The Constitution Today

The Constitution Today
Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Publsiher: Basic Books
Total Pages: 464
Release: 2016-09-13
Genre: Law
ISBN: 9780465096343

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"I don't think there is anyone in the academy these days capable of more patient and attentive reading of the constitutional text than Akhil Amar."--Jeremy Waldron, New York Review of Books When the stories that lead our daily news involve momentous constitutional questions, present-minded journalists and busy citizens cannot always see the stakes clearly. In The Constitution Today, Akhil Reed Amar, America's preeminent constitutional scholar, considers the biggest and most bitterly contested debates of the last two decades--from gun control to gay marriage, affirmative action to criminal procedure, presidential dynasties to congressional dysfunction, Bill Clinton's impeachment to Obamacare. He shows how the Constitution's text, history, and structure are a crucial repository of collective wisdom, providing specific rules and grand themes relevant to every organ of the American body politic. Leading readers through the constitutional questions at stake in each episode while outlining his abiding views regarding the direction constitutional law must go, Amar offers an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand America's Constitution and its relevance today.

The Words That Made Us

The Words That Made Us
Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Publsiher: Basic Books
Total Pages: 832
Release: 2021-05-04
Genre: Law
ISBN: 9780465096367

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A history of the American Constitution's formative decades from a preeminent legal scholar When the US Constitution won popular approval in 1788, it was the culmination of thirty years of passionate argument over the nature of government. But ratification hardly ended the conversation. For the next half century, ordinary Americans and statesmen alike continued to wrestle with weighty questions in the halls of government and in the pages of newspapers. Should the nation's borders be expanded? Should America allow slavery to spread westward? What rights should Indian nations hold? What was the proper role of the judicial branch? In The Words that Made Us, Akhil Reed Amar unites history and law in a vivid narrative of the biggest constitutional questions early Americans confronted, and he expertly assesses the answers they offered. His account of the document's origins and consolidation is a guide for anyone seeking to properly understand America's Constitution today.

America s Constitution

America s Constitution
Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Publsiher: Random House
Total Pages: 672
Release: 2012-02-29
Genre: History
ISBN: 9781588364876

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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.

Fault Lines in the Constitution

Fault Lines in the Constitution
Author: Cynthia Levinson,Sanford Levinson
Publsiher: Peachtree Publishers
Total Pages: 235
Release: 2017-09-01
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781682630242

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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.

The U S Constitution

The U S  Constitution
Author: Ray Raphael
Publsiher: Vintage
Total Pages: 112
Release: 2017-10-31
Genre: Law
ISBN: 9780525562917

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Politicians come and go, but the Constitution stands as the supreme law of the land. Setting forth the workings of our democracy, it is the bedrock document from which we derive our policies on topics as diverse and galvanizing as immigration, gun ownership, voting rights, taxation, policing, civil liberties, and war. In this indispensable edition, acclaimed historian and Constitutional expert Ray Raphael guides us through the origins, impact, and current relevance of the original text and all twenty-seven amendments. Here is the key historical context for issues in the news today—from the Electoral College to Washington gridlock, from peaceful protests to executive power. Thoughtful and nuanced, lively and highly readable, this annotated Constitution is for all of us to read and refer to—the ultimate political fact-checking source for every American.

America s Unwritten Constitution

America s Unwritten Constitution
Author: Akhil Reed Amar,Akhil Amar
Publsiher: Basic Books
Total Pages: 640
Release: 2012-09-11
Genre: Law
ISBN: 9780465033096

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Explores the little-understood relationship between the written Constitution and the many external factors that shape the interpretations of this foundational document.

The Constitution in Jeopardy

The Constitution in Jeopardy
Author: Russ Feingold,Peter Prindiville
Publsiher: PublicAffairs
Total Pages: 315
Release: 2022-08-30
Genre: Law
ISBN: 9781541701540

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A former U.S. senator joins a legal scholar to examine a hushed effort to radically change our Constitution, offering a warning and a way forward. Over the last two decades, a fringe plan to call a convention under the Constitution's amendment mechanism—the nation's first ever—has inched through statehouses. Delegates, like those in Philadelphia two centuries ago, would exercise nearly unlimited authority to draft changes to our fundamental law, potentially altering anything from voting and free speech rights to regulatory and foreign policy powers. Such a watershed moment would present great danger, and for some, great power. In this important book, Feingold and Prindiville distill extensive legal and historical research and examine the grave risks inherent in this effort. But they also consider the role of constitutional amendment in modern life. Though many focus solely on judicial and electoral avenues for change, such an approach is at odds with a cornerstone ideal of the Founding: that the People make constitutional law, directly. In an era defined by faction and rejection of long-held norms, The Constitution in Jeopardy examines the nature of constitutional change and asks urgent questions about what American democracy is, and should be.

The Constitution of Knowledge

The Constitution of Knowledge
Author: Jonathan Rauch
Publsiher: Brookings Institution Press
Total Pages: 280
Release: 2021-06-22
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9780815738879

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Arming Americans to defend the truth from today’s war on facts Disinformation. Trolling. Conspiracies. Social media pile-ons. Campus intolerance. On the surface, these recent additions to our daily vocabulary appear to have little in common. But together, they are driving an epistemic crisis: a multi-front challenge to America’s ability to distinguish fact from fiction and elevate truth above falsehood. In 2016 Russian trolls and bots nearly drowned the truth in a flood of fake news and conspiracy theories, and Donald Trump and his troll armies continued to do the same. Social media companies struggled to keep up with a flood of falsehoods, and too often didn’t even seem to try. Experts and some public officials began wondering if society was losing its grip on truth itself. Meanwhile, another new phenomenon appeared: “cancel culture.” At the push of a button, those armed with a cellphone could gang up by the thousands on anyone who ran afoul of their sanctimony. In this pathbreaking book, Jonathan Rauch reaches back to the parallel eighteenth-century developments of liberal democracy and science to explain what he calls the “Constitution of Knowledge”—our social system for turning disagreement into truth. By explicating the Constitution of Knowledge and probing the war on reality, Rauch arms defenders of truth with a clearer understanding of what they must protect, why they must do—and how they can do it. His book is a sweeping and readable description of how every American can help defend objective truth and free inquiry from threats as far away as Russia and as close as the cellphone.