Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court

Author: Jeff Shesol

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393079418

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 5834

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"A stunning work of history."—Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of No Ordinary Time and Team of Rivals Beginning in 1935, the Supreme Court's conservative majority left much of FDR's agenda in ruins. The pillars of the New Deal fell in short succession. It was not just the New Deal but democracy itself that stood on trial. In February 1937, Roosevelt struck back with an audacious plan to expand the Court to fifteen justices—and to "pack" the new seats with liberals who shared his belief in a "living" Constitution.
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The Development of the American Presidency

Author: Richard J. Ellis

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351708562

Category: Political Science

Page: 602

View: 2682

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A full understanding of the institution of the American presidency requires us to examine how it developed from the founding to the present. This developmental lens, analyzing how historical turns have shaped the modern institution, allows for a richer, more nuanced understanding. The Development of the American Presidency pays great attention to that historical weight but is organized by the topics and concepts relevant to political science, with the constitutional origins and political development of the presidency its central focus. Through comprehensive and in-depth coverage, Richard Ellis looks at how the presidency has evolved in relation to the public, to Congress, to the executive branch, and to the law, showing at every step how different aspects of the presidency have followed distinct trajectories of change. Each chapter promotes active learning, beginning with a narrative account of some illustrative puzzle that brings to life a central concept. A wealth of photos, figures, and tables allow for the visual presentations of concepts. New to the Third Edition Analysis of the 2016 election, including the role of the Electoral College and implications of Trump’s nomination for the "party decides" thesis; Exploration of Trump’s Twitter presidency and the effectiveness of using social media to bypass the Washington press corps; In-depth coverage of the development of twentieth-century president–press relations, including a new section on broadcasting the presidency that explores the development of the presidential press conference and presidents’ use of radio and television; Study of national security policy in the Obama administration, with a special focus on the targeted killing of American citizens and Obama’s legacy for presidential war powers; Examination of the original understanding and contemporary relevance of impeachment as well as updated discussion of the president’s pardon power; Discussion of recent developments in the legislative and legal realms, including Trump’s first hundred days, the Garland–Gorsuch episode, and abolition of the filibuster for Supreme Court appointments; Preliminary assessment of Trump’s place in historical time.
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The Case Against the Supreme Court

Author: Erwin Chemerinsky

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698176316

Category: Political Science

Page: 400

View: 6528

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A preeminent constitutional scholar offers a hard-hitting analysis of the Supreme Court over the last two hundred years Most Americans share the perception that the Supreme Court is objective, but Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the country’s leading constitutional lawyers, shows that this is nonsense and always has been. The Court is made up of fallible individuals who base decisions on their own biases. Today, the Roberts Court is promoting a conservative agenda under the guise of following a neutral methodology, but notorious decisions, such as Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United, are hardly recent exceptions. This devastating book details, case by case, how the Court has largely failed throughout American history at its most important tasks and at the most important times. Only someone of Chemerinsky’s stature and breadth of knowledge could take on this controversial topic. Powerfully arguing for term limits for justices and a reassessment of the institution as a whole, The Case Against the Supreme Court is a timely and important book that will be widely read and cited for decades to come. From the Hardcover edition.
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Our Lost Constitution

The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document

Author: Mike Lee

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698189205

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 6603

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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.
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War Time

An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences

Author: Mary L. Dudziak

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199913471

Category: History

Page: 232

View: 9069

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On the surface, "wartime" is a period of time in which a society is at war. But we now live in what President Obama has called "an age without surrender ceremonies," where it is no longer easy to distinguish between times of war and times of peace. In this inventive meditation on war, time, and the law, Mary Dudziak argues that wartime is not as discrete a time period as we like to think. Instead, America has been engaged in some form of ongoing overseas armed conflict for over a century. Meanwhile policy makers and the American public continue to view wars as exceptional events that eventually give way to normal peace times. This has two consequences: first, because war is thought to be exceptional, "wartime" remains a shorthand argument justifying extreme actions like torture and detention without trial; and second, ongoing warfare is enabled by the inattention of the American people. More disconnected than ever from the wars their nation is fighting, public disengagement leaves us without political restraints on the exercise of American war powers.
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The American State from the Civil War to the New Deal

The Twilight of Constitutionalism and the Triumph of Progressivism

Author: Paul D. Moreno

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107067715

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 7856

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This book tells the story of constitutional government in America during the period of the 'social question'. After the Civil War and Reconstruction, and before the 'second Reconstruction' and cultural revolution of the 1960s, Americans dealt with the challenges of the urban and industrial revolutions. In the crises of the American Revolution and the Civil War, the American founders - and then Lincoln and the Republicans - returned to a long tradition of Anglo-American constitutional principles. During the Industrial Revolution, American political thinkers and actors gradually abandoned those principles for a set of modern ideas, initially called progressivism. The social crisis, culminating in the Great Depression, did not produce a Lincoln to return to the founders' principles, but rather a series of leaders who repudiated them. Since the New Deal, Americans have lived in a constitutional twilight, not having completely abandoned the natural-rights constitutionalism of the founders, nor embraced the entitlement-based welfare state of modern liberalism.
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Framed

