases across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Constitutional Theory

Arguments and Perspectives

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Michael J. Gerhardt

Publisher: Lexis Nexis Matthew Bender

ISBN: N.A

Category: Law

Page: 731

View: 1463

The Constitution and Criminal Procedure

First Principles

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300074888

Category: Law

Page: 288

View: 418

Under the banner of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments, the Supreme Court of America has constitutionalized vast areas of criminal procedure law in ways that often reward the guilty whilst hurting the innocent. This book reconceptualizes the basic foundations of the criminal procedure field.

The Administrative Threat

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Philip Hamburger

Publisher: Encounter Books

ISBN: 159403950X

Category: Political Science

Page: 68

View: 4569

Government agencies regulate Americans in the full range of their lives, including their political participation, their economic endeavors, and their personal conduct. Administrative power has thus become pervasively intrusive. But is this power constitutional? A similar sort of power was once used by English kings, and this book shows that the similarity is not a coincidence. In fact, administrative power revives absolutism. On this foundation, the book explains how administrative power denies Americans their basic constitutional freedoms, such as jury rights and due process. No other feature of American government violates as many constitutional provisions or is more profoundly threatening. As a result, administrative power is the key civil liberties issue of our era.

Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking

Sixth Edition, 2017 Supplement

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Author: Paul Brest,Sanford Levinson,Jack M. Balkin,Akhil Reed Amar,Reva B. Siegel

Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

ISBN: 1454895160

Category: Law

Page: 136

View: 9579

Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking: Cases and Material 2017 Supplement