Judicial Monarchs

Author: William J. Watkins, Jr.
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 0786489987
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Who has the final say on the meaning of the Constitution? From high school to law school, students learn that the framers designed the Supreme Court to be the ultimate arbiter of constitutional issues, a function Chief Justice John Marshall recognized in deciding Marbury v. Madison in 1803. This provocative work challenges American dogma about the Supreme Court’s role, showing instead that the founding generation understood judicial power not as a counterweight against popular government, but as a consequence, and indeed a support, of popular sovereignty. Contending that court power must be restrained so that policy decisions are left to the people’s elected representatives, this study offers several remedies—including term limits and popular selection of the Supreme Court—to return the American people to their proper place in the constitutional order.

Restoring the Lost Constitution

Author: Randy E. Barnett
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140084813X
Format: PDF
Download Now
The U.S. Constitution found in school textbooks and under glass in Washington is not the one enforced today by the Supreme Court. In Restoring the Lost Constitution, Randy Barnett argues that since the nation's founding, but especially since the 1930s, the courts have been cutting holes in the original Constitution and its amendments to eliminate the parts that protect liberty from the power of government. From the Commerce Clause, to the Necessary and Proper Clause, to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, to the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court has rendered each of these provisions toothless. In the process, the written Constitution has been lost. Barnett establishes the original meaning of these lost clauses and offers a practical way to restore them to their central role in constraining government: adopting a "presumption of liberty" to give the benefit of the doubt to citizens when laws restrict their rightful exercises of liberty. He also provides a new, realistic and philosophically rigorous theory of constitutional legitimacy that justifies both interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning and, where that meaning is vague or open-ended, construing it so as to better protect the rights retained by the people. As clearly argued as it is insightful and provocative, Restoring the Lost Constitution forcefully disputes the conventional wisdom, posing a powerful challenge to which others must now respond. This updated edition features an afterword with further reflections on individual popular sovereignty, originalist interpretation, judicial engagement, and the gravitational force that original meaning has exerted on the Supreme Court in several recent cases.

The Cambridge Companion to the United States Constitution

Author: Karen Orren
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108340709
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
This Companion provides a broad, historically informed introduction to the study of the US constitutional system. In place of the usual laundry lists of cases, doctrines, and theories, it presents a picture of the constitutional system in action, with separate sections devoted to constitutional principles, organizational structures, and the various legal and extra-legal 'actions' through which litigators and average citizens have attempted to bring about constitutional change. Finally, the volume covers a number of subjects that are rarely discussed in works aimed at a general audience, but which are critical to ensuring that constitutional rights are honored in the day-to-day lives of citizens. These include standing and causes of action, suits against officeholders, and the inner workings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). This Companion places present-day constitutional controversies in historical context, and offers insights from a range of disciplines, including history, political science, and law.

Civil Society Constitution and Legitimacy

Author: Andrew Arato
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 074257363X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
Spurred by recent governmental transitions from dictatorships to democratic institutions, this highly original work argues that negotiated civil society-oriented transitions have an affinity for a distinctive method of constitution making— one that accomplishes the radical change of institutions through legal continuity. Arato presents a compelling argument that this is the preferred method for rapidly establishing viable democratic institutions, and he contrasts the negotiated model with radical revolutionary change. This exceptionally engaging work will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, constitutional law, and East European studies.