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The Heart Of The Constitution

Author: Gerard Magliocca
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190271604
Size: 30.25 MB
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"This is the untold story of the most celebrated part of the Constitution. Until the twentieth century, few Americans called the first ten amendments the Bill of Rights. When they did after 1900, the Bill of Rights was usually invoked to increase rather than limit federal authority"--

Diminishing The Bill Of Rights

Author: William Davenport Mercer
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806158662
Size: 71.55 MB
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The modern effort to locate American liberties, it turns out, began in the mud at the bottom of Baltimore harbor. John Barron Jr. and John Craig sued the city for damages after Baltimore’s rebuilt drainage system diverted water and sediment into the harbor, preventing large ships from tying up at Barron and Craig’s wharf. By the time the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1833, the issue had become whether the city’s actions constituted a taking of property by the state without just compensation, a violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The high court’s decision in Barron v. Baltimore marked a critical step in the rapid evolution of law and constitutional rights during the first half of the nineteenth century. Diminishing the Bill of Rights examines the backstory and context of this decision as a turning point in the development of our current conception of individual rights. Since the colonial period, Americans had viewed their rights as springing from multiple sources, including the common law, natural right, and English legal tradition. Despite this rich heritage and a prohibition grounded in the Magna Carta against uncompensated state takings of property, the Court ruled against Barron’s claim. The Bill of Rights, Chief Justice John Marshall declared in his opinion for the majority, restrained only the federal government, not the states. The Fifth Amendment, accordingly, did not apply to Maryland or any of the cities it chartered. In explaining how the Court came to reject a multisourced view of human liberties—a position seemingly inconsistent with its previous decisions—William Davenport Mercer helps explain why we now envision the Constitution as essential to guaranteeing our rights. Marshall’s view of rights in Barron, Mercer argues, helped him navigate the Court through the precarious political currents of the time. While the chief justice may have effected a shrewd political maneuver, the decision helped hasten a reconceptualization of rights as located in documents. Its legacy, as Mercer’s work makes clear, is among the Jacksonian era’s significant democratic reforms and marks the emergence of a distinctly American constitutionalism.

The Bill Of Rights

Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300127089
Size: 56.78 MB
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Are the deep insights of Hugo Black, William Brennan, and Felix Frankfurter that have defined our cherished Bill of Rights fatally flawed? With meticulous historical scholarship and elegant legal interpretation a leading scholar of Constitutional law boldly answers yes as he explodes conventional wisdom about the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution in this incisive new account of our most basic charter of liberty. Akhil Reed Amar brilliantly illuminates in rich detail not simply the text, structure, and history of individual clauses of the 1789 Bill, but their intended relationships to each other and to other constitutional provisions. Amar's corrective does not end there, however, for as his powerful narrative proves, a later generation of antislavery activists profoundly changed the meaning of the Bill in the Reconstruction era. With the Fourteenth Amendment, Americans underwent a new birth of freedom that transformed the old Bill of Rights. We have as a result a complex historical document originally designed to protect the people against self-interested government and revised by the Fourteenth Amendment to guard minority against majority. In our continuing battles over freedom of religion and expression, arms bearing, privacy, states' rights, and popular sovereignty, Amar concludes, we must hearken to both the Founding Fathers who created the Bill and their sons and daughters who reconstructed it. Amar's landmark work invites citizens to a deeper understanding of their Bill of Rights and will set the basic terms of debate about it for modern lawyers, jurists, and historians for years to come.

The Bill Of Rights

Author: Founding Fathers (CRT)
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781557091512
Size: 23.34 MB
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Offers the text of the Bill of Rights followed by a history of the amendments, placing the document in its historical context.

