Freedom and Technological Change
Author: Jeffrey Rosen,Benjamin Wittes
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
"Explores the challenges to constitutional values posed by sweeping technological changes such as social networks, brain scans, and genetic selection and suggests ways of preserving rights, including privacy, free speech, and dignity in the age of Facebook and Google"--
Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Publisher: Random House
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.
Economy, Society, and Urbanization in the Capitalist Era
Author: Allen J. Scott
Category: Social Science
This book presents an exploratory account of the origins and dynamics of cities. The author recounts how the essential foundations of the urbanization process reside in two interrelated forces. These are the tendency for many different kinds of human activity to gather together to form functional complexes on the landscape, and the multifaceted intra-urban space-sorting crosscurrents set in motion by this primary urge. From these basic points of departure, the city in all its fullness emerges as a reflexive moment in social and economic development. The argument of the book is pursued both in theoretical and in empirical terms, devoting attention to the changing character of urbanization in the capitalist era. A point of particular emphasis concerns the peculiar patterns of resurgent urbanization that are making their historical and geographical appearance in the currently emerging phase of cognitive-cultural capitalism and that are now rapidly diffusing across the globe.
The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788
Author: Pauline Maier
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Drawing on the speeches and letters of the United States' founders, the author recounts the dramatic period after the Constitutional Convention and before the Constitution was finally ratified, describing the tumultuous events that took place in homes, taverns and convention halls throughout the colonies. By the author of American Scripture.
Author: John O. McGinnis,Michael B. Rappaport
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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.
Why the Constitution Must Be Revised: Ideas to Inspire a New Generation
Author: Larry J. Sabato
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
A More Perfect Constitution presents creative and dynamic proposals from one of the most visionary and fertile political minds of our time to reinvigorate our Constitution and American governance at a time when such change is urgently needed, given the growing dysfunction and unfairness of our political system . Combining idealism and pragmatism, and with full respect for the original document, Larry Sabato's thought-provoking ideas range from the length of the president's term in office and the number and terms of Supreme Court justices to the vagaries of the antiquated Electoral College, and a compelling call for universal national service-all laced through with the history behind each proposal and the potential impact on the lives of ordinary people. Aware that such changes won't happen easily, but that the original Framers fully expected the Constitution to be regularly revised, Sabato urges us to engage in the debate and discussion his ideas will surely engender. During a presidential election year, no book is more relevant or significant than this.
A Fully Annotated Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Amendments, and Selections from The Federalist Papers
Author: Richard Beeman
Category: Political Science
What is the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court really allowed to do? This unique and handy guide includes the documents that guide our government, annotated with accessible explanations from one of America's most esteemed constitutional scholars. Known across the country for his appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Professor Richard Beeman is one of the nation's foremost experts on the United States Constitution. In this book, he has produced what every American should have: a compact, fully annotated copy of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and amendments, all in their entirety. A marvel of accessibility and erudition, the guide also features a history of the making of the Constitution with excerpts from The Federalist Papers and a look at crucial Supreme Court cases that reminds us that the meaning of many of the specific provisions of the Constitution has changed over time. "Excellent . . . valuable and judicious." -Jill Lepore, The New Yorker
The Lost One Hundred Years of American Administrative Law
Author: Jerry L. Mashaw
Publisher: Yale University Press
This groundbreaking book is the first to look at administration and administrative law in the earliest days of the American republic. Contrary to conventional understandings, Mashaw demonstrates that from the very beginning Congress delegated vast discretion to administrative officials and armed them with extrajudicial adjudicatory, rulemaking, and enforcement authority. The legislative and administrative practices of the U.S. Constitution’s first century created an administrative constitution hardly hinted at in its formal text. Beyond describing a history that has previously gone largely unexamined, this book, in the author’s words, will "demonstrate that there has been no precipitous fall from a historical position of separation-of-powers grace to a position of compromise; there is not a new administrative constitution whose legitimacy should be understood as not only contestable but deeply problematic."
The Precedents and Principles We Live by
Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)
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.
Author: Michael S. Greve
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Category: Political Science
The Constitution’s vision of federalism in which local, state, and federal government compete to satisfy preferences of individuals has given way to a cooperative, cartelized federalism that enables interest groups to leverage power at every level for their own benefit. Greve traces this inversion and dispels much received wisdom along the way.
