Constitutional Construction

Divided Powers and Constitutional Meaning

Author: Keith E Whittington

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674045156

Category: Law

Page: 316

View: 2273

DOWNLOAD NOW »

This book argues that the Constitution has a dual nature. The first aspect, on which legal scholars have focused, is the degree to which the Constitution acts as a binding set of rules that can be neutrally interpreted and externally enforced by the courts against government actors. This is the process of constitutional interpretation. But according to Keith Whittington, the Constitution also permeates politics itself, to guide and constrain political actors in the very process of making public policy. In so doing, it is also dependent on political actors, both to formulate authoritative constitutional requirements and to enforce those fundamental settlements in the future. Whittington characterizes this process, by which constitutional meaning is shaped within politics at the same time that politics is shaped by the Constitution, as one of construction as opposed to interpretation. Whittington goes on to argue that ambiguities in the constitutional text and changes in the political situation push political actors to construct their own constitutional understanding. The construction of constitutional meaning is a necessary part of the political process and a regular part of our nation's history, how a democracy lives with a written constitution. The Constitution both binds and empowers government officials. Whittington develops his argument through intensive analysis of four important cases: the impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson, the nullification crisis, and reforms of presidential-congressional relations during the Nixon presidency.
Release

Constitutional Construction

Divided Powers and Constitutional Meaning

Author: Keith E. Whittington

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780674005839

Category: History

Page: 303

View: 3613

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Whittington characterizes this process, by which constitutional meaning is shaped within politics at the same time that politics is shaped by the Constitution, as one of construction as opposed to interpretation.
Release

Judicial Review and Constitutional Politics

Author: Keith E. Whittington

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780872292185

Category: Constitutional law

Page: 66

View: 7571

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Origins of judicial review in the United States -- Early judicial review -- Slavery and war -- The administrative state and a national economy -- A rights revolution -- Judicial oscillation
Release

The Challenge of Originalism

Theories of Constitutional Interpretation

Author: Grant Huscroft,Bradley W. Miller

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139505130

Category: Law

Page: N.A

View: 9986

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Originalism is a force to be reckoned with in constitutional interpretation. At one time a monolithic theory of constitutional interpretation, contemporary originalism has developed into a sophisticated family of theories about how to interpret and reason with a constitution. Contemporary originalists harness the resources of linguistic, moral, and political philosophy to propose methodologies for the interpretation of constitutional texts and provide reasons for fidelity to those texts. The essays in this volume, which includes contributions from the flag bearers of several competing schools of constitutional interpretation, provides an introduction to the development of originalist thought, showcases the great range of contemporary originalist constitutional scholarship, and situates competing schools of thought in dialogue with each other. They also make new contributions to the methodological and normative disputes between originalists and non-originalists, and among originalists themselves.
Release

Restoring the Lost Constitution

The Presumption of Liberty - Updated Edition

Author: Randy E. Barnett

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691159734

Category: Law

Page: 448

View: 1539

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.
Release

Originalism's Promise

A Natural Law Account of the American Constitution

Author: Lee J. Strang

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1108475639

Category: History

Page: 225

View: 9539

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Provides the first natural law justification for an originalist interpretation of the American Constitution.
Release

Thomas Jefferson and Executive Power

Author: Jeremy D. Bailey

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139466291

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 6256

DOWNLOAD NOW »

By revisiting Thomas Jefferson's understanding of executive power this book offers a new understanding of the origins of presidential power. Before Jefferson was elected president, he arrived at a way to resolve the tension between constitutionalism and executive power. Because his solution would preserve a strict interpretation of the Constitution as well as transform the precedents left by his Federalist predecessors, it provided an alternative to Alexander Hamilton's understanding of executive power. In fact, a more thorough account of Jefferson's political career suggests that Jefferson envisioned an executive that was powerful, or 'energetic', because it would be more explicitly attached to the majority will. Jefferson's Revolution of 1800, often portrayed as a reversal of the strong presidency, was itself premised on energy in the executive and was part of Jefferson's project to enable the Constitution to survive and even flourish in a world governed by necessity.
Release

The Constitution on the Campaign Trail

The Surprising Political Career of America's Founding Document

Author: Andrew Busch

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780742559011

Category: Law

Page: 319

View: 3520

DOWNLOAD NOW »

The Constitution is the fundamental governing document of the United States. But to what extent do candidates and parties make constitutional arguments in the course of American elections? By examining party platforms, candidate messages, presidential debates, and television ads, The Constitution on the Campaign Trail answers that question, and the results are fascinating. Busch finds evidence for both a long, broad decline in the use of constitutional rhetoric since the mid-19th century and a limited resurgence in that rhetoric over the last four decades. The political analysis found here is firmly grounded in historical research and the conclusions reached are trenchant.
Release

The Constitutional State

Author: N. W. Barber

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191637254

Category: Law

Page: 224

View: 5663

DOWNLOAD NOW »

The Constitutional State provides an original analytical account of the state and its associated constitutional phenomena. It presents the state as a form of social group, consisting of people, territory and institutions bound together by rules. The institutions of the state make a distinctive and characteristic claim over the people of the state, who, in turn, have a distinctive and characteristic relationship with these institutions. This account reveals the importance of at least two forms of pluralism - legal and constitutional. It also casts light on some of the more difficult questions faced by writers on constitutions - such as the possibility of states undertaking actions and forming intentions, the moral significance of these actions for the people of the state, and the capacity of the state to carry responsibility for acts between generations.
Release

The Revolutionary Constitution

Author: David J. Bodenhamer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019991303X

Category: History

Page: 296

View: 6307

DOWNLOAD NOW »

The framers of the Constitution chose their words carefully when they wrote of a more perfect union--not absolutely perfect, but with room for improvement. Indeed, we no longer operate under the same Constitution as that ratified in 1788, or even the one completed by the Bill of Rights in 1791--because we are no longer the same nation. In The Revolutionary Constitution, David J. Bodenhamer provides a comprehensive new look at America's basic law, integrating the latest legal scholarship with historical context to highlight how it has evolved over time. The Constitution, he notes, was the product of the first modern revolution, and revolutions are, by definition, moments when the past shifts toward an unfamiliar future, one radically different from what was foreseen only a brief time earlier. In seeking to balance power and liberty, the framers established a structure that would allow future generations to continually readjust the scale. Bodenhamer explores this dynamic through seven major constitutional themes: federalism, balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. With each, he takes a historical approach, following their changes over time. For example, the framers wrote multiple protections for property rights into the Constitution in response to actions by state governments after the Revolution. But twentieth-century courts--and Congress--redefined property rights through measures such as zoning and the designation of historical landmarks (diminishing their commercial value) in response to the needs of a modern economy. The framers anticipated just such a future reworking of their own compromises between liberty and power. With up-to-the-minute legal expertise and a broad grasp of the social and political context, this book is a tour de force of Constitutional history and analysis.
Release