Madeleine S Children

Author: Sue Peabody
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190233885
Size: 61.32 MB
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In 1759 a baby girl was born to an impoverished family on the Indian subcontinent. Her parents pawned her into bondage as a way to survive famine. A Portuguese slaver sold the girl to a pious French spinster in Bengal, where she was baptized as Madeleine. Eventually she was taken to France byway of Ile de France (Mauritius), and from there to Ile Bourbon (Reunion), where she worked on the plantation of the Routier family and gave birth to three children: Maurice, Constance, and Furcy. Following the master''s death in 1787, Madame Routier registered Madeleine''s manumission, making herfree on paper and thus exempting the Routiers from paying the annual head tax on slaves. However, according to Madeleine''s children, she was never told that she was free. She continued to serve the widow Routier for another nineteen years, through the Revolution, France''s general emancipation of1794 (which the colonists of the Indian Ocean successfully repelled), the Napoleonic restoration of slavery, and British occupation of France''s Indian Ocean colonies. Not until the widow Routier died in 1808 did Madeleine learn of her freedom and that the Routier estate owed her nineteen years ofback wages. Madeleine tried to use the Routiers'' debt to negotiate for her son Furcy''s freedom from Joseph Lory, the Routiers'' son-in-law and heir, but Lory tricked the illiterate Madeleine into signing papers that, in essence, consigned Furcy to Lory as his slave for life.While Lory invested in slave smuggling and helped introduce sugar cultivation to Ile Bourbon, Furcy spent the next quarter century trying to obtain legal recognition of his free status as he moved from French Ile Bourbon to British Mauritius and then to Paris. His legal actions produced hundreds ofpages that permit reconstruction of the lives of Furcy and his family in astonishing detail. The Cour Royale de Paris, France''s highest court of appeal, finally ruled Furcy ne libre (freeborn) in 1843. Eight rare extant letters signed by Furcy over two decades tell in his own words how he understoodhis enslavement and freedom within these multiple legal jurisdictions and societies. France''s general emancipation of 1848 erased the distinction between slavery and freedom for all former slaves but the reaction of 1851 excluded them from citizenship. The struggle for justice, respect, and equalityfor former slaves and their descendants would not be realized within Furcy''s lifetime.The life stories of Madeleine and her three children are especially precious because, unlike scores of slave narratives published in the United States and England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, no autobiographical narrative of a slave held by French-published or unpublished-exists. Thiswill be one of only a handful of modern biographies of enslaved people within France''s empire, in French or in English, and the only one to explore transformations in slavery and freedom in French colonies of the Indian Ocean. This story is also significant because of the legal arguments advanced inFurcy''s freedom suits between 1817 and 1843. Furcy''s lawyers argued that he was free by race (as the descendent of an Indian rather than an African mother) and also by Free Soil (the legal principle whereby any slave setting foot on French soil thereby became free, since Madeleine resided in Francebefore Furcy was born). Parallel debates surround the American case of Dred Scott, who began his long and unsuccessful bid for freedom in 1846 in the former French colonial city of St. Louis, Missouri, just three years after the French Cour Royale de Paris upheld Furcy''s freedom on the basis of FreeSoil. However, the French ruling that Furcy was free by Free Soil and the rejection of the racial argument offer a historical counterpoint to the infamous Taney opinion of 1857.The gripping story of Madeleine and her children is especially well-suited to exploring the developments of French colonization, plantation slavery, race, sugar cultivation, and abolitionism. A fluid narrative, it should have appeal for readers of the history of slavery, world history, Indian Oceanhistory, and French colonial history.

American Founding Son

Author: Gerard N. Magliocca
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479819913
Size: 55.29 MB
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John Bingham was the architect of the rebirth of the United States following the Civil War. A leading antislavery lawyer and congressman from Ohio, Bingham wrote the most important part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees fundamental rights and equality to all Americans. He was also at the center of two of the greatest trials in history, giving the closing argument in the military prosecution of John Wilkes Booth’s co-conspirators for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and in the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. And more than any other man, Bingham played the key role in shaping the Union’s policy towards the occupied ex-Confederate States, with consequences that still haunt our politics. American Founding Son provides the most complete portrait yet of this remarkable statesman. Drawing on his personal letters and speeches, the book traces Bingham’s life from his humble roots in Pennsylvania through his career as a leader of the Republican Party. Gerard N. Magliocca argues that Bingham and his congressional colleagues transformed the Constitution that the Founding Fathers created, and did so with the same ingenuity that their forbears used to create a more perfect union in the 1780s. In this book, Magliocca restores Bingham to his rightful place as one of our great leaders.

Andrew Jackson And The Constitution

Author: Gerard N. Magliocca
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 22.23 MB
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Focuses on key Supreme Court battles during Jackson's tenure--states' rights, the status of Native Americans and slaves, and many others--to demonstrate how the fights between Jacksonian Democrats and Federalists, and later Republicans, is simply the inevitable--and cyclical--shift in constitutional interpretation that happens from one generation to the next.

