American Constitutionalism: From Theory to Politics

Princeton University Press
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Despite the outpouring of works on constitutional theory in the past several decades, no general introduction to the field has been available. Stephen Griffin provides here an original contribution to American constitutional theory in the form of a short, lucid introduction to the subject for scholars and an informed lay audience. He surveys in an unpolemical way the theoretical issues raised by judicial practice in the United States over the past three centuries, particularly since the Warren Court, and locates both theory and practices that have inspired dispute among jurists and scholars in historical context. At the same time he advances an argument about the distinctive nature of our American constitutionalism, regarding it as an instance of the interpenetration of law and politics.

American Constitutionalism is unique in considering the perspectives of both law and political science in relation to constitutional theory. Constitutional theories produced by legal scholars do not usually discuss state-centered theories of American politics, the importance of institutions, behaviorist research on judicial decision making, or questions of constitutional reform, but this book takes into account the political science literature on these and other topics. The work also devotes substantial attention to judicial review and its relationship to American democracy and theories of constitutional interpretation.

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About the author

Stephen M. Griffin is Professor of Law at Tulane University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 27, 1998
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Pages
228
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ISBN
9781400822126
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Constitutional
Law / Legal History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Jeffrey Toobin
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From the Hardcover edition.
Jay Feinman
In each of the first three editions of the bestselling Law 101, Jay Feinman gave readers an upbeat and vivid examination of the American legal system. Since the third edition was published in 2010, much has happened: several key Supreme Court cases have been decided, we've seen sensational criminal trials, and the legal system has had to account for the latest developments in Internet law. This fully updated fourth edition of Law 101 accounts for all this and more, as Feinman once again provides a clear introduction to American law. The book covers all the main subjects taught in the first year of law school, and discusses every facet of the American legal tradition, including constitutional law, the litigation process, and criminal, property, and contracts law. To accomplish this, Feinman brings in the most noteworthy, infamous, and often outrageous examples and cases. We learn about the case involving scalding coffee that cost McDonald's half a million dollars, the murder trial in Victorian London that gave us the legal definition of insanity, and the epochal decision of Marbury vs. Madison that gave the Supreme Court the power to declare state and federal law unconstitutional. A key to learning about the law is learning legal vocabulary, and Feinman helps by clarifying terms like "due process" and "equal protection," as well as by drawing distinctions between terms like "murder" and "manslaughter." Above all, though, is that Feinman reveals to readers of all kinds that despite its complexities and quirks, the law is can be understood by everyone. Perfect for students contemplating law school, journalists covering legislature, or even casual fans of "court-television" shows, Law 101 is a clear and accessible introduction to the American legal system. New to this edition: Featured analysis of: -the Obamacare case -Citizens United -the DOMA decision -the Trayvon Martin case As well as recent legal developments pertaining to: -online contracting -mortgages -police investigations -criminal sentencing
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