Author: Corey Brettschneider
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Category: Political Science
An essential guide to the presidential powers and limits of the Constitution, for anyone voting—or running—for our highest office. Can the president launch a nuclear attack without congressional approval? Is it ever a crime to criticize the president? Can states legally resist a president’s executive order? In today’s fraught political climate, it often seems as if we must become constitutional law scholars just to understand the news from Washington, let alone make a responsible decision at the polls. The Oath and the Office is the book we need, right now and into the future, whether we are voting for or running to become president of the United States. Constitutional law scholar and political science professor Corey Brettschneider guides us through the Constitution and explains the powers—and limits—that it places on the presidency. From the document itself and from American history’s most famous court cases, we learn why certain powers were granted to the presidency, how the Bill of Rights limits those powers, and what “we the people” can do to influence the nation’s highest public office—including, if need be, removing the person in it. In these brief yet deeply researched chapters, we meet founding fathers such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, as well as key figures from historic cases such as Brown v. Board of Education and Korematsu v. United States. Brettschneider breathes new life into the articles and amendments that we once read about in high school civics class, but that have real impact on our lives today. The Oath and the Office offers a compact, comprehensive tour of the Constitution, and empowers all readers, voters, and future presidents with the knowledge and confidence to read and understand one of our nation’s most important founding documents.
Author: Robert Cooter
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Making, amending, and interpreting constitutions is a political game that can yield widespread suffering or secure a nation's liberty and prosperity. Given these high stakes, Robert Cooter argues that constitutional theory should trouble itself less with literary analysis and arguments over founders' intentions and focus much more on the real-world consequences of various constitutional provisions and choices. Pooling the best available theories from economics and political science, particularly those developed from game theory, Cooter's economic analysis of constitutions fundamentally recasts a field of growing interest and dramatic international importance. By uncovering the constitutional incentives that influence citizens, politicians, administrators, and judges, Cooter exposes fault lines in alternative forms of democracy: unitary versus federal states, deep administration versus many elections, parliamentary versus presidential systems, unicameral versus bicameral legislatures, common versus civil law, and liberty versus equality rights. Cooter applies an efficiency test to these alternatives, asking how far they satisfy the preferences of citizens for laws and public goods. To answer Cooter contrasts two types of democracy, which he defines as competitive government. The center of the political spectrum defeats the extremes in "median democracy," whereas representatives of all the citizens bargain over laws and public goods in "bargain democracy." Bargaining can realize all the gains from political trades, or bargaining can collapse into an unstable contest of redistribution. States plagued by instability and contests over redistribution should move towards median democracy by increasing transaction costs and reducing the power of the extremes. Specifically, promoting median versus bargain democracy involves promoting winner-take-all elections versus proportional representation, two parties versus multiple parties, referenda versus representative democracy, and special governments versus comprehensive governments. This innovative theory will have ramifications felt across national and disciplinary borders, and will be debated by a large audience, including the growing pool of economists interested in how law and politics shape economic policy, political scientists using game theory or specializing in constitutional law, and academic lawyers. The approach will also garner attention from students of political science, law, and economics, as well as policy makers working in and with new democracies where constitutions are being written and refined.
The Constitution, Majority Rule, and the Tempo of American Politics
Author: Greg Weiner
Publisher: American Political Thought (Un
Examines the significance of time in James Madison's theory of majority rule. Madison worried that the drive for instant political gratification might lead to an inflamed majority that would not rule reasonably. His philosophy--that the natural power of time will defuse passions--is incompatible with the current political ethos that values quick decision-making.
The Making of the American Constitution
Author: Richard Beeman
Publisher: Random House
In May 1787, in an atmosphere of crisis, delegates met in Philadelphia to design a radically new form of government. Distinguished historian Richard Beeman captures as never before the dynamic of the debate and the characters of the men who labored that historic summer. Virtually all of the issues in dispute—the extent of presidential power, the nature of federalism, and, most explosive of all, the role of slavery—have continued to provoke conflict throughout our nation's history. This unprecedented book takes readers behind the scenes to show how the world's most enduring constitution was forged through conflict, compromise, and fragile consensus. As Gouverneur Morris, delegate of Pennsylvania, noted: "While some have boasted it as a work from Heaven, others have given it a less righteous origin. I have many reasons to believe that it is the work of plain, honest men."
