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Levinson argues that too many of our Constitution's provisions promote either unjust or ineffective government. Under the existing blueprint, we can neither rid ourselves of incompetent presidents nor assure continuity of government following catastrophic attacks. Less important, perhaps, but certainly problematic, is the appointment of Supreme Court judges for life. Adding insult to injury, the United States Constitution is the most difficult to amend or update of any constitution currently existing in the world today. Democratic debate leaves few stones unturned, but we tend to take our basic constitutional structures for granted. Levinson boldly challenges the American people to undertake a long overdue public discussion on how they might best reform this most hallowed document and construct a constitution adequate to our democratic values. "Admirably gutsy and unfashionable." --Michael Kinsley, The New York Times "Bold, bracingly unromantic, and filled with illuminating insights. He accomplishes an unlikely feat, which is to make a really serious argument for a new constitutional convention, one that is founded squarely on democratic ideals." --Cass R. Sunstein, The New Republic "Everyone who cares about how our government works should read this thoughtful book." --Washington Lawyer

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Genre: Law
Author: Sanford Levinson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release: 2008
File: 249 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780195365573

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Levinson argues that too many of our Constitution's provisions promote either unjust or ineffective government. Under the existing blueprint, we can neither rid ourselves of incompetent presidents nor assure continuity of government following catastrophic attacks. Less important, perhaps, but certainly problematic, is the appointment of Supreme Court judges for life. Adding insult to injury, the United States Constitution is the most difficult to amend or update of any constitution currently existing in the world today. Democratic debate leaves few stones unturned, but we tend to take our basic constitutional structures for granted. Levinson boldly challenges the American people to undertake a long overdue public discussion on how they might best reform this most hallowed document and construct a constitution adequate to our democratic values. "Admirably gutsy and unfashionable." --Michael Kinsley, The New York Times "Bold, bracingly unromantic, and filled with illuminating insights. He accomplishes an unlikely feat, which is to make a really serious argument for a new constitutional convention, one that is founded squarely on democratic ideals." --Cass R. Sunstein, The New Republic "Everyone who cares about how our government works should read this thoughtful book." --Washington Lawyer

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Genre: Law
Author: Sanford Levinson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release: 2006-09-28
File: 272 Pages
ISBN-13: 0195345614

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"The book is intended to make clearer the ambiguities of "constitutional faith," i.e. wholehearted attachment to the Constitution as the center of one's (and ultimately the nation's) political life."--The introduction.

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Genre: History
Author: Sanford Levinson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release: 2011-09-11
File: 262 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780691152400

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The Constitution is the cornerstone of American government, hailed as one of the greatest contributions of the Western Enlightenment. While many seem content simply to celebrate it, those most familiar with the document invariably find it wanting in at least some aspects. This unique volume brings together many of the country's most esteemed constitutional commentators and invites them to answer two questions: First, what is the stupidest provision of the Constitution? "Stupid" need not mean evil. Thus, a second, related question is whether the scholar-interpreter would be forced to reach truly evil results even if applying his or her own favored theory of constitutional interpretation. The contributors include Lawrence Alexander, Akhil Reed Amar, Jack Balkin, Philip Bobbitt, Gerard Bradley, Rebecca Brown, Steven Calabresi, Lief Carter, Christopher Eisgruber, Lawrence Sager, Marie Failinger, Daniel Farber, James Fleming, Mark Graber, Stephen Griffin, Gary Jacobsohn, Randall Kennedy, Lewis LaRue, Theodore Lowi, Earl Maltz, Michael McConnell, Matthew Michael, Robert Nagel, Daniel Ortiz, Pamela Karlen, Michael Paulsen, Robert Post, Lucas Powe, Dorothy Roberts, Jeffrey Rosen, Frederick Schauer, Michael Seidman, Suzanna Sherry, David Strauss, Laurence Tribe, Mark Tushnet, and John Yoo.

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Genre: Political Science
Author: William N. Eskridge
Publisher: NYU Press
Release: 1998-06-01
File: 296 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780814722565

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In Framed, Levinson challenges our belief that the most important features of our constitutions concern what rights they protect. Instead, he focuses on the fundamental procedures of governance such as congressional bicameralism; the selection of the President by the electoral college, or the dimensions of the President's veto power--not to mention the near impossibility of amending the United States Constitution. These seemingly "settled" and "hardwired" structures contribute to the now almost universally recognized "dysfunctionality" of American politics. Levinson argues that we should stop treating the United States Constitution as uniquely exemplifying the American constitutional tradition. We should be aware of the 50 state constitutions, often interestingly different--and perhaps better--than the national model. Many states have updated their constitutions by frequent amendment or by complete replacement via state constitutional conventions. California's ungovernable condition has prompted serious calls for a constitutional convention. This constant churn indicates that basic law often reaches the point where it fails and becomes obsolete. Given the experience of so many states, he writes, surely it is reasonable to believe that the U.S. Constitution merits its own updating.

