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The Constitution

Author : Michael Paulsen
ISBN : 9780465093298
Genre : Law
File Size : 57. 26 MB
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From war powers to health care, freedom of speech to gun ownership, religious liberty to abortion, practically every aspect of American life is shaped by the Constitution. This vital document, along with its history of political and judicial interpretation, governs our individual lives and the life of our nation. Yet most of us know surprisingly little about the Constitution itself, and are woefully unprepared to think for ourselves about recent developments in its long and storied history. The Constitution: An Introduction is the definitive modern primer on the US Constitution. Michael Stokes Paulsen, one of the nation’s most provocative and accomplished scholars of the Constitution, and his son Luke Paulsen, a gifted young writer and lay scholar, have combined to write a lively introduction to the supreme law of the United States, covering the Constitution’s history and meaning in clear, accessible terms. Beginning with the Constitution’s birth in 1787, Paulsen and Paulsen offer a grand tour of its provisions, principles, and interpretation, introducing readers to the characters and controversies that have shaped the Constitution in the 200-plus years since its creation. Along the way, the authors provide correctives to the shallow myths and partial truths that pervade so much popular treatment of the Constitution, from school textbooks to media accounts of today’s controversies, and offer powerful insights into the Constitution’s true meaning. A lucid and engaging guide, The Constitution: An Introduction provides readers with the tools to think critically and independently about constitutional issues—a skill that is ever more essential to the continued flourishing of American democracy.

America S Constitution

Author : Akhil Reed Amar
ISBN : 9781588364876
Genre : History
File Size : 37. 23 MB
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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.

Sex And The Constitution Sex Religion And Law From America S Origins To The Twenty First Century

Author : Geoffrey R. Stone
ISBN : 9781631493652
Genre : Law
File Size : 65. 71 MB
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There has never been a book like Sex and the Constitution, a one-volume history that chapter after chapter overturns popular shibboleths, while dramatically narrating the epic story of how sex came to be legislated in America. Beginning his volume in the ancient and medieval worlds, Geoffrey R. Stone demonstrates how the Founding Fathers, deeply influenced by their philosophical forebears, saw traditional Christianity as an impediment to the pursuit of happiness and to the quest for human progress. Acutely aware of the need to separate politics from the divisive forces of religion, the Founding Fathers crafted a constitution that expressed the fundamental values of the Enlightenment. Although the Second Great Awakening later came to define America through the lens of evangelical Christianity, nineteenth-century Americans continued to view sex as a matter of private concern, so much so that sexual expression and information about contraception circulated freely, abortions before “quickening” remained legal, and prosecutions for sodomy were almost nonexistent. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries reversed such tolerance, however, as charismatic spiritual leaders and barnstorming politicians rejected the values of our nation’s founders. Spurred on by Anthony Comstock, America’s most feared enforcer of morality, new laws were enacted banning pornography, contraception, and abortion, with Comstock proposing that the word “unclean” be branded on the foreheads of homosexuals. Women increasingly lost control of their bodies, and birth control advocates, like Margaret Sanger, were imprisoned for advocating their beliefs. In this new world, abortions were for the first time relegated to dank and dangerous back rooms. The twentieth century gradually saw the emergence of bitter divisions over issues of sexual “morality” and sexual freedom. Fiercely determined organizations and individuals on both the right and the left wrestled in the domains of politics, religion, public opinion, and the courts to win over the soul of the nation. With its stirring portrayals of Supreme Court justices, Sex and the Constitution reads like a dramatic gazette of the critical cases they decided, ranging from Griswold v. Connecticut (contraception), to Roe v. Wade (abortion), to Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage), with Stone providing vivid historical context to the decisions that have come to define who we are as a nation. Now, though, after the 2016 presidential election, we seem to have taken a huge step backward, with the progress of the last half century suddenly imperiled. No one can predict the extent to which constitutional decisions safeguarding our personal freedoms might soon be eroded, but Sex and the Constitution is more vital now than ever before.

Fault Lines In The Constitution

Author : Cynthia Levinson
ISBN : 9781682630242
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 72. 32 MB
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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.

