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.
Conservative legal scholar Adam Freedman has written a spirited manifesto on the need to recover the original meaning of America’s Constitution—an intelligent, incisive examination of what our nation’s founding fathers actually wrote in this all-important document and why it still matters today. Freedman’s The Naked Constitution offers a lively defense of “original intent” in the vein of the Glen Beck bestseller The Original Argument, while decrying the current distortions and misrepresentations that will come into play as high profile lawsuits concerning such issues as healthcare, immigration, and gay marriage begin reaching the Supreme Court.
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.