Our Lost Constitution

Our Lost Constitution
Author: Mike Lee
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 256
Release: 2015-04-07
ISBN 10: 0698189205
ISBN 13: 9780698189201
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Our Lost Constitution Book Review:

The still-unfolding story of America’s Constitution is a history of heroes and villains—the flawed visionaries who inspired and crafted liberty’s safeguards, and the shortsighted opportunists who defied them. Those stories are known by few today. In Our Lost Constitution, Senator Mike Lee tells the dramatic, little-known stories behind six of the Constitution’s most indispensible provisions. He shows their rise. He shows their fall. And he makes vividly clear how nearly every abuse of federal power today is rooted in neglect of this Lost Constitution. For example: • The Origination Clause says that all bills to raise taxes must originate in the House of Representatives, but contempt for the clause ensured the passage of Obamacare. • The Fourth Amendment protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures, but the NSA now collects our private data without a warrant. • The Legislative Powers Clause means that only Congress can pass laws, but unelected agencies now produce ninety-nine out of every one hundred pages of legal rules imposed on the American people. Lee’s cast of characters includes a former Ku Klux Klansman, who hijacked the Establishment Clause to strangle Catholic schools; the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who called the Second Amendment a fraud; and the revered president who began his first of four terms by threating to shatter the balance of power between Congress and the president, and who began his second term by vowing to do the same to the Supreme Court. Fortunately, the Constitution has always had its defenders. Senator Lee tells the story of how Andrew Jackson, noted for his courage in duels and politics, stood firm against the unconstitutional expansion of federal powers. He brings to life Ben Franklin’s genius for compromise at a deeply divided constitutional convention. And he tells how in 2008, a couple of unlikely challengers persuaded the Supreme Court to rediscover the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms. Sections of the Constitution may have been forgotten, but it’s not too late to bring them back—if only we remember why we once demanded them and how we later lost them. Drawing on his experience working in all three branches of government, Senator Lee makes a bold case for resurrecting the Lost Constitution to restore and defend our fundamental liberties. From the Hardcover edition.

Restoring the Lost Constitution

Restoring the Lost Constitution
Author: Randy E. Barnett
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 448
Release: 2013-11-24
ISBN 10: 0691159734
ISBN 13: 9780691159737
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Restoring the Lost Constitution Book Review:

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.

Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution

Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution
Author: Myron Magnet
Publsiher: Encounter Books
Total Pages: 168
Release: 2019-05-07
ISBN 10: 1641770538
ISBN 13: 9781641770538
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution Book Review:

When Clarence Thomas joined the Supreme Court in 1991, he found with dismay that it was interpreting a very different Constitution from the one the framers had written—the one that had established a federal government manned by the people’s own elected representatives, charged with protecting citizens’ inborn rights while leaving them free to work out their individual happiness themselves, in their families, communities, and states. He found that his predecessors on the Court were complicit in the first step of this transformation, when in the 1870s they defanged the Civil War amendments intended to give full citizenship to his fellow black Americans. In the next generation, Woodrow Wilson, dismissing the framers and their work as obsolete, set out to replace laws made by the people’s representatives with rules made by highly educated, modern, supposedly nonpartisan “experts,” an idea Franklin Roosevelt supersized in the New Deal agencies that he acknowledged had no constitutional warrant. Then, under Chief Justice Earl Warren in the 1950s and 1960s, the Nine set about realizing Wilson’s dream of a Supreme Court sitting as a permanent constitutional convention, conjuring up laws out of smoke and mirrors and justifying them as expressions of the spirit of the age. But Thomas, who joined the Court after eight years running one of the myriad administrative agencies that the Great Society had piled on top of FDR’s batch, had deep misgivings about the new governmental order. He shared the framers’ vision of free, self-governing citizens forging their own fate. And from his own experience growing up in segregated Savannah, flirting with and rejecting black radicalism at college, and running an agency that supposedly advanced equality, he doubted that unelected experts and justices really did understand the moral arc of the universe better than the people themselves, or that the rules and rulings they issued made lives better rather than worse. So in the hundreds of opinions he has written in more than a quarter century on the Court—the most important of them explained in these pages in clear, non-lawyerly language—he has questioned the constitutional underpinnings of the new order and tried to restore the limited, self-governing original one, as more legitimate, more just, and more free than the one that grew up in its stead. The Court now seems set to move down the trail he blazed. A free, self-governing nation needs independent-minded, self-reliant citizens, and Thomas’s biography, vividly recounted here, produced just the kind of character that the founders assumed would always mark Americans. America’s future depends on the power of its culture and institutions to form ever more citizens of this stamp.

