A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism by Mark A. Graber

By Mark A. Graber

A New creation to American Constitutionalism is the 1st textual content to check the whole lot of yankee constitutionalism, not only the strains that seem in best courtroom judgements. Mark A. Graber either explores and provides unique solutions to such important questions as: what's a Constitution,? What are primary constitutional reasons? How are constitutions interpreted? How is constitutional authority allotted? tips on how to constitutions swap? How is the structure of the USA stimulated via overseas and comparative legislation? and, most crucial, How does the structure paintings? hoping on an historical/institutional standpoint, the ebook illustrates how American constitutionalism is a unique kind of politics, instead of a method from keeping apart politics from legislations. Constitutions paintings way more via developing and constituting politics than by means of compelling humans to do what they might differently do. humans debate the correct which means of the 1st modification, yet those debates are motivated via the rule of thumb that each one states are both represented within the Senate and a political tradition that during which political dissenters don't worry for his or her lives. greater than the other paintings out there, A New advent to American Constitutionalism highlights and expands on what a new release for legislations professors, political scientists and historians have acknowledged concerning the American constitutionalism regime. As such, this can be the 1st actually interdisciplinary research of constitutional politics within the usa.

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By the late eighteenth century, constitutionalism had become an expression of popular 26 american constitutionalism sovereignty. Constitutions were consciously constructed by a distinctive people at a specific time. They were legally binding higher law because that particular people had consented to the fundamental rules by which they would be forever governed. Social contract theory provided the philosophical glue for melding popular sovereignty and fundamental law when the Constitution of the United States was framed and ratified.

12 An ideal people might be less concerned with material prosperity than Americans, but any political order that fails to “grow the economy” is unlikely to survive in the United States. Aristotle and other classical political thinkers were particularly interested in political socialization, the processes by which citizens develop political identities, interests, and values. Constitutionalism in Greece and Rome was as concerned with creating and maintaining a distinctive people as with constraining political leaders.

The crucial feature of a liberal constitution is the commitment to a set of (liberal) rights and to the institutional arrangements thought to protect these rights. Liberal constitutions protect two kinds of rights. The first kind, fundamental or natural rights, exists apart from the constitution. Political liberalism, at least eighteenth-century political liberalism, is committed to some version of universal rights, the claim that persons have some rights simply by virtue of their being persons.

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