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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
The book outlines the historical development of Public Law and the state from ancient times to the modern day, offering an account of relevant events in parallel with a general historical background, establishing and explaining the relationships between political, religious, and economic events.
Through a detailed exploration of the viewpoints involved, this balanced and incisive work promotes understanding of the most divisive issues in American government today. • Includes many sidebars that highlight and elaborate on important aspects of the topic • Provides a list of useful resources for further study with each entry
The First Amendment Religion Clause: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This book takes an in-depth look at the religion clause portion of the First Amendment using historical documents and letters. In chapter one examples are given of the historical reasons for why the Framers of the First Amendment (the Founding Fathers) thought it was necessary to list religion as part of the Bill of Rights in the manner that they did. In chapter two documentation is presented showing how they applied it during their times of service in government. The application of the 14th Amendment is examined along with whether or not it should be applied to the 1st Amendment based on the history of both. In chapter three a complete analysis is made of Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation” letter, and in chapter four an in-depth investigation is taken into Jefferson’s Virginian Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, James Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, and Madison’s Detached Memoranda essay on religion and government interaction. These documents, along with others examined in this book, display the Founding Fathers’ views as to why there is a religious clause, and what its proper application should be between church (that is, religion) and state. This book also contains present day solutions for how the government could act legally and constitutionally regarding religion (and related religious books) and toward those who claim religious reasons as their motivation to physically harm others. History reveals the continued purpose and need for the Religion Clause in the Bill of Rights.

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