November 12, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

Why the Constitution Matters (Why X Matters Series)

Why the Constitution Matters (Why X Matters Series)

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 0300150369

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In this surprising and highly unconventional work, Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet poses a seemingly simple question that yields a thoroughly unexpected answer. The Constitution matters, he argues, not because it structures our government but because it structures our politics. He maintains that politicians and political parties—not Supreme Court decisions—are the true engines of constitutional change in our system. This message will empower all citizens who use direct political action to define and protect our rights and liberties as Americans.

Unlike legal scholars who consider the Constitution only as a blueprint for American democracy, Tushnet focuses on the ways it serves as a framework for political debate. Each branch of government draws substantive inspiration and procedural structure from the Constitution but can effect change only when there is the political will to carry it out. Tushnet’s political understanding of the Constitution therefore does not demand that citizens pore over the specifics of each Supreme Court decision in order to improve our nation. Instead, by providing key facts about Congress, the president, and the nature of the current constitutional regime, his book reveals not only why the Constitution matters to each of us but also, and perhaps more important, how it matters.

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Smith leads to the conclusion that the First Amendment protects independent expenditures supporting a candidate. Truly independent expenditures pose some risks to the candidate. Senator Smith might have calculated that she would have a better chance of winning the election if her campaign didn’t make a point of presenting her position against gun control, for example. You might agree with her position against gun control but disagree with her calculation about the effect of raising that issue on

immigration considered to be a bit more important than it had been a few months earlier. What does the Constitution have to do with these issues? The question is important if we are to understand why—and, more important, how—the Constitution matters. If we think that the Constitution matters only in Supreme Court cases, we’re not going to think that the Constitution matters much to the issues we worry about most. That may be one reason that, despite the best efforts of some advocacy groups, no

clearly constitutional. When the Burger Court considered the use of busing to remedy the persisting effects of prior segregation in the public schools, the idea that substantive equality mattered more than formal equality was so deeply embedded that the issue the Court dealt with was whether courts could order school boards to take the racial composition of schools into account when they assigned students to schools; it almost literally went without saying that school boards could voluntarily

Rutledge, Wiley Sabato, Larry Saxbe fix Scalia, Antonin Second Amendment Segregation, and effects on constitutional law of political parties effects on political parties of Senate, equal representation of states in method of election of seniority system in confirmation hearings in Separation of powers implications for party structure of Seventeenth Amendment Sit-in cases Skowronek, Stephen Slavery Social movements and constitutional law Social Security Sore-loser statutes

thinking that they had designed a Constitution that would place real obstacles in the way of the development of national political parties. They were wrong too to think that national political parties were necessarily going to be “factions,” organized around specific and relatively clear political platforms that parties once in power would implement. The national political parties have always had political platforms, of course. But the relation between their platforms and what their leaders do

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