Constitutional Identity

Constitutional Identity

by Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn
     
 

In Constitutional Identity, Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn argues that a constitution acquires an identity through experience—from a mix of the political aspirations and commitments that express a nation’s past and the desire to transcend that past. It is changeable but resistant to its own destruction, and manifests itself in various ways, as

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Overview

In Constitutional Identity, Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn argues that a constitution acquires an identity through experience—from a mix of the political aspirations and commitments that express a nation’s past and the desire to transcend that past. It is changeable but resistant to its own destruction, and manifests itself in various ways, as Jacobsohn shows in examples as far flung as India, Ireland, Israel, and the United States.

Jacobsohn argues that the presence of disharmony—both the tensions within a constitutional order and those that exist between a constitutional document and the society it seeks to regulate—is critical to understanding the theory and dynamics of constitutional identity. He explores constitutional identity’s great practical importance for some of constitutionalism’s most vexing questions: Is an unconstitutional constitution possible? Is the judicial practice of using foreign sources to resolve domestic legal disputes a threat to vital constitutional interests? How are the competing demands of transformation and preservation in constitutional evolution to be balanced?

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674047662
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
10/25/2010
Pages:
388
Sales rank:
1,034,803
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

1 Introduction: The Disharmonic Constitution 1

2 The Conundrum of the Unconstitutional Constitution 34

3 The Quest for a Compelling Unity 84

4 The Permeability of Constitutional Borders 136

5 The Sounds of Silence: Militant and Acquiescent Constitutionalism 213

6 "The First Page of the Constitution": Family, State, and Identity 271

7 Conclusion 323

Index 357

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