The Lost Constitution

The Lost Constitution
Author: William Martin
Publsiher: Forge Books
Total Pages: 640
Release: 2008-06-03
ISBN 10: 9780765354464
ISBN 13: 0765354462
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Lost Constitution Book Review:

Rare-book expert Peter Fallon and his girlfriend, Evangeline, the main characters from Back Bay and Harvard Yard, are back for another treasure hunt through time. They have learned of an early, annotated draft of the Constitution, stolen and smuggled out of Philadelphia. The draft's marginal notes spell out, in shocking detail, the Founders' unequivocal intentions---the unmistakable meaning of the Bill of Rights. Peddled and purloined, trafficked and concealed for over two centuries, the lost Constitution could forever change America's history---and its future. Moreover, Congress is already at war, fighting tooth and claw over the eternally contentious Bill of Rights. When word gets out of the lost draft's existence, it launches a frenzied search, as both sides of the partisan machine believe it will reinforce their arguments. While battling politicians from both sides of the debate, Peter and Evangeline must get to the document first, because they know that if the wrong people find it, they will burn it, stripping the nation of its constitutional moorings. The search takes Peter and Evangeline into the rich history of America and New England, from Shay's Rebellion to the birth of the American industrial revolution to the march of the legendary 20th Maine in the Civil War. Past and present play off one another as the search for the draft heats up. It finally boils over on the first night of the World Series, at that Mecca of New England, Boston's fabled Fenway Park, and the truth is finally revealed....

Creating the Administrative Constitution

Creating the Administrative Constitution
Author: Jerry L. Mashaw
Publsiher: Yale University Press
Total Pages: 448
Release: 2012-06-26
ISBN 10: 030018347X
ISBN 13: 9780300183474
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Creating the Administrative Constitution Book Review:

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."

Originalism and the Good Constitution

Originalism and the Good Constitution
Author: John O. McGinnis,Michael B. Rappaport
Publsiher: Harvard University Press
Total Pages: 308
Release: 2013-11-01
ISBN 10: 067472626X
ISBN 13: 9780674726260
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Originalism and the Good Constitution Book Review:

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.

The Classical Liberal Constitution

The Classical Liberal Constitution
Author: Richard A. Epstein
Publsiher: Harvard University Press
Total Pages: 700
Release: 2014-01-01
ISBN 10: 0674727800
ISBN 13: 9780674727809
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Classical Liberal Constitution Book Review:

American liberals and conservatives alike take for granted a progressive view of the Constitution that took root in the early twentieth century. Richard Epstein laments this complacency which, he believes, explains America's current economic malaise and political gridlock. Steering clear of well-worn debates between defenders of originalism and proponents of a living Constitution, Epstein employs close textual reading, historical analysis, and political and economic theory to urge a return to the classical liberal theory of governance that animated the framers' original constitutional design. Grounded in the thought of Locke, Hume, Madison, and other Enlightenment figures, classical liberalism emphasized federalism, restricted government, separation of powers, and strong protection of individual rights. New Deal progressives challenged this synthesis by embracing government as a force for social good rather than a necessary evil. The Supreme Court has unwisely ratified the progressive program by sustaining many legislative initiatives at odds with the classical liberal Constitution. Epstein addresses both the Constitution's structural safeguards against state power and its protection of individual rights. He sheds light on contemporary disputes ranging from presidential prerogatives to health care legislation, while exploring such enduring topics as judicial review, economic regulation, freedom of speech and religion, and equal protection.