Author: Denis J. Galligan,Mila Versteeg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This volume analyses the social and political forces that influence constitutions and the process of constitution making. It combines theoretical perspectives on the social and political foundations of constitutions with a range of detailed case studies from nineteen countries. In the first part leading scholars analyse and develop a range of theoretical perspectives, including constitutions as coordination devices, mission statements, contracts, products of domestic power play, transnational documents, and as reflection of the will of the people. In the second part these theories are examined through in-depth case studies of the social and political foundations of constitutions in countries such as Egypt, Nigeria, Japan, Romania, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Israel, Argentina and others. The result is a multidimensional study of constitutions as social phenomena and their interaction with other social phenomena.
The Vocabulary of College Students
Author: John W. Black
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
The Speech Situation is a term worn with age in the teaching of public speaking in America. That it is comprised of occasion, speaker, and topic is a gross oversimplification. It also includes challenge, anxiety, emotion, fear, responsibility, faults of memory, and instants of pride. Out of the circumstances arise an increase in heart rate, a change in blood pressure, an abnormal pattern of breathing, a noticeable build up in perspiration, and an ongoing evaluation. For students this may be merely a grade or perhaps a series of evaluative remarks, possibly addressed both to the speaker and the other participants, the audience. It may entail a replaying of a record of the speech, indeed a videotape. Most important is the lasting impression that remains with all of the participants. What of the vocabulary of the speaker under the circumstances of the speech situation? This speaker - in the major portions of this work we may say, "this young man" - has spent time seeking an appropriate topic. He has outlined a composition around a central idea or thesis. He has marshaled evidence, details. He has framed an opening paragraph. He has been admonished not to give an essay, but to strive for audience contact, interpersonal communication. He makes his audible approach through his vocabulary and accompanying phonology. Under the tension, the speaker repeats; he adds meaningless vocalizations in periods that might logically be pauses. There are slips of the tongue. At worst, failing, he withdraws to await another day.
The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws that Affect Us Today
Author: Cynthia Levinson,Sanford Levinson
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in the US Constitution. Husband-and-wife team Cynthia and Sanford Levinson take readers back to the creation of this historic document and discuss how contemporary problems were first introduced—then they offer possible solutions. Think Electoral College, gerrymandering, even the Senate. Many of us take these features in our system for granted. But they came about through haggling in an overheated room in 1787, and we’re still experiencing the ramifications. Each chapter in this timely and thoughtful exploration of the Constitution’s creation begins with a story—all but one of them true—that connects directly back to a section of the document that forms the basis of our society and government. From the award-winning team, Cynthia Levinson, children’s book author, and Sanford Levinson, constitutional law scholar, Fault Lines in the Constitution will encourage exploration and discussion from young and old readers alike.
A Comparative Perspective on Europe, Canada and the USA
Author: Xenophōn I. Kontiadēs
This volume provides a holistic presentation of the reality of constitutional change in 18 countries (the 15 old EU member states, Canada, Switzerland and the USA). The essays offer analysis on formal and informal constitutional amendment bringing forth the overall picture of the parallel paths constitutional change follows, in correlation to what the constitution means and how constitutional law works. To capture the patterns of constitutional change, multi-faceted parameters are explored such as the interrelations between form of government, party system, and constitutional amendment; the interplay between constitutional change and the system of constitutionality review; the role of the people, civil society, and experts in constitutional change; and the influence of international and European law and jurisprudence on constitutional reform and evolution. In the extensive final, comparative chapter, key features of each country's amendment procedures are epitomized and the mechanisms of constitutional change are explained on the basis of introducing five distinct models of constitutional change. The concept of constitutional rigidity is re-approached and broken down to a set of factual and institutional rigidities. The classification of countries within models, in accordance with the way in which operative amending mechanisms connect, leads to a succinct portrayal of different modes of constitutional change engineering. This book will prove to be an invaluable tool for approaching constitutional revision either for theoretical or for practical purposes and will be of particular interest to students and scholars of constitutional, comparative and public law.