Our Lost Constitution

Our Lost Constitution
Author: Mike Lee
Release: 2015-04-07
Editor: Penguin
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780698189201
Language: en
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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.

The Lost Constitution

The Lost Constitution
Author: William Martin
Release: 2007-05-15
Editor: Forge Books
Pages: 512
ISBN: 1429910887
Language: en
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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.... At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Restoring the Lost Constitution

Restoring the Lost Constitution
Author: Randy E. Barnett
Release: 2013-11-24
Editor: Princeton University Press
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9780691159737
Language: en
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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.

Our Lost Constitution

Our Lost Constitution
Author: Anonim
Release: 2015
Editor: Unknown
Pages: 329
ISBN: 1336225785
Language: en
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Our Lost Declaration

Our Lost Declaration
Author: Mike Lee
Release: 2019-04-23
Editor: Penguin
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780525538578
Language: en
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New York Times bestselling author and committed constitutional conservative Senator Mike Lee reveals the little-known stories behind the Founder's takedown of a tyrannical king and the forgotten document that created America. There is perhaps no more powerful sentence in human history, written in Philadelphia in the oppressively hot summer of 1776: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." Despite the earth-shattering power of Jefferson's simple sentence and the document in which it is found, many Americans today don't understand or appreciate the Declaration's gravity. As a result, we have lost touch with much of what makes our country so special: the distinctly American belief in the dignity of every human soul. Our nation was born in an act of rebellion against an all-powerful government. In Our Lost Declaration, Senator Mike Lee tells the dramatic, little-known stories of the offenses committed by the British crown against its own subjects. From London's attempts to shut down colonial legislatures to hauling John Hancock before a court without a jury, the abuses of a strong central government were felt far and wide. They spurred our Founders to risk their lives in defense of their rights, and their efforts established a vision of political freedom that would change the course of history. Lee shares new insights into the personalities who shaped that vision, such as: • Thomas Paine, a populist radical who nearly died making his voyage from Great Britain to the colonies before writing his revolutionary pamphlet, Common Sense. • Edmund Randolph, who defied his Loyalist family and served in the Virginia convention that voted for independence • Thomas Jefferson, who persevered through a debilitating health crisis to pen the document that would officially begin the American experiment. Senator Lee makes vividly clear how many abuses of federal power today are rooted in neglect of the Declaration, including federal overreach that corrupts state legislatures, the judicial system, and even international trade. By rediscovering the Declaration, we can remind our leaders in Washington D.C. that they serve us--not the other way around.

Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution

Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution
Author: Myron Magnet
Release: 2019-05-07
Editor: Encounter Books
Pages: 168
ISBN: 9781641770538
Language: en
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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.

Written Out of History

Written Out of History
Author: Mike Lee
Release: 2017-05-30
Editor: Penguin
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780399564475
Language: en
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! Some of America’s most important founders have been erased from our history books. In the fight to restore the true meaning of the Constitution, their stories must be told. In the earliest days of our nation, a handful of unsung heroes—including women, slaves, and an Iroquois chief—made crucial contributions to our republic. They pioneered the ideas that led to the Bill of Rights, the separation of powers, and the abolition of slavery. Yet, their faces haven’t been printed on our currency or carved into any cliffs. Instead, they were marginalized, silenced, or forgotten—sometimes by an accident of history, sometimes by design. In the thick of the debates over the Constitution, some founders warned about the dangers of giving too much power to the central government. Though they did not win every battle, these anti-Federalists and their allies managed to insert a system of checks and balances to protect the people from an intrusive federal government. Other forgotten figures were not politicians themselves, but by their thoughts and actions influenced America’s story. Yet successive generations have forgotten their message, leading to the creation of a vast federal bureaucracy that our founders would not recognize and did not want. Senator Mike Lee, one of the most consistent and impassioned opponents of an abusive federal government, tells the story of liberty’s forgotten heroes. In these pages, you’ll learn the true stories of founders such as... • Aaron Burr who is depicted in the popular musical Hamilton and in history books as a villain, but in reality was a far more complicated figure who fought the abuse of executive power. • Mercy Otis Warren, one of the most prominent female writers in the Revolution and a protégé of John Adams, who engaged in vigorous debates against the encroachment of federal power and ultimately broke with Adams over her fears of the Constitution. • Canasatego, an Iroquois chief whose words taught Benjamin Franklin the basic principles behind the separation of powers. The popular movement that swept Republicans into power in 2010 and 2016 was led by Americans who rediscovered the majesty of the Constitution and knew the stories of Hamilton, Madison, and Washington. But we should also know the names of the contrarians who argued against them and who have been written out of history. If we knew of the heroic fights of these lost founders, we’d never have ended up with a government too big, too powerful, and too unresponsive to its citizens. The good news is that it’s not too late to rememberand to return to our first principles. Restoring the memory of these lost individuals will strike a crippling blow against big government.

