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American Constitutionalism by Stephen M. Griffin

By Stephen M. Griffin

This ebook is a brilliantly concise survey of up to date constitutional research. Professor Griffin outlines many of the camps of constitutional suggestion with outstanding readability and extremely cautious quotation. despite the intensity of proposal or hassle of the subject material, Professor Griffin lays out the positions of either side during this exact and novel ebook. This ebook may still locate its approach at the cabinets of any attorney, historian, student or political scientist attracted to the united states structure. This ebook combines unique scholarship with an obtainable writing type. a real excitement.

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The doctrine is also important in the debate over theories of constitutional interpretation, as we shall see in chapter 5. The Problem of Constitutional Change As we saw in the introduction to this chapter, constitutional change poses a puzzle for constitutional scholars and jurists. Evaluating the relationship of the present Constitution to the Constitution of 1787 evokes widely 61 See the discussion in chapter 2. See Holmes, Passions and Constraint, p. 9; Morgan, Inventing the People. 63 We will take up these questions in the second section of chapter 3.

Most colonists accepted the idea, conventional in the political theory of the time, that there must be a supreme, indivisible, final, and absolute power in every government. The British asserted that the sovereign in the empire was the king-in-Parliament and that this sovereign ruled America as well as Britain. The American response was to deny the king and Parliament full sovereignty over colonial matters. S. , preamble. For general discussion, see Powell, “The Political Grammar of Early Constitutional Law,” pp.

32 Despite the presumed exclusiveness of the people’s sovereignty, the federal government, state governments, and other selfgoverning groups such as Indian tribes also claim that they are sovereign, at least for certain purposes. In fact, their claims of sovereignty are more than that; they have been legally recognized. 33 How can this be the case? The dispute over the nature of sovereignty was the most basic issue that divided American colonists from their British rulers. Most colonists accepted the idea, conventional in the political theory of the time, that there must be a supreme, indivisible, final, and absolute power in every government.

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