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In 2006, the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum conducted a survey to measure Americans’ knowledge of their First Amendment constitutional freedoms (the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition), comparing it to Americans’ knowledge of popular culture, particularly their knowledge of the well-known television series, The Simpsons, shortly before the release of The Simpsons Movie. The results, perhaps unsurprisingly, revealed…

The United States Constitution in Film: Part of Our National Culture. Eric T. Kasper and Quentin D. Vieregge. Lanham, MD. Lexington Books, 2018.
 
In his opinion in the case of United States v. Syufy Enterprises, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kozinski worked into his text some 200 movie references.  Yet it would be hard to say all that movie…

Crisis and Constitutionalism: Roman Political Thought from the Fall of the Republic to the Age of Revolution. Benjamin Straumann. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
 
Crisis and Constitutionalism is an extraordinary book that recounts the Roman tradition of constitutionalism: 1) rules that were considered entrenched; 2) rules that were of great importance through which political power was exercised; 3) rules that betrayed…

As a document written in the 1700’s, all the framers of the U.S. Constitution as well as their immediate relatives, friends, and colleagues are now deceased. We are only left with the document itself and The Federalist Papers for contemporary interpretation. The Federalist Papers are, “the single most important resource for interpreting the Constitution, it provides a wise and sophisticated…

The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution. Ganesh Sitaraman. New York: Knopf, 2017.
 
“The number one threat to American constitutional government today is the collapse of the middle class” opens The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution. According to Sitaraman, the erosion of the middle class directly threatens the assumption of the United States Constitution of relative economic equality in society. The founders…

Although all states in the Union are part of a shared political and cultural heritage, Utah’s constitution, written in 1895, reflects much of the uniqueness of Utah’s history and the values of its citizens, even as it shares many similarities to the constitutions of other states. Utah’s constitution evolved from a much more turbulent and controversial past than most and…

Give Me Liberty: Studies in Constitutionalism and Philosophy. Ellis Sandoz. St. Augustine’s Press, 2013.
 
Ellis Sandoz’s Give Me Liberty: Studies in Constitutionalism and Philosophy is a collection of nine essays: four about American history and politics, four about the philosophy of Eric Voegelin, and a concluding essay about liberty. Two of the essays have been previously published elsewhere – one about…

Ted Morton and Rainer Knopff’s  2000 Charter Revolution and the Court Party[1] was an academic blockbuster when it was published and stands today as one of the signal contributions to the debate about the institutional and cultural consequences of the Charter and the larger trajectory of Canadian constitutionalism. The book is written in an argumentative and at times playful style,…

Oakeshott on Rome and America. Eugene Callahan. Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic, 2012.
 
Oakeshott’s critique of Rationalism is the most famous part of his corpus and also the most misunderstood and controversial. From the 1940s and into the 1960s it was bold and necessary to criticize the ideological style of politics and large scale social planning. Since the predominant tendency of post-war…

The Constitution of the United States, in its Article VI “Supremacy Clause,” announces it­self and laws made pursuant thereto to be the “supreme Law of the Land” in the United States, “and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” This is the root meaning…