Creating the Administrative Constitution

Creating the Administrative Constitution
Author: Jerry L. Mashaw
Release: 2012-06-26
Editor: Yale University Press
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9780300183474
Language: en
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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."

The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution

The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution
Author: Richard Beeman
Release: 2010-08-31
Editor: Penguin
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781101459003
Language: en
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What is the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court really allowed to do? This unique and handy guide includes the documents that guide our government, annotated with accessible explanations from one of America's most esteemed constitutional scholars. Known across the country for his appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Professor Richard Beeman is one of the nation's foremost experts on the United States Constitution. In this book, he has produced what every American should have: a compact, fully annotated copy of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and amendments, all in their entirety. A marvel of accessibility and erudition, the guide also features a history of the making of the Constitution with excerpts from The Federalist Papers and a look at crucial Supreme Court cases that reminds us that the meaning of many of the specific provisions of the Constitution has changed over time. "Excellent . . . valuable and judicious." -Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

Originalism and the Good Constitution

Originalism and the Good Constitution
Author: John O. McGinnis,Michael B. Rappaport
Release: 2013-11-01
Editor: Harvard University Press
Pages: 308
ISBN: 9780674726260
Language: en
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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.

Our Constitution Rocks

Our Constitution Rocks
Author: Juliette Turner
Release: 2013-02-05
Editor: Zonderkidz
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9780310735229
Language: en
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Imagine a world without Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or even television. That was the world the framers of the United States Constitution lived in. Yet their work changed the course of history. Learn how those guys in wigs and tights came up with some of the best ideas ever. Come along on one of the most fun and engaging discoveries available to kids today about America’s Constitution. Juliette Turner, Youth Advocate for Constituting America, takes a unique look at our founding document, presenting it in a beautifully organized fashion, with helpful illustrations and sidebars that support the main ideas. Packed with tons of easy-to-read, easy-to-understand information, Our Constitution Rocks breaks down the Constitution article by article into manageable sections in a way everyone can read and understand—students and parents alike. Our Constitution Rocks is for a new generation, a reminder of what it means to have a voice and live free. It still matters to kids today. Find out why. Our Constitution Rocks: Is presented in an easy-to- use format that makes the Constitution easy to understand Includes fun facts, quotes, cartoons, actual debates, great graphics, and much, much more Breathes new life into an old document, reminding readers young and old why it remains one of the most important documents in world history Is an ideal teaching and reference tool for homeschooling or school libraries

The Words That Made Us

The Words That Made Us
Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Release: 2021-05-04
Editor: Basic Books
Pages: 832
ISBN: 9780465096367
Language: en
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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.

The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence
Author: Thomas Jefferson
Release: 2019-11-12
Editor: Verso Books
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9781788737630
Language: en
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Co-author of the groundbreaking Empire and Multitude, Michael Hardt examines the Declaration of Independence and other texts by Jefferson, arguing that his powerful concept of democracy provides a biting critique of the current American administration. Introducing this collection of Jefferson’s writings, Michael Hardt makes a powerful case for re-examining the foundational writings of this American revolutionary in order to reignite the dialogue that first conceived of a “land of the free.”