Our Republican Constitution

Our Republican Constitution
Author: Randy E. Barnett
Publsiher: HarperCollins
Total Pages: 320
Release: 2016-04-19
ISBN 10: 0062412302
ISBN 13: 9780062412300
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Our Republican Constitution Book Review:

A concise history of the long struggle between two fundamentally opposing constitutional traditions, from one of the nation’s leading constitutional scholars—a manifesto for renewing our constitutional republic. The Constitution of the United States begins with the words: “We the People.” But from the earliest days of the American republic, there have been two competing notions of “the People,” which lead to two very different visions of the Constitution. Those who view “We the People” collectively think popular sovereignty resides in the people as a group, which leads them to favor a “democratic” constitution that allows the “will of the people” to be expressed by majority rule. In contrast, those who think popular sovereignty resides in the people as individuals contend that a “republican” constitution is needed to secure the pre-existing inalienable rights of “We the People,” each and every one, against abuses by the majority. In Our Republican Constitution, renowned legal scholar Randy E. Barnett tells the fascinating story of how this debate arose shortly after the Revolution, leading to the adoption of a new and innovative “republican” constitution; and how the struggle over slavery led to its completion by a newly formed Republican Party. Yet soon thereafter, progressive academics and activists urged the courts to remake our Republican Constitution into a democratic one by ignoring key passes of its text. Eventually, the courts complied. Drawing from his deep knowledge of constitutional law and history, as well as his experience litigating on behalf of medical marijuana and against Obamacare, Barnett explains why “We the People” would greatly benefit from the renewal of our Republican Constitution, and how this can be accomplished in the courts and the political arena.

A Constitution of Many Minds

A Constitution of Many Minds
Author: Cass R. Sunstein
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 240
Release: 2009-01-19
ISBN 10: 1400829925
ISBN 13: 9781400829927
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

A Constitution of Many Minds Book Review:

The future of the U.S. Supreme Court hangs in the balance like never before. Will conservatives or liberals succeed in remaking the court in their own image? In A Constitution of Many Minds, acclaimed law scholar Cass Sunstein proposes a bold new way of interpreting the Constitution, one that respects the Constitution's text and history but also refuses to view the document as frozen in time. Exploring hot-button issues ranging from presidential power to same-sex relations to gun rights, Sunstein shows how the meaning of the Constitution is reestablished in every generation as new social commitments and ideas compel us to reassess our fundamental beliefs. He focuses on three approaches to the Constitution--traditionalism, which grounds the document's meaning in long-standing social practices, not necessarily in the views of the founding generation; populism, which insists that judges should respect contemporary public opinion; and cosmopolitanism, which looks at how foreign courts address constitutional questions, and which suggests that the meaning of the Constitution turns on what other nations do. Sunstein demonstrates that in all three contexts a "many minds" argument is at work--put simply, better decisions result when many points of view are considered. He makes sense of the intense debates surrounding these approaches, revealing their strengths and weaknesses, and sketches the contexts in which each provides a legitimate basis for interpreting the Constitution today. This book illuminates the underpinnings of constitutionalism itself, and shows that ours is indeed a Constitution, not of any particular generation, but of many minds.

Cosmic Constitutional Theory

Cosmic Constitutional Theory
Author: J. Harvie Wilkinson
Publsiher: OUP USA
Total Pages: 161
Release: 2012-03-12
ISBN 10: 0199846014
ISBN 13: 9780199846016
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Cosmic Constitutional Theory Book Review:

What underlies this development? In this concise and highly engaging work, Federal Appeals Court Judge and noted author (From Brown to Bakke) 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.

