Constitutional Literacy: A Twenty-First Century Imperative

Springer
Free sample

This book considers the status of constitutional literacy in the United States along with ways to assess and improve it. The author argues that pervasive constitutional illiteracy is a problem for both law enforcement agencies and for ordinary citizens. Based on the author’s decades of teaching in law enforcement agencies around the country, this book argues for the moral and pragmatic value of constitutional literacy and its application in twenty-first century society.

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About the author

Christopher Dreisbach is Associate Professor, Faculty Lead, and Director of applied ethics and humanities for the Division of Public Safety Leadership in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, USA. He lectures on ethics for law enforcement agencies and has published widely on ethics, logic, education, dreams, and Collingwood.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Sep 19, 2016
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Pages
241
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ISBN
9781137567994
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Political Science / History & Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In October 1999, some fifteen academic experts and government practitio ners from Germany and North America gathered for two days at the Uni ver sity of Augsburg to discuss the topic of "Constitutional Reform and Consti tutional Jurisprudence in Canada and the United States." The present volume documents the results of that conference, a collaborative effort of the De partment of Political Science, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and the Institute for Canadian Studies, University of Augsburg. In organizing this workshop, we were guided by two basic sets of ideas and assumptions: First, all "established" democracies are regularly confron ted with the need to adjust their constitutional order to changes in their envi ronment lest democratic stability be transformed into rigidity; in many wes tern nations, including Canada and the United States, developments such as the crisis of the Keynesian welfare-state or the emergence of increasingly heterogeneous, postmodern societies have ushered in an era of heightened, yet not always successful constitutional reform activity. Secondly, however, there is no unique path towards, or model of, an "optimal" constitutional order, however defined; rather, constitutional reform processes, their under Iying normative principles and their outcomes are strongly path and context dependent. Therefore, the participants of the workshop and authors of this volume were asked to examine the specific preconditions, context, nature and impact of recent constitutional reform processes in the Uni ted States and Canada.
One of America’s leading conservative commentators on constitutional law provides an illuminating history of states’ rights, and the vital importance of reviving them today.

Liberals believe that the argument for “states’ rights” is a smokescreen for racist repression. But historically, the doctrine of states’ rights has been an honorable tradition—a necessary component of constitutional government and a protector of American freedoms. Our Constitution is largely devoted to restraining the federal government and protecting state sovereignty. Yet for decades, Adam Freedman contends, the federal government has usurped rights that belong to the states in a veritable coup.

In A Less Perfect Union, Freedman provides a detailed and lively history of the development and creation of states’ rights, from the constitutional convention through the Civil War and the New Deal to today. Surveying the latest developments in Congress and the state capitals, he finds a growing sympathy for states’ rights on both sides of the aisle. Freedman makes the case for a return to states’ rights as the only way to protect America, to serve as a check against the tyranny of federal overreach, take power out of the hands of the special interests and crony capitalists in Washington, and realize the Founders’ vision of libertarian freedom—a nation in which states are free to address the health, safety, and economic well-being of their citizens without federal coercion and crippling bureaucratic red tape.

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