Original Intent And The Framers' Constitution

Overview

For more than two hundred years a debate has raged between those who believe that jurists should follow the original intentions of the Founding Fathers and those who argue that the Constitution is a living document subject to interpretation by each succeeding generation. The controversy has flared anew in our own time as a facet of the battle between conservatives and liberals. In Original Intent and the Framers' Constitution, the distinguished constitutional scholar Leonard Levy cuts through the Gordian Knot of ...

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Original Intent and the Framers' Constitution

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Overview

For more than two hundred years a debate has raged between those who believe that jurists should follow the original intentions of the Founding Fathers and those who argue that the Constitution is a living document subject to interpretation by each succeeding generation. The controversy has flared anew in our own time as a facet of the battle between conservatives and liberals. In Original Intent and the Framers' Constitution, the distinguished constitutional scholar Leonard Levy cuts through the Gordian Knot of claim and counterclaim with an argument that is clear, logical, and compelling. Rejecting the views of both left and right, he evaluates the doctrine of "original intent" by examining the sources of constitutional law and landmark cases. Finally, he finds no evidence for grounding the law in original intent. Judicial activism—the constant reinterpretation of the Constitution—he sees as inevitable.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Merciless and brilliant. In fascinating detail...Mr. Levy demonstrates that there can be no such animal [as original intent]....Judges and the rest of us can learn much from this remarkable book.
— Anthony Lewis
New York Times
Merciless and brilliant. In fascinating detail...Mr. Levy demonstrates that there can be no such animal [as original intent]....Judges and the rest of us can learn much from this remarkable book.
— Anthony Lewis
The New York Times
Merciless and brilliant. In fascinating detail...Mr. Levy demonstrates that there can be no such animal [as original intent]....Judges and the rest of us can learn much from this remarkable book.
— Anthony Lewis
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
Leonard Levy's masterful analysis of the doctrine of original intent combines meticulous scholarship with glorious demolition.
The New York Times - Anthony Lewis
Merciless and brilliant. In fascinating detail...Mr. Levy demonstrates that there can be no such animal [as original intent]....Judges and the rest of us can learn much from this remarkable book.
Eugene V. Rostow
Myths are hard to kill, but if reason and reasonableness can ever persuade, Professor Levy's book should convert those who still cling to the naive jurisprudence of 'original intent.'
Booknews
Debate continues over whether jurists should follow the original intentions of the Founding Fathers when they drafted the Constitution or whether the Constitution is a "living document," subject to interpretation by each generation. Constitutional scholar Levy evaluates the doctrine of "original intent," focusing on the sources of constitutional law and its landmark cases. He finds no evidence for grounding the law in original intent and argues that judicial activism is inevitable. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
Debates keep raging and struggles re-surfacing over the original intentions of the Founding Fathers when they drafted the constitution. Original Intent And The Framers' Constitution provides an argument by constitutional scholar Levy, who rejects the views of both left and right sides in examining sources of constitutional law and cases supporting original intent. Recommended for college-level political science students. REVIEW%> THE JOBS/CAREERS SHELF
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566633123
  • Publisher: Ivan R Dee
  • Publication date: 8/25/2000
  • Pages: 543
  • Sales rank: 1,415,645
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 1.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Leonard W. Levy, whose Origins of the Fifth Amendment won the Pulitzer Prize in history, is formerly Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional History at Brandeis University and Andrew W. Mellon All-Claremont Professor of Humanities and History at the Claremont Graduate School. His other writings, many of which have also won awards, include The Palladium of Justice, Blasphemy, The Establishment Clause, Freedom of the Press from Zenger to Jefferson, and Jefferson and Civil Liberties. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.

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