Lost Rights

Lost Rights
Author: James Bovard
Publsiher: St. Martin's Griffin
Total Pages: 416
Release: 2016-01-05
ISBN 10: 1250109647
ISBN 13: 9781250109644
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Lost Rights Book Review:

From Justice Department officials seizing people's homes based on mere rumors to the IRS and its master plan to prohibit the nation's self-employed from working for themselves to the perpetrators of the Waco siege, government officials are tearing the Bill of Rights to pieces. Today's citizen is now more likely than ever to violate some unknown law or regulation and be placed at the mercy of an administrator or politician hungering for publicity. Unfortunately, the only way many government agencies can measure their "public service" is by the number of citizens they harass, hinder, restrain, or jail. James Bovard's Lost Rights provides a highly entertaining analysis of the bloated excess of government and the plight of contemporary Americans beaten into submission by a horrible parody of the Founding Fathers' dream.

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America
Author: United States
Publsiher: Unknown
Total Pages: 86
Release: 1868
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13: PSU:000012743773
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America Book Review:

Constitutional Faith

Constitutional Faith
Author: Sanford Levinson
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 262
Release: 2011-09-11
ISBN 10: 0691152403
ISBN 13: 9780691152400
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Constitutional Faith Book Review:

"The book is intended to make clearer the ambiguities of "constitutional faith," i.e. wholehearted attachment to the Constitution as the center of one's (and ultimately the nation's) political life."--The introduction.

The New Constitutional Order

The New Constitutional Order
Author: Mark Tushnet
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2009-02-09
ISBN 10: 9781400825554
ISBN 13: 1400825555
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The New Constitutional Order Book Review:

In his 1996 State of the Union Address, President Bill Clinton announced that the "age of big government is over." Some Republicans accused him of cynically appropriating their themes, while many Democrats thought he was betraying the principles of the New Deal and the Great Society. Mark Tushnet argues that Clinton was stating an observed fact: the emergence of a new constitutional order in which the aspiration to achieve justice directly through law has been substantially chastened. Tushnet argues that the constitutional arrangements that prevailed in the United States from the 1930s to the 1990s have ended. We are now in a new constitutional order--one characterized by divided government, ideologically organized parties, and subdued constitutional ambition. Contrary to arguments that describe a threatened return to a pre-New Deal constitutional order, however, this book presents evidence that our current regime's animating principle is not the old belief that government cannot solve any problems but rather that government cannot solve any more problems. Tushnet examines the institutional arrangements that support the new constitutional order as well as Supreme Court decisions that reflect it. He also considers recent developments in constitutional scholarship, focusing on the idea of minimalism as appropriate to a regime with chastened ambitions. Tushnet discusses what we know so far about the impact of globalization on domestic constitutional law, particularly in the areas of international human rights and federalism. He concludes with predictions about the type of regulation we can expect from the new order. This is a major new analysis of the constitutional arrangements in the United States. Though it will not be received without controversy, it offers real explanatory and predictive power and provides important insights to both legal theorists and political scientists.

The Impossibility of Religious Freedom

The Impossibility of Religious Freedom
Author: Winnifred Fallers Sullivan
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 336
Release: 2018-04-24
ISBN 10: 0691180954
ISBN 13: 9780691180953
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Impossibility of Religious Freedom Book Review:

The Constitution may guarantee it. But religious freedom in America is, in fact, impossible. So argues this timely and iconoclastic work by law and religion scholar Winnifred Sullivan. Sullivan uses as the backdrop for the book the trial of Warner vs. Boca Raton, a recent case concerning the laws that protect the free exercise of religion in America. The trial, for which the author served as an expert witness, concerned regulations banning certain memorials from a multiconfessional nondenominational cemetery in Boca Raton, Florida. The book portrays the unsuccessful struggle of Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish families in Boca Raton to preserve the practice of placing such religious artifacts as crosses and stars of David on the graves of the city-owned burial ground. Sullivan demonstrates how, during the course of the proceeding, citizens from all walks of life and religious backgrounds were harassed to define just what their religion is. She argues that their plight points up a shocking truth: religion cannot be coherently defined for the purposes of American law, because everyone has different definitions of what religion is. Indeed, while religious freedom as a political idea was arguably once a force for tolerance, it has now become a force for intolerance, she maintains. A clear-eyed look at the laws created to protect religious freedom, this vigorously argued book offers a new take on a right deemed by many to be necessary for a free democratic society. It will have broad appeal not only for religion scholars, but also for anyone interested in law and the Constitution. Featuring a new preface by the author, The Impossibility of Religious Freedom offers a new take on a right deemed by many to be necessary for a free democratic society.

