This textbook focuses on the Constitution's provisions for government structure and on how constitutional structure helps guarantee protection of substantive rights and liberties. It promises to be an indispensable resource for teachers, students, practicing lawyers and judges. This preeminent treatise provides a wealth of original, insightful, and influential analysis of constitutional law doctrine and policy.Professor Tribe's central concern is the Constitution itself, not the Supreme Court as an institution. While addressing relevant issues of institutional capacities and roles, he does not stop at discussing the Court as the right or wrong forum to review a particular issue and render judgment; the more crucial question is whether the judgment itself was right or wrong as an element in the living development of constitutional justice.
For too long, the American constitutional tradition has been defined solely by the U.S. Constitution drafted in 1787. Yet constitutional debates at the state level open a window on how Americans, in different places and at different times, have chosen to govern themselves. From New Hampshire in 1776 to Louisiana in 1992, state constitutional conventions have served not only as instruments of democracy but also as forums for revising federal principles and institutions. In The American State Constitutional Tradition, John Dinan shows that state constitutions are much more than mere echoes of the federal document. The first comprehensive study of all 114 state constitutional conventions for which there are recorded debates, his book shows that state constitutional debates in many ways better reflect the accumulated wisdom of American constitution-makers than do the more traditional studies of the federal constitution. Wielding extraordinary command over a mass of historical detail, Dinan clarifies the alternatives considered by state constitution makers and the reasons for the adoption or rejection of various governing principles and institutions. Among other things, he shows that the states are nearly universal in their rejection of the rigid federal model of the constitutional amendment process, favoring more flexible procedures for constitutional change; they often grant citizens greater direct participation in law-making; they have debated and at times rejected the value of bicameralism; and they have altered the veto powers of both the executive and judicial branches. Dinan also shows that, while the Founders favored a minimalist design and focused exclusively on protecting individuals from government action, state constitution makers have often adopted more detailed constitutions, sometimes specifying positive rights that depend on government action for their enforcement. Moreover, unlike the federal constitution, state constitutions often contain provisions dedicated to the formation of citizen character, ranging from compulsory schooling to the regulation of gambling or liquor. By integrating state constitution making with the federal constitutional tradition, this path-breaking work widens and deepens our understanding of the principles by which we've chosen to govern ourselves.
Authoritative coverage examines the constitutional issues that are studied and litigated today. This text thoroughly analyzes and discusses the origins of judicial review and federal jurisdiction, the sources of national authority, the growth of federal commerce and fiscal powers, and the limits on state laws that burden interstate commerce. This book then explores and analyzes individual liberties and due process, including equal protection, freedom of speech and religion, federal powers to enforce the Bill of Rights, and limitations on the jurisdiction of federal courts. Finally, this one-volume treatise explores the separation of powers including the restrictions on the foreign affairs power and the recent cases on the war on terror. This book (and the 6-volume treatise by the same authors) has been cited by state and federal courts at all levels, from trial court to the U.S. Supreme Court, over 1,000 times.
Publication Date: 2012- (kept current with pocket parts)
Nowak and Rotunda's Treatise on Constitutional Law: Substance and Procedure provides scholars, practitioners, judges, and officials with an up-to-date analysis and synthesis of federal constitutional law. Focus is primarily on the Supreme Court and incorporates the political, historical, and economic background of court decisions.
The text analyzes constitutional questions in terms of precedent, political science theory, economics, and American history, making the leading cases understandable concerning both their overall significance and the precise legal rules they establish.