Cosmic Constitutional Theory

Author: J. Harvie Wilkinson III
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199930074
Format: PDF
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American constitutional law has undergone a transformation. Issues once left to the people have increasingly become the province of the courts. Subjects as diverse as abortion rights and firearms regulations, health care reform and counterterrorism efforts, not to mention a millennial presidential election, are more and more the domain of judges. What sparked this development? In this engaging volume, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson argues that America's most brilliant legal minds have launched a set of cosmic constitutional theories that, for all their value, are undermining self-governance. Thinkers as diverse as Justices William Brennan and Antonin Scalia, Professor John Hart Ely, Judges Robert Bork and Richard Posner, have all produced seminal interpretations of our Founding document, but ones that promise to imbue courts with unprecedented powers. While crediting the theorists for the sparkling quality of their thoughts, Judge Wilkinson argues they will slowly erode the role of representative institutions in America and leave our children bereft of democratic liberty. The loser in all the theoretical fireworks is the old and honorable tradition of judicial restraint. The judicial modesty once practiced by Learned Hand, John Harlan, and Oliver Wendell Holmes has given way to competing schools of liberal and conservative activism seeking sanctuary in Living Constitutionalism, Originalism, Process Theory, or the supposedly anti-theoretical creed of Pragmatism. Each of these seemingly disparate theories promises their followers an intellectually respectable route to congenial political outcomes from the bench. Judge Wilkinson calls for a plainer, simpler, self-disciplined commitment to judicial restraint and democratic governance, a course that alas may be impossible so long as the cosmic constitutionalists so dominate contemporary legal thought.

The Age of Deference

Author: David Rudenstine
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199381488
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In October 1948-one year after the creation of the U.S. Air Force as a separate military branch-a B-29 Superfortress crashed on a test run, killing the plane's crew. The plane was constructed with poor materials, and the families of the dead sued the U.S. government for damages. In the case, the government claimed that releasing information relating to the crash would reveal important state secrets, and refused to hand over the requested documents. Judges at both the U.S. District Court level and Circuit level rejected the government's argument and ruled in favor of the families. However, in 1953, the Supreme Court reversed the lower courts' decisions and ruled that in the realm of national security, the executive branch had a right to withhold information from the public. Judicial deference to the executive on national security matters has increased ever since the issuance of that landmark decision. Today, the government's ability to invoke state secrets privileges goes unquestioned by a largely supine judicial branch. David Rudenstine's The Age of Deference traces the Court's role in the rise of judicial deference to executive power since the end of World War II. He shows how in case after case, going back to the Truman and Eisenhower presidencies, the Court has ceded authority in national security matters to the executive branch. Since 9/11, the executive faces even less oversight. According to Rudenstine, this has had a negative impact both on individual rights and on our ability to check executive authority when necessary. Judges are mindful of the limits of their competence in national security matters; this, combined with their insulation from political accountability, has caused them in matters as important as the nation's security to defer to the executive. Judges are also afraid of being responsible for a decision that puts the nation at risk and the consequences for the judiciary in the wake of such a decision. Nonetheless, The Age of Deference argues that as important as these considerations are in shaping a judicial disposition, the Supreme Court has leaned too far, too often, and for too long in the direction of abdication. There is a broad spectrum separating judicial abdication, at one end, from judicial usurpation, at the other, and The Age of Deference argues that the rule of law compels the court to re-define its perspective and the legal doctrines central to the Age.

Eine kurze Geschichte der Menschheit

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: DVA
ISBN: 364110498X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.

Laudato si

Author: Franziskus (Papst),
Publisher: Verlag Herder GmbH
ISBN: 345180736X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Mit großer Spannung wurde sie erwartet, auch von Nicht-Katholiken: Die Umwelt-Enzyklika von Papst Franziskus nimmt die heute entscheidenden Themen in den Blick; es geht um die geht um soziale, ökologische und politische Zusammenhänge. Wohl selten war ein päpstliches Schreiben so aktuell und brisant und vor allem relevant für alle Gesellschaftsschichten und Menschen weltweit. Mit "Laudato si" beweist Franziskus, dass die Kirche nach wie vor eine unverzichtbare Stimme im Diskurs zur Gestaltung der modernen Welt ist. Wer verstehen will, wie Papst und Kirche die großen Herausforderungen unserer Zeit bestehen wollen, kommt an diesem Werk nicht vorbei. Ein Muss für jeden, der an den drängenden Fragen unserer Zeit interessiert ist.