The Enigma of Clarence Thomas

The Enigma of Clarence Thomas
Author: Corey Robin
Publsiher: Metropolitan Books
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2019-09-24
ISBN 10: 1627793844
ISBN 13: 9781627793841
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Enigma of Clarence Thomas Book Review:

The Enigma of Clarence Thomas is a groundbreaking revisionist take on the Supreme Court justice everyone knows about but no one knows. Most people can tell you two things about Clarence Thomas: Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment, and he almost never speaks from the bench. Here are some things they don’t know: Thomas is a black nationalist. In college he memorized the speeches of Malcolm X. He believes white people are incurably racist. In the first examination of its kind, Corey Robin – one of the foremost analysts of the right – delves deeply into both Thomas’s biography and his jurisprudence, masterfully reading his Supreme Court opinions against the backdrop of his autobiographical and political writings and speeches. The hidden source of Thomas’s conservative views, Robin shows, is a profound skepticism that racism can be overcome. Thomas is convinced that any government action on behalf of African-Americans will be tainted by racism; the most African-Americans can hope for is that white people will get out of their way. There’s a reason, Robin concludes, why liberals often complain that Thomas doesn’t speak but seldom pay attention when he does. Were they to listen, they’d hear a racial pessimism that often sounds similar to their own. Cutting across the ideological spectrum, this unacknowledged consensus about the impossibility of progress is key to understanding today’s political stalemate.

An Introduction to Constitutional Law

An Introduction to Constitutional Law
Author: Randy E. Barnett,Josh Blackman
Publsiher: Aspen Publishers
Total Pages: 400
Release: 2019-09-13
ISBN 10: 1543813909
ISBN 13: 9781543813906
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

An Introduction to Constitutional Law Book Review:

This multimedia platform combines a book and video series that will change the way you study constitutional law. An Introduction to Constitutional Law teaches the narrative of constitutional law as it has developed over the past two centuries. All students—even those unfamiliar with American history—will learn the essential background information to grasp how this body of law has come to be what it is today. An online library of sixty-three videos (access codes provided with purchase of the book) brings the Supreme Court’s one hundred most important decisions to life. These videos are enriched by photographs, maps, and even audio from the Supreme Court. The book and videos are accessible for all levels: law school, college, high school, home school, and independent study. Students can read and watch these materials before class to prepare for lectures or study after class to fill in any gaps in their notes. And, come exam time, students can watch the entire canon of constitutional law in about twelve hours.

Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Keeping Faith with the Constitution
Author: Goodwin Liu,Pamela S. Karlan,Christopher H. Schroeder
Publsiher: Oxford University Press
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2010-08-05
ISBN 10: 9780199752836
ISBN 13: 0199752834
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Keeping Faith with the Constitution Book Review:

Chief Justice John Marshall argued that a constitution "requires that only its great outlines should be marked [and] its important objects designated." Ours is "intended to endure for ages to come, and consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs." In recent years, Marshall's great truths have been challenged by proponents of originalism and strict construction. Such legal thinkers as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argue that the Constitution must be construed and applied as it was when the Framers wrote it. In Keeping Faith with the Constitution, three legal authorities make the case for Marshall's vision. They describe their approach as "constitutional fidelity"--not to how the Framers would have applied the Constitution, but to the text and principles of the Constitution itself. The original understanding of the text is one source of interpretation, but not the only one; to preserve the meaning and authority of the document, to keep it vital, applications of the Constitution must be shaped by precedent, historical experience, practical consequence, and societal change. The authors range across the history of constitutional interpretation to show how this approach has been the source of our greatest advances, from Brown v. Board of Education to the New Deal, from the Miranda decision to the expansion of women's rights. They delve into the complexities of voting rights, the malapportionment of legislative districts, speech freedoms, civil liberties and the War on Terror, and the evolution of checks and balances. The Constitution's framers could never have imagined DNA, global warming, or even women's equality. Yet these and many more realities shape our lives and outlook. Our Constitution will remain vital into our changing future, the authors write, if judges remain true to this rich tradition of adaptation and fidelity.

