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Constitutional Literacy: A Twenty-First Century Imperative by Christopher Dreisbach

By Christopher Dreisbach

This ebook considers the prestige of constitutional literacy within the usa besides how you can investigate and enhance it. the writer argues that pervasive constitutional illiteracy is an issue for either legislation enforcement companies and for usual voters. in line with the author’s many years of training in legislations enforcement corporations round the kingdom, this e-book argues for the ethical and pragmatic worth of constitutional literacy and its program in twenty-first century society.

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Constitutional Literacy: A Twenty-First Century Imperative

This ebook considers the prestige of constitutional literacy within the usa besides how you can determine and increase it. the writer argues that pervasive constitutional illiteracy is an issue for either legislations enforcement organizations and for traditional voters. according to the author’s a long time of training in legislation enforcement corporations round the kingdom, this ebook argues for the ethical and pragmatic worth of constitutional literacy and its program in twenty-first century society.

Extra info for Constitutional Literacy: A Twenty-First Century Imperative

Example text

Among the a priori arguments are those that appeal to common sense and those that present as axiomatic. An example of an appeal to common sense is the “Great Compromise,” which occurred in the Constitutional convention. This compromise called for a bi-cameral legislature consisting of a Senate with equal representation for each state, and a House of Representatives with representation proportional to the state’s population. This was seen to be superior to the New Jersey plan, which called for a unicameral legislature in which each state had the same 24 C.

In this spirit, the utilitarian theory of justice claims that I must distribute my pie so as to ensure the greatest good for the greatest number of stakeholders. But how many people deserve a piece of the pie? Theoretically, I could break down the pie into thousands of crumbs and distribute one crumb per person. Since no measurable good would come from this, it cannot be what the utilitarian has in mind. So what is the smallest piece of pie that would constitute a good enough piece? How many pieces of that size can I produce?

At Level 8 one also finds debate about the quality of the Constitution itself. Thus, William Gladstone (1878) said that the Constitution is “The 38 C. DREISBACH most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man,” while Thurgood Marshall said that the Constitution was “defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to arrive at what we have today” (cited in Taylor 1987). ” Example questions could be derived from any of these theories about or assessments of the Constitution.

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