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Genre: History
Author: Sanford Levinson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release: 2012-04-03
File: 437 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780199890750

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The Constitution is one of the most revered documents in American politics. Yet this is a document that regularly places in the White House candidates who did not in fact get a majority of the popular vote. It gives Wyoming the same number of votes as California, which has seventy times the population of the Cowboy State. And it offers the President the power to overrule both houses of Congress on legislation he disagrees with on political grounds. Is this a recipe for a republic that reflects the needs and wants of today's Americans?Taking a hard look at our much-venerated Constitution, Sanford Levinson here argues that too many of its provisions promote either unjust or ineffective government. Under the existing blueprint, we can neither rid ourselves of incompetent presidents nor assure continuity of government following catastrophic attacks. Less important, perhaps, but certainly problematic, is the appointment of Supreme Court judges for life. Adding insult to injury, the United States Constitution is the most difficult to amend or update of any constitution currently existing in the world today.Democratic debate leaves few stones unturned, but we tend to take our basic constitutional structures for granted. Levinson boldly challenges the American people to undertake a long overdue public discussion on how they might best reform this most hallowed document and construct a constitution adequate to our democratic values.

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Genre: Political Science
Author: Sanford Levinson
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release: 2006-09-28
File: 248 Pages
ISBN-13: 0195307518

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In this provocative book, one of our most eminent political scientists questions the extent to which the American Constitution furthers democratic goals. Robert Dahl reveals the Constitution's potentially antidemocratic elements and explains why they are there, compares the American constitutional system to other democratic systems, and explores how we might alter our political system to achieve greater equality among citizens. In a new chapter for this second edition, he shows how increasing differences in state populations revealed by the Census of 2000 have further increased the veto power over constitutional amendments held by a tiny minority of Americans. He then explores the prospects for changing some important political practices that are not prescribed by the written Constitution, though most Americans may assume them to be so.

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Genre: Law
Author: Robert A. Dahl
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release: 2001
File: 198 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780300133721

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What is democracy really? What do we mean when we use the term? And can it ever truly exist? Astra Taylor, hailed as a “New Civil Rights Leader” by the Los Angeles Times, provides surprising answers. There is no shortage of democracy, at least in name, and yet it is in crisis everywhere we look. From a cabal of plutocrats in the White House to gerrymandering and dark-money compaign contributions, it is clear that the principle of government by and for the people is not living up to its promise. The problems lie deeper than any one election cycle. As Astra Taylor demonstrates, real democracy—fully inclusive and completely egalitarian—has in fact never existed. In a tone that is both philosophical and anecdotal, weaving together history, theory, the stories of individuals, and interviews with such leading thinkers as Cornel West and Wendy Brown, Taylor invites us to reexamine the term. Is democracy a means or an end, a process or a set of desired outcomes? What if those outcomes, whatever they may be—peace, prosperity, equality, liberty, an engaged citizenry—can be achieved by non-democratic means? In what areas of life should democratic principles apply? If democracy means rule by the people, what does it mean to rule and who counts as the people? Democracy's inherent paradoxes often go unnamed and unrecognized. Exploring such questions, Democracy May Not Exist offers a better understanding of what is possible, what we want, why democracy is so hard to realize, and why it is worth striving for.

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Genre: Political Science
Author: Astra Taylor
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Release: 2019-05-07
File: 192 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781250179852

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Jay Sekulow—one of America’s most influential attorneys—explores a post Obama landscape where bureaucracy has taken over our government and provides a practical roadmap to help take back our personal liberties. Jay Sekulow is on a mission to defend Americans’ freedom. The fact is that freedom is under attack like never before. The threat comes from the fourth branch of government—the biggest branch—and the only branch not in the Constitution: the federal bureaucracy. The bureaucracy imposes thousands of new laws every year, without a single vote from Congress. The bureaucracy violates the rights of Americans without accountability—persecuting adoptive parents, denying veterans quality healthcare, discriminating against conservatives and Christians for partisan purposes, and damaging our economy with job-killing rules. Americans are bullied by the very institutions established to protect their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our nation’s bureaucrats are on an undemocratic power trip. But Sekulow has a plan to fight back. We can resist illegal abuse, we can reform a broken system, and we can restore American democracy. This book won’t just tell you how to win, it will show you real victories achieved by Sekulow and the American Center for Law and Justice. Unless we can roll back the fourth branch of govern­ment—the most dangerous branch—our elections will no longer matter. Undemocratic is a wake-up call, a call made at just the right time—before it’s too late to save the democracy we love.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Jay Sekulow
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: 2015-05-19
File: 288 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781476795683

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A More Perfect Constitution presents creative and dynamic proposals from one of the most visionary and fertile political minds of our time to reinvigorate our Constitution and American governance at a time when such change is urgently needed, given the growing dysfunction and unfairness of our political system . Combining idealism and pragmatism, and with full respect for the original document, Larry Sabato's thought-provoking ideas range from the length of the president's term in office and the number and terms of Supreme Court justices to the vagaries of the antiquated Electoral College, and a compelling call for universal national service-all laced through with the history behind each proposal and the potential impact on the lives of ordinary people. Aware that such changes won't happen easily, but that the original Framers fully expected the Constitution to be regularly revised, Sabato urges us to engage in the debate and discussion his ideas will surely engender. During a presidential election year, no book is more relevant or significant than this.

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Genre: History
Author: Larry J. Sabato
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release: 2010-07-23
File: 352 Pages
ISBN-13: 0802777562

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