Defending The Masses

Author: Eric B. Easton
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Pres
ISBN: 0299314006
Size: 45.78 MB
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Free speech and freedom of the press were often suppressed amid the social turbulence of the Progressive Era and World War I. As muckrakers, feminists, pacifists, anarchists, socialists, and communists were arrested or censored for their outspoken views, many of them turned to a Manhattan lawyer named Gilbert Roe to keep them in business and out of jail. Roe was the principal trial lawyer of the Free Speech League—a precursor of the American Civil Liberties Union. His cases involved such activists as Emma Goldman, Lincoln Steffens, Margaret Sanger, Max Eastman, Upton Sinclair, John Reed, and Eugene Debs, as well as the socialist magazine The Masses and the New York City Teachers Union. A friend of Wisconsin's progressive senator Robert La Follette since their law partnership as young men, Roe defended "Fighting Bob" when the Senate tried to expel him for opposing America's entry into World War I. In articulating and upholding Americans' fundamental right to free expression against charges of obscenity, libel, espionage, sedition, or conspiracy during turbulent times, Roe was rarely successful in the courts. But his battles illuminate the evolution of free speech doctrine and practice in an era when it was under heavy assault. His greatest victory, including the 1917 decision by Judge Learned Hand in The Masses Publishing Co. v. Patten, is still influential today.

Democracy Against Domination

Author: K. Sabeel Rahman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019046853X
Size: 38.49 MB
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In 2008, the collapse of the US financial system plunged the economy into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. In its aftermath, the financial crisis pushed to the forefront fundamental moral and institutional questions about how we govern the modern economy. What are the values that economic policy ought to prioritize? What institutions do we trust to govern complex economic dynamics? Much of popular and academic debate revolves around two competing approaches to these fundamental questions: laissez-faire defenses of self-correcting and welfare-enhancing markets on the one hand, and managerialist turns to the role of insulated, expert regulation in mitigating risks and promoting growth on the other. In Democracy Against Domination, K. Sabeel Rahman offers an alternative vision for how we should govern the modern economy in a democratic society. Drawing on a rich tradition of economic reform rooted in the thought and reform politics of early twentieth century progressives like John Dewey and Louis Brandeis, Rahman argues that the fundamental moral challenge of economic governance today is two-fold: first, to counteract the threats of economic domination whether in the form of corporate power or inequitable markets; and second, to do so by expanding the capacity of citizens themselves to exercise real political power in economic policymaking. This normative framework in turn suggests a very different way of understanding and addressing major economic governance issues of the post-crisis era, from the challenge of too-big-to-fail financial firms, to the dangers of regulatory capture and regulatory reform. Synthesizing a range of insights from history to political theory to public policy, Democracy Against Domination offers an exciting reinterpretation of progressive economic thought; a fresh normative approach to democratic theory; and an urgent hope for realizing a more equitable and democratically accountable economy through practical reforms in our policies and regulatory institutions.

Out Of Range

Author: Mark V. Tushnet
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199813711
Size: 26.44 MB
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Few constitutional disputes maintain as powerful a grip on the public mind as the battle over the Second Amendment. The National Rifle Association and gun-control groups struggle unceasingly over a piece of the political landscape that no candidate for the presidency--and few for Congress--can afford to ignore. But who's right? Will it ever be possible to settle the argument? In Out of Range, one of the nation's leading legal scholars takes a calm, objective look at this bitter debate. Mark V. Tushnet brings to this book a deep expertise in the Constitution, the Supreme Court, and the role of the law in American life. He breaks down the different positions on the Second Amendment, showing that it is a mistake to stereotype them. Tushnet's exploration is honest and nuanced; he finds the constitutional arguments finely balanced, which is one reason the debate has raged for so long. Along the way, he examines various experiments in public policy, from both sides, and finds little clear evidence for the practical effectiveness of any approach to gun safety and prosecution. Of course, he notes, most advocates of the right to keep and bear arms agree that it should be subject to reasonable regulation. Ultimately, Tushnet argues, our view of the Second Amendment reflects our sense of ourselves as a people. The answer to the debate will not be found in any holy writ, but in our values and our vision of the nation. This compact, incisive examination offers an honest and thoughtful guide to both sides of the argument, pointing the way to solutions that could calm, if not settle, this bitter dispute.