In Defense of the Constitution
Publication Year: 2012
In Defense of the Constitution refutes modern critics of the Constitution who assail it as "reactionary" or "undemocratic." The author argues that modern disciples of Progressivism are determined to centralize political control in Washington, D.C., to achieve their goal of an egalitarian national society. Furthermore, he contends, Progressive interpreters of the Constitution subtly distort fundamental principles of the Constitution for the precise purpose of achieving their egalitarian goals. It is in their distrust of self-government and representative institutions that Progressivists advocate, albeit indirectly, an elitist regime based on the power of the Supreme Court—or judicial supremacy.
Key elements and issues in this transformation of the original republic into an egalitarian mass society are thoroughly examined.
George W. Carey is Professor of Government at Georgetown University and editor of The Political Science Reviewer.
Published by: Liberty Fund
Title Page, Copyright
I would like to express my appreciation to the following individuals and organizations for making this work possible. James B. Williams, Michael Jackson, Roland Gunn, and Pamela Sullivan, over the years, have read and critically commented on one or more of the selections that follow . ...
Note to the Reader
Throughout this book all references to The Federalist are to the student edition edited by George W. Carey and James McClellan (Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 1990). The parenthetical citations in the text refer to essay number and page except when the essay number is evident from the discussion. ...
While the essays that follow are addressed to different aspects of our constitutional order and operations, there is an underlying unity to them. The principal source of this unity takes the form of a reaction to a revisionist school of thought, now dominant in academia, that has sought in various ways ...
1. Publiuss—A Split Personality?
It may seem odd that I begin with an essay that touches upon what would, at first glance, seem to be an arcane academic quarrel concerning the authorship of certain essays in The Federalist. After all, how can such a dispute possibly bear upon our understanding of the Constitution and the intentions of the Framers? ...
2. Majority Rule and the Extended Republic Theory of James Madison
Of all the Federalist essays, Federalist 10 is by far the most widely read and cited. Indeed, most students of the American political tradition have come to regard it as the document to which one must recur in order to understand the underlying theory of our constitutional system. Its assumptions, principles, and theorems form the foundations ...
3. Separation of Powers and the Madisonian Model: A Reply to the Critics
Separation of powers, in many respects the most important of our constitutional principles, is beyond any question the most misunderstood. And this misunderstanding is widespread; it is not simply confined to the ignorant and ill-informed. For instance, the revisionists and modem critics of our constitutional system ...
4. James Madison and the Principle of Federalism
Any penetrating treatment of state-national relations must, soon or late, deal with the teaching of James Madison because, far more than any other individual, he is responsible for our modem conception of federalism. From soon after the new government commenced operations under the Constitution until his death in 1836 ...
5. The Supreme Court, Judicial Review, and Federalist 78
We come at last to the principle of limited government, which, as I indicated at the outset, involves the belief that there are things that government ought not to do, that there are limits to the rightful authority of government. Of course, any contemporary discussion of this principle in the American context leads straightway to a description of the role ...
6. Due Process, Liberty, and the Fifth Amendment: Original Intent
This chapter illustrates a highly significant dimension of the way in which the Court, principally in this century and at an accelerating rate in recent decades, has assumed the enormous powers that render Publius's teachings in Federalist 78 virtually obsolete. What follows might be considered a case study that traces one critical dimension ...
7. Abortion and the American Political Crisis
While the following and concluding selection was prompted by the Court's abortion decision (Roe v. Wade), it draws together much of what I have said about the principles of our older constitutional morality by showing how the operations of the new morality simply supersede them. Roe v. Wade and subsequent Court decisions ...
Suggestions for Further Reading
Page Count: 214
Publication Year: 2012
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