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Among both judges and academics, one of the hottest issues in constitutional law is the role of "original intent." Almost everyone agrees that it is important, and some scholars and judges believe it should be the most important factor in constitutional law. To think about these issues intelligently, law students need to have ready access to the historical materials so they can see how the Framers of the Constitution thought about critical issues. Yet the original source materials fill many volumes. Writings by historians also fill many bookshelves. Just as the traditional casebook selects and condenses materials from the court reports to make them useful for law students, this book does the same thing for the historical evidence of original intent. There is no other source that covers this range of materials, combined with concise overviews of the best understanding of the historical context. Only this book gives students a cogent introduction to the history behind the Constitution and its major amendments, so they can form their own judgments about the "original understanding" and its relevance to modern constitutional law.
This title is a part of our CasebookPlus(tm) offering as ISBN 9781634595155. Learn more at CasebookPlus.com. Unlike most constitutional law books, this book does not assume that the students have any particular knowledge of American history, government, or law, so it begins with a rich introductory chapter to provide students with a necessary foundation for the rest of the material. Thereafter, it supplements the familiar cases with historical context and pictures and biographies of current and famous justices adjacent to their opinions. It makes the traditional canon accessible and enjoyable to the current generation. Easily covered over two semesters, the book manages through careful case selection to avoid drastic editing of all but the longest cases.
The Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution offers a comprehensive overview and introduction to the U.S. Constitution from the perspectives of history, political science, law, rights, and constitutional themes, while focusing on its development, structures, rights, and role in the U.S. political system and culture. This Handbook enables readers within and beyond the U.S. to develop a critical comprehension of the literature on the Constitution, along with accessible and up-to-date analysis. The historical essays included in this Handbook cover the Constitution from 1620 right through the Reagan Revolution to the present. Essays on political science detail how contemporary citizens in the United States rely extensively on political parties, interest groups, and bureaucrats to operate a constitution designed to prevent the rise of parties, interest-group politics and an entrenched bureaucracy. The essays on law explore how contemporary citizens appear to expect and accept the exertions of power by a Supreme Court, whose members are increasingly disconnected from the world of practical politics. Essays on rights discuss how contemporary citizens living in a diverse multi-racial society seek guidance on the meaning of liberty and equality, from a Constitution designed for a society in which all politically relevant persons shared the same race, gender, religion and ethnicity. Lastly, the essays on themes explain how in a "globalized" world, people living in the United States can continue to be governed by a constitution originally meant for a society geographically separated from the rest of the "civilized world." Whether a return to the pristine constitutional institutions of the founding or a translation of these constitutional norms in the present is possible remains the central challenge of U.S. constitutionalism today.
American Constitutional Law: Essays, Cases, and Comparative Notes is a unique casebook that encourages citizens and students of the Constitution to think critically about the fundamental principles and policies of the American constitutional order. In addition to its distinguished authorship, the book has two prominent features that set it apart from other books in the field: an emphasis on the social, political, and moral theory that provides meaning to constitutional law and interpretation, and a comparative perspective that situates the American experience within a world context that serves as an invaluable prism through which to illuminate the special features of our own constitutional order. While the focus of the book is entirely on American constitutional law, the book asks students to consider what, if anything, is unique in American constitutional life and what we share with other constitutional democracies. Each chapter is preceded by an introductory essay that highlights these major themes and also situates the cases in their proper historical and political contexts. This new edition offers updated and expanded treatment of a number of important and timely topics, including gerrymandering and campaign finance, the death penalty, privacy, affirmative action, and school segregation. The new edition offers: _ Updated and expanded treatment of key cases on gerrymandering and campaign finance _ Expanded discussion of the Court's work federalism and the commerce clause _ Discussions of the Court's new cases on the death penalty, including a discussion of the controversy within the Court about the propriety of citing foreign case law _ An expanded discussion of the Court's recent work in the area of privacy, including the Court's decisions with regard to partial birth abortions and same sex marriages _ An expanded section on the Court's continuing efforts to develop a coherent takings clause jurisprudence _ Full coverage of new developments and cases concerning affirmative action and school desegregation

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