America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance

Author: Sanford Levinson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199930872

Category: Law

Page: 448

View: 8664

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In his widely acclaimed volume Our Undemocratic Constitution, Sanford Levinson boldly argued that our Constitution should not be treated with "sanctimonious reverence," but as a badly flawed document deserving revision. Now Levinson takes us deeper, asking what were the original assumptions underlying our institutions, and whether we accept those assumptions 225 years later. In Framed, Levinson challenges our belief that the most important features of our constitutions concern what rights they protect. Instead, he focuses on the fundamental procedures of governance such as congressional bicameralism; the selection of the President by the electoral college, or the dimensions of the President's veto power--not to mention the near impossibility of amending the United States Constitution. These seemingly "settled" and "hardwired" structures contribute to the now almost universally recognized "dysfunctionality" of American politics. Levinson argues that we should stop treating the United States Constitution as uniquely exemplifying the American constitutional tradition. We should be aware of the 50 state constitutions, often interestingly different--and perhaps better--than the national model. Many states have updated their constitutions by frequent amendment or by complete replacement via state constitutional conventions. California's ungovernable condition has prompted serious calls for a constitutional convention. This constant churn indicates that basic law often reaches the point where it fails and becomes obsolete. Given the experience of so many states, he writes, surely it is reasonable to believe that the U.S. Constitution merits its own updating. Whether we are concerned about making America more genuinely democratic or only about creating a system of government that can more effectively respond to contemporary challenges, we must confront the ways our constitutions, especially the United States Constitution, must be changed in fundamental ways.
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The Second Amendment

A Biography

Author: Michael Waldman

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476747466

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 2187

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Widely acclaimed at the time of its publication, the life story of the most controversial, volatile, misunderstood provision of the Bill of Rights. At a time of increasing gun violence in America, Waldman’s book provoked a wide range of discussion. This book looks at history to provide some surprising, illuminating answers. The Amendment was written to calm public fear that the new national government would crush the state militias made up of all (white) adult men—who were required to own a gun to serve. Waldman recounts the raucous public debate that has surrounded the amendment from its inception to the present. As the country spread to the Western frontier, violence spread too. But through it all, gun control was abundant. In the twentieth century, with Prohibition and gangsterism, the first federal control laws were passed. In all four separate times the Supreme Court ruled against a constitutional right to own a gun. The present debate picked up in the 1970s—part of a backlash to the liberal 1960s and a resurgence of libertarianism. A newly radicalized NRA entered the campaign to oppose gun control and elevate the status of an obscure constitutional provision. In 2008, in a case that reached the Court after a focused drive by conservative lawyers, the US Supreme Court ruled for the first time that the Constitution protects an individual right to gun ownership. Famous for his theory of “originalism,” Justice Antonin Scalia twisted it in this instance to base his argument on contemporary conditions. In The Second Amendment: A Biography, Michael Waldman shows that our view of the amendment is set, at each stage, not by a pristine constitutional text, but by the push and pull, the rough and tumble of political advocacy and public agitation.
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Scorpions

The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices

Author: Noah Feldman

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0446575143

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 372

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A tiny, ebullient Jew who started as America's leading liberal and ended as its most famous judicial conservative. A Klansman who became an absolutist advocate of free speech and civil rights. A backcountry lawyer who started off trying cases about cows and went on to conduct the most important international trial ever. A self-invented, tall-tale Westerner who narrowly missed the presidency but expanded individual freedom beyond what anyone before had dreamed. Four more different men could hardly be imagined. Yet they had certain things in common. Each was a self-made man who came from humble beginnings on the edge of poverty. Each had driving ambition and a will to succeed. Each was, in his own way, a genius. They began as close allies and friends of FDR, but the quest to shape a new Constitution led them to competition and sometimes outright warfare. SCORPIONS tells the story of these four great justices: their relationship with Roosevelt, with each other, and with the turbulent world of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. It also serves as a history of the modern Constitution itself.
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Constitutional Review in Europe

A Comparative Analysis

Author: Maartje de Visser

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1782252444

Category: Law

Page: 528

View: 4769

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Constitutions serve to delineate state powers and enshrine basic rights. Such matters are hardly uncontroversial, but perhaps even more controversial are the questions of who (should) uphold(s) the Constitution and how constitutional review is organised. These two questions are the subject of this book by Maartje de Visser, which offers a comprehensive, comparative analysis of how 11 representative European countries answer these questions, as well as a critical appraisal of the EU legal order in light of these national experiences. Where possible, the book endeavours to identify Europe's common and diverse constitutional traditions of constitutional review. The raison d'être, jurisdiction and composition of constitutional courts are explored and so too are core features of the constitutional adjudicatory process. Yet, this book also deliberately draws attention to the role of non-judicial actors in upholding the Constitution, as well as the complex interplay amongst constitutional courts and other actors at the national and European level. The Member States featured are: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, and the United Kingdom. This book is intended for practitioners, academics and students with an interest in (European) constitutional law.
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