Same Sex Marriage and American Constitutionalism

Author: Murray Dry
Publisher: Paul Dry Books
ISBN: 1589881028
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The two-decades-long controversy over same-sex marriage in the United States was finally resolved on June 26, 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses required states to allow same-sex couples to marry on the same terms as opposite-sex couples. Under our American system of government, divisive and often abiding disputes may be resolved either through legislation or judicial decisions. In Same-Sex Marriage and American Constitutionalism, Murray Dry explains why the process by which Americans arrive at these resolutions can be as important as the substance of the resolutions themselves. By taking up the question of same-sex marriage, Dry excavates the bases of why and how Americans decide as we do (and as we have done when major questions arose in the past; think: school integration, abortion, gun control, and campaign finance). As Professor Dry retraces the path that same-sex marriage took as it wended its way through the political (that is, the legislative) process and through the court system, he finds a vivid framework for the question, “Who should decide?” It’s a question often overlooked, but one that Dry believes should not be. He argues convincingly that it does matter whether the Supreme Court or the legislature makes the final decision—so that court-mandated law does not threaten democratic representative government, and so that legislation does not trample on fundamental constitutional rights.

The Twilight of Human Rights Law

Author: Eric Posner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199313466
Format: PDF
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Countries solemnly intone their commitment to human rights, and they ratify endless international treaties and conventions designed to signal that commitment. At the same time, there has been no marked decrease in human rights violations, even as the language of human rights has become the dominant mode of international moral criticism. Well-known violators like Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan have sat on the U.N. Council on Human Rights. But it's not just the usual suspects that flagrantly disregard the treaties. Brazil pursues extrajudicial killings. South Africa employs violence against protestors. India tolerate child labor and slavery. The United States tortures. In The Twilight of Human Rights Law--the newest addition to Oxford's highly acclaimed Inalienable Rights series edited by Geoffrey Stone--the eminent legal scholar Eric A. Posner argues that purposefully unenforceable human rights treaties are at the heart of the world's failure to address human rights violations. Because countries fundamentally disagree about what the public good requires and how governments should allocate limited resources in order to advance it, they have established a regime that gives them maximum flexibility--paradoxically characterized by a huge number of vague human rights that encompass nearly all human activity, along with weak enforcement machinery that churns out new rights but cannot enforce any of them. Posner looks to the foreign aid model instead, contending that we should judge compliance by comprehensive, concrete metrics like poverty reduction, instead of relying on ambiguous, weak, and easily manipulated checklists of specific rights. With a powerful thesis, a concise overview of the major developments in international human rights law, and discussions of recent international human rights-related controversies, The Twilight of Human Rights Law is an indispensable contribution to this important area of international law from a leading scholar in the field.

All Falling Faiths

Author: J. Harvie Wilkinson III
Publisher: Encounter Books
ISBN: 1641770376
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this warm and intimate memoir Judge Wilkinson delivers a chilling message. The 1960s inflicted enormous damage on our country; even at this very hour we see the decade’s imprint in so much of what we say and do. The chapters reveal the harm done to the true meaning of education, to our capacity for lasting personal commitments, to our respect for the rule of law, to our sense of rootedness and home, to our desire for service, to our capacity for national unity, and to our need for the sustenance of faith. Judge Wilkinson seeks not to lecture but to share, in the most personal sense, what life was like in the 1960s and to describe the influence of those frighteningly eventful years upon the present day. Judge Wilkinson acknowledges the good things accomplished by the Sixties and nourishes the belief that from that decade we can learn ways to build a better future. But he asks his own generation to recognize its youthful mistakes and pleads with future generations not to repeat them. The author’s voice is one of love and hope for America. Our national prospects depend on facing honestly the full magnitude of all we lost during one momentous decade and of all we must now recover.