The Democratic Constitution / Edition 1

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The Democratic Constitution is the first attempt to capture the perpetual, collaborative process that shapes the interpretation of the American Constitution. Though the Court has unique power in the American system, the Constitution created a balance of power between the three branches of government, a balance essential to a vibrant and durable democracy. Nonjudicial contributions to constitutional interpretation, Neal Devins and Louis Fisher demonstrate, make the Constitution more stable, more consistent with constitutional principles, and more protective of individual and minority rights. Making use of case studies on race, privacy, federalism, war powers, speech, separation of powers, and religion, Devins and Fisher show how elected officials uphold and safeguard individual rights as well as, and often better than, the courts. This highly readable narrative is an impressive affirmation of public participation in the political process that defines, protects, and gives life to the constitutional order.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...well-suited for use as a supplementary graduate text...packed with useful information. For those who still assume that our Constitution only lives in Supreme Court opinions, the book will be an eye-opening corrective."—Perspectives on Politics

"In a discussion that ranges from review of the Supreme Court's decisions on federalism and war powers to speech, religion, race, and separation of powers, the authors ably demonstrate how constitutional interpretation is a dialogue among the judiciary, Congress, and the president, with the latter two often either acquiescing in judicial supremacy for political reasons or choosing to ignore it for the same. This is an excellent supplement for collections on law, the Supreme Court, and national politics."—Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195171235
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/13/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Neal Devins is Ernst W. Goodrich Professor of Law and Government at the College of William and Mary. He is also editor of the Constitutional Conflicts Book Series at Duke University Press. Louis Fisher is senior specialist in separation of powers at the Congressional Research Service. He testifies before congressional committees on a variety of constitutional issues, including war powers, executive privilege, item vetoes, legislative vetoes, and covert spending.

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Table of Contents

1 Judicial supremacy as orthodoxy 9
2 Who participates? 29
3 Federalism 53
4 Separation of powers 77
5 The war power 103
6 Privacy 127
7 Race 149
8 Speech 173
9 Religion 195
10 The ongoing dialogue 217
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