The Cult of the Constitution

The Cult of the Constitution
Author: Mary Anne Franks
Publsiher: Unknown
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2020-09-08
ISBN 10: 9781503614987
ISBN 13: 1503614980
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Cult of the Constitution Book Review:

In this controversial and provocative book, Mary Anne Franks examines the thin line between constitutional fidelity and constitutional fundamentalism. The Cult of the Constitution reveals how deep fundamentalist strains in both conservative and liberal American thought keep the Constitution in the service of white male supremacy. Constitutional fundamentalists read the Constitution selectively and self-servingly. Fundamentalist interpretations of the Constitution elevate certain constitutional rights above all others, benefit the most powerful members of society, and undermine the integrity of the document as a whole. The conservative fetish for the Second Amendment (enforced by groups such as the NRA) provides an obvious example of constitutional fundamentalism; the liberal fetish for the First Amendment (enforced by groups such as the ACLU) is less obvious but no less influential. Economic and civil libertarianism have increasingly merged to produce a deregulatory, "free-market" approach to constitutional rights that achieves fullest expression in the idealization of the Internet. The worship of guns, speech, and the Internet in the name of the Constitution has blurred the boundaries between conduct and speech and between veneration and violence. But the Constitution itself contains the antidote to fundamentalism. The Cult of the Constitution lays bare the dark, antidemocratic consequences of constitutional fundamentalism and urges readers to take the Constitution seriously, not selectively.

The Short Life and Curious Death of Free Speech in America

The Short Life and Curious Death of Free Speech in America
Author: Ellis Cose
Publsiher: HarperCollins
Total Pages: 208
Release: 2020-09-15
ISBN 10: 0062999737
ISBN 13: 9780062999733
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Short Life and Curious Death of Free Speech in America Book Review:

The critically acclaimed journalist and bestselling author of The Rage of a Privileged Class explores one of the most essential rights in America—free speech—and reveals how it is crumbling under the combined weight of polarization, technology, money and systematized lying in this concise yet powerful and timely book. Free speech has long been one of American's most revered freedoms. Yet now, more than ever, free speech is reshaping America’s social and political landscape even as it is coming under attack. Bestselling author and critically acclaimed journalist Ellis Cose wades into the debate to reveal how this Constitutional right has been coopted by the wealthy and politically corrupt. It is no coincidence that historically huge disparities in income have occurred at times when moneyed interests increasingly control political dialogue. Over the past four years, Donald Trump’s accusations of “fake news,” the free use of negative language against minority groups, “cancel culture,” and blatant xenophobia have caused Americans to question how far First Amendment protections can—and should—go. Cose offers an eye-opening wholly original examination of the state of free speech in America today, litigating ideas that touch on every American’s life. Social media meant to bring us closer, has become a widespread disseminator of false information keeping people of differing opinions and political parties at odds. The nation—and world—watches in shock as white nationalism rises, race and gender-based violence spreads, and voter suppression widens. The problem, Cose makes clear, is that ordinary individuals have virtually no voice at all. He looks at the danger of hyper-partisanship and how the discriminatory structures that determine representation in the Senate and the electoral college threaten the very concept of democracy. He argues that the safeguards built into the Constitution to protect free speech and democracy have instead become instruments of suppression by an unfairly empowered political minority. But we can take our rights back, he reminds us. Analyzing the experiences of other countries, weaving landmark court cases together with a critical look at contemporary applications, and invoking the lessons of history, including the Great Migration, Cose sheds much-needed light on this cornerstone of American culture and offers a clarion call for activism and change.