Ratification

Author : Pauline Maier
ISBN : 1451606362
Genre : History
File Size : 50. 70 MB
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CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Winner of the George Washington Book Prize When the delegates left the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in September 1787, the new Constitution they had written was no more than a proposal. Elected conventions in at least nine of the thirteen states would have to ratify it before it could take effect. There was reason to doubt whether that would happen. The document we revere today as the foundation of our country’s laws, the cornerstone of our legal system, was hotly disputed at the time. Some Americans denounced the Constitution for threatening the liberty that Americans had won at great cost in the Revolutionary War. One group of fiercely patriotic opponents even burned the document in a raucous public demonstration on the Fourth of July. In this splendid new history, Pauline Maier tells the dramatic story of the yearlong battle over ratification that brought such famous founders as Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Jay, and Henry together with less well-known Americans who sometimes eloquently and always passionately expressed their hopes and fears for their new country. Men argued in taverns and coffeehouses; women joined the debate in their parlors; broadsides and newspaper stories advocated various points of view and excoriated others. In small towns and counties across the country people read the document carefully and knew it well. Americans seized the opportunity to play a role in shaping the new nation. Then the ratifying conventions chosen by "We the People" scrutinized and debated the Constitution clause by clause. Although many books have been written about the Constitutional Convention, this is the first major history of ratification. It draws on a vast new collection of documents and tells the story with masterful attention to detail in a dynamic narrative. Each state’s experience was different, and Maier gives each its due even as she focuses on the four critical states of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York, whose approval of the Constitution was crucial to its success. The New Yorker Gilbert Livingston called his participation in the ratification convention the greatest transaction of his life. The hundreds of delegates to the ratifying conventions took their responsibility seriously, and their careful inspection of the Constitution can tell us much today about a document whose meaning continues to be subject to interpretation. Ratification is the story of the founding drama of our nation, superbly told in a history that transports readers back more than two centuries to reveal the convictions and aspirations on which our country was built.

Beyond The Constitution

Author : Hadley Arkes
ISBN : 0691025541
Genre : Law
File Size : 75. 43 MB
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Hadley Arkes argues that it is necessary to move "beyond the Constitution", to the principles that stood antecedent to the text, if we are to understand the text and apply the Constitution to the cases that arise every day in our law. "No thinker today brings greater intellectual verve and subtlety to delineating the connections between law and moral judgment than Hadley Arkes.--Richard John Neuhaus, President, Institute for Religion and Public Life "The most illuminating reconsideration of natural rights jurisprudence produced in many years".--Gary J. Jacobsohn, American Political Science Review "The most significant work on the Constitution in the decade since John Ely's Democracy and Distrust . . . .Beyond the Constitution is must' reading".--Gerard V. Bradley, University of Illinois, College of Law "That whose soul is brevity has been bestowed on Hadley Arkes in abundance . . . . [The] founding fathers would recognize in Arkes a kindred spirit. Here erudition and common sense are combined and bad arguments get what they deserve. One is reminded of Aristotle's definition of wit--well-bred insolence".--Ralph McInerny, University of Notre Dame

What Is The Constitution

Author : Patricia Brennan Demuth
ISBN : 9781524786106
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 40. 75 MB
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We the people at Who HQ bring readers the full story--arguments and all--of how the US Constitution came into being. Signed on September 17, 1787--four years after the American War for Independence--the Constitution laid out the supreme law of the United States of America. Today it's easy for us to take this blueprint of our government for granted. But the Framers--fifty-five men from almost all of the original 13 states--argued fiercely for many months over what ended up being only a four-page document. Here is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the hotly fought issues--those between Northern and Southern States; big states and little ones--and the key players such as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington who suffered through countless revisions to make the Constitution happen.

This Is Our Constitution

Author : Khizr Khan
ISBN : 9781524770938
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 51. 57 MB
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From Gold Star father and beloved Democratic National Convention speaker Khizr Khan comes a book for young people about the Constitution—what it says and why it matters for everyone. Our Founding Fathers created the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as a blueprint for American government and the rights of American citizens. This document is not merely a piece of parchment but a living, breathing promise of our deepest democratic values. Khizr Khan grew up in Pakistan, with few of the fundamental rights that are enshrined in the Constitution. He immigrated to America and became a citizen, raising his family to appreciate and honor all our nation has to offer. Khizr Khan is deeply passionate about the Constitution: the guarantees and protections it provides for each and every person and the beacon of light it shines throughout the world. This Is Our Constitution is a personal journey that Khizr Khan is taking with our nation’s young people. The book includes: * A highly personal introduction and conclusion * Notes throughout that share Khizr Khan’s reflections on and connections to the U.S. Constitution * The fascinating history of why and how the Constitution was written *Article by article and section by section, an easy-to-follow explanation of what the Constitution means * A closer look at key amendments, including the Bill of Rights, and pivotal Supreme Court decisions * The complete texts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution This is a book about why the Constitution matters to you, and us all.

Perfecting The Constitution

Author : Darren Patrick Guerra
ISBN : 9780739183861
Genre : Law
File Size : 69. 45 MB
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This book provides a brief intellectual and constitutional history of the Article V amending process from the Imperial Crisis until the present and shows Article V to be a vital part of the Constitutional architecture.

The Heritage Guide To The Constitution

Author : David F. Forte
ISBN : 9781621573524
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 36. 8 MB
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A landmark work of more than one hundred scholars, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution is a unique line-by-line analysis explaining every clause of America's founding charter and its contemporary meaning. In this fully revised second edition, leading scholars in law, history, and public policy offer more than two hundred updated and incisive essays on every clause of the Constitution. From the stirring words of the Preamble to the Twenty-seventh Amendment, you will gain new insights into the ideas that made America, important debates that continue from our Founding, and the Constitution's true meaning for our nation

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