The fundamental, inalienable rights and privileges set forth in the Bill of Rights represent the very foundations of American liberty. The Complete Bill of Rights is a documentary record of the process by which these rights and privileges were defined and recorded as law. Now in its second edition, The Complete Bill of Rights contains double the content featured in the first edition. This new edition includes all the background texts for the origins and debate of the ratification of the Bill of Rights and presents them clause by clause in a complete, accurate, and accessible format. Arranged in chronological order, the work presents each clause in its finished form, and traces its development from its proposal through drafting through adoption. Cogan presents every draft of the text and every documentary source, including state convention proposals, state, colonial, and English constitutional texts, sources in caselaw and treatises, and State and Colonial statutory and decisional law. He includes data from diaries and correspondence, pamphlets and newspapers, as well as the Congressional and State debates, including the correspondence of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams among many others who debated the issues that the Supreme Court considers law today. The book also contains each version of the drafts from the manuscript collections of the National Archives and Library of Congress. The result is the most detailed and useful record of the debate over the Bill of Rights available. This first new edition since 1997 substantially expands on the previous edition, providing the same invaluable texts for two fundamental protections of liberty found in the Constitution of 1789 (though not in the Bill of Rights): the protections under habeas corpus and the privileges and immunities clauses. Each chapter expands the background discussion of rights, and provides pertinent texts in contemporary legal dictionaries to meet the increasing interest of federal and state courts in additional sources for interpretation. The second edition also provides a chapter-by-chapter discussion of rights by treatise and abridgement writers in addition to Blackstone. Finally, all margin notes and footnotes in the dictionaries and treatises are included, so the reader has access to the totality of the original statues and case law upon which the drafters relied. The Complete Bill of Rights is the only comprehensive collection of texts essential to understanding the Bill of Rights. Organized in an accessible and practical manner, it is an invaluable tool for law students, judges, lawyers, and law clerks, as well as scholars of the law, history, and political science.
The three Amendments to the Constitution known as the Reconstruction Amendments (1865-1875) guaranteed the rights of citizenship, equality, and personal liberty to all Americans. This companion to Cogan's acclaimed Complete Bill of Rights, which dealt with the first ten amendments, offers the most complete set of original texts -- clauses, draft-proposals, and historical debates-associated with this landmark period in Constitutional law. This first of three volumes covers the Thirteenth Amendment (1865), which abolished slavery and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which provided rights to "freedmen."
Designed for high school students and motivated lay readers, this book will be an introduction to the rights held by American citizens under the U.S. Constitution as explored through a series of historical case studies. Each chapter will use dramatic narrative to illustrate a right in action. Most examples, but not all, will use U.S. Supreme Court cases to focus on a time when the right in question received its modern interpretation. The aim, however, will be to use each chapter to discuss how the right applies today and how courts and other interpreters seek to balance this right with important societal concerns, such as the need for order and public safety. The book will begin with a 20-page chapter on how we arrived at our modern concept of rights. The major interpretive thread will be the continual struggle to define limits on the power of the state. The chapter will introduce several key themes: our understanding of rights has emerged from history (experience); our definition and interpretation of rights is always evolving; concepts of rights are always under contention; and various actors-legislatures, executives, and courts-compete to be the final interpreter of our rights. American constitutional rights generally fall into one of three groups-rights of democracy, that is, rights required for American democracy to work effectively; rights of the accused, or due process rights that assure a fair trial for individuals accused of crimes; and other rights of persons, including the right to privacy. A fourth category of rights are not constitutional per se, but often we conceive of them as such even though often they are statutory rights, such as the right to education... A concluding chapter will discuss other rights that may evolve as a result of current political and social movements, such as the right to health care. Along with Our Constitution and Pivotal Supreme Court Cases (working title), this book has the potential to become a core text for the annual observance of Constitution Day on September 17, which is mandated by Congress for all educational institutions receiving federal funds.
In this well-researched, informative history, David Dean Bowlby examines church and state in the American colonies and the early national period up to the framing of the religion clauses of the First Amendment by the First Congress. Bowlby describes the history of the church and state up to that time as one involving the struggle of religious minorities against church establishments, with increasingly vocal calls for the free exercise of religion, liberty of conscience, and disestablishment. He shows that when the religion clauses were framed, people feared that the establishment of religion would lead to the domination of one particular denomination or sect, resulting in compulsory church taxes, obligatory attendance at religious services, and adherence to orthodox doctrines and liturgy. By focusing on the relationship between religious establishments and free exercise, he makes the case that the establishment clause and free exercise of religion must be taken together as a guarantee of religious liberty, because where a religious establishment was present the full and free exercise of religion was not. It was this concern that prompted the prohibitive language of the clauses—the Founders meant to protect the latter by forbidding the former.
The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution introduces scholars, students and generally interested readers to the formative event in American history. In thirty-three individual essays, the Handbook provides readers with in-depth analysis of the Revolution's many sides.
Randall P. Bezanson's How Free Can Religion Be? explores the Supreme Court's varied history of interpreting the religious guarantees outlined in the First Amendment. The book discusses eight provocative Supreme Court decisions to track the evolution of Free Exercise and Establishment Clause doctrine, focusing on the court's shift from strict separation of church and state to a position where the government accommodates and even fosters religion. Beginning with samples from the latter half of the nineteenth century, the detailed case studies present new problems and revisit some old ones as well: the purported belief of polygamy in the Mormon Church; state support for religious schools; the teaching of evolution and creationism in public schools; Amish claims for exemption from compulsory education laws; comparable claims for Native American religion in relation to drug laws; and rights of free speech and equal access by religious groups in colleges and public schools.
No phrase in American letters has had a more profound influence on church-state law, policy, and discourse than Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation between church and state,” and few metaphors have provoked more passionate debate. Introduced in an 1802 letter to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association, Jefferson’s “wall” is accepted by many Americans as a concise description of the U.S. Constitution’s church-state arrangement and conceived as a virtual rule of constitutional law. Despite the enormous influence of the “wall” metaphor, almost no scholarship has investigated the text of the Danbury letter, the context in which it was written, or Jefferson’s understanding of his famous phrase. Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State offers an in-depth examination of the origins, controversial uses, and competing interpretations of this powerful metaphor in law and public policy.
Is America a Christian nation? This question has loomed large in American culture since the Puritans arrived on American shores in the early seventeenth century. More recently, the Christian America thesis has been advocated by many evangelical leaders across the denominational spectrum. This book contributes to the conversation by critiquing, from an evangelical perspective, the idea that America is a Christian nation as articulated by specific writers over the past three decades. Wilsey asserts that the United States was not conceived as a Christian nation, but as a nation with religious liberty. Herein lies the genius of the Founders and the uniqueness of America.