The Constitution of Knowledge

The Constitution of Knowledge
Author: Jonathan Rauch
Release: 2021-06-22
Editor: Brookings Institution Press
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9780815738879
Language: en
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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.

A Constitution of Many Minds

A Constitution of Many Minds
Author: Cass R. Sunstein
Release: 2009-01-19
Editor: Princeton University Press
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781400829927
Language: en
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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.

A Government of Wolves

A Government of Wolves
Author: John W. Whitehead
Release: 2013-06
Editor: SelectBooks, Inc.
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781590799833
Language: en
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“A NATION OF SHEEP WILL BEGET A GOVERNMENT OF WOLVES”–EDWARD R. MURROW America is fast moving into a state of lockdown. Surveillance cameras, drug-sniffing dogs, SWAT team raids, roadside strip searches, blood draws at DUI checkpoints, mosquito drones, tasers, privatized prisons, GPS tracking devices, zero tolerance policies, overcriminalization, free speech zones—these are all symptoms of the emerging police state in America. A GOVERNMENT OF WOLVES paints a chilling portrait of a nation in the final stages of transformation into outright authoritarianism, whose citizens have become little more than a nation of suspects to be cowed, corralled, and controlled. Pulling from his extensive knowledge of constitutional law, history, and futuristic films, John W. Whitehead helps readers navigate this treacherous terrain and provides them with a blueprint for hopefully finding their way back to freedom.

Lost Rights

Lost Rights
Author: James Bovard
Release: 2016-01-05
Editor: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781250109644
Language: en
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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 U S Constitution and Other Writings

The U S  Constitution and Other Writings
Author: Editors of Thunder Bay Press
Release: 2017-10-01
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9781684121069
Language: en
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“We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union . . . ” — The U.S Constitution The U.S. Constitution and Other Writings is part of the Leather-bound Classics series and is a collection of the crucial documents, speeches, and other writings that shaped the United States. In addition to the Constitution, readers can review the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Federalist Papers, important presidential speeches, and many others. Both famous and lesser-known, but equally important, Americans are represented, including Benjamin Franklin, Victoria Woodhull, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, and even the creators of the rules of baseball. The founders' inspirational and revolutionary ideals are all here, and this is a perfect volume for anyone who finds the history of America to be a fascinating and enlightening journey.

The Classical Liberal Constitution

The Classical Liberal Constitution
Author: Richard A. Epstein
Release: 2014-01-01
Editor: Harvard University Press
Pages: 700
ISBN: 9780674727809
Language: en
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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.

Last Best Hope

Last Best Hope
Author: George Packer
Release: 2021-06-15
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780374603670
Language: en
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A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice "[George Packer's] account of America’s decline into destructive tribalism is always illuminating and often dazzling." —William Galston, The Washington Post Acclaimed National Book Award-winning author George Packer diagnoses America’s descent into a failed state, and envisions a path toward overcoming our injustices, paralyses, and divides In the year 2020, Americans suffered one rude blow after another to their health, livelihoods, and collective self-esteem. A ruthless pandemic, an inept and malign government response, polarizing protests, and an election marred by conspiracy theories left many citizens in despair about their country and its democratic experiment. With pitiless precision, the year exposed the nation’s underlying conditions—discredited elites, weakened institutions, blatant inequalities—and how difficult they are to remedy. In Last Best Hope, George Packer traces the shocks back to their sources. He explores the four narratives that now dominate American life: Free America, which imagines a nation of separate individuals and serves the interests of corporations and the wealthy; Smart America, the world view of Silicon Valley and the professional elite; Real America, the white Christian nationalism of the heartland; and Just America, which sees citizens as members of identity groups that inflict or suffer oppression. In lively and biting prose, Packer shows that none of these narratives can sustain a democracy. To point a more hopeful way forward, he looks for a common American identity and finds it in the passion for equality—the “hidden code”—that Americans of diverse persuasions have held for centuries. Today, we are challenged again to fight for equality and renew what Alexis de Tocqueville called “the art” of self-government. In its strong voice and trenchant analysis, Last Best Hope is an essential contribution to the literature of national renewal.