The Naked Constitution: What the Founders Said and Why It Still Matters

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Overview

In the spirit of Glenn Beck’s Original Argument comes a lively manifesto on the need to recover the original meaning of the Constitution.

From law school classrooms to the halls of Congress, America’s elites have come to regard the Constitution as a mere decorative parchment to be kept under glass at the National Archives. In The Naked Constitution, conservative legal scholar Adam Freedman defends the controversial doctrine of originalism as the only way to restore the Founding ...

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The Naked Constitution: What the Founders Said and Why It Still Matters

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Overview

In the spirit of Glenn Beck’s Original Argument comes a lively manifesto on the need to recover the original meaning of the Constitution.

From law school classrooms to the halls of Congress, America’s elites have come to regard the Constitution as a mere decorative parchment to be kept under glass at the National Archives. In The Naked Constitution, conservative legal scholar Adam Freedman defends the controversial doctrine of originalism as the only way to restore the Founding Fathers’ vision of American liberty. Freedman argues that the fashionable “Living Constitution” theory has been used by judges and politicians since the Progressive Era of the early 1900s to centralize power in Washington and to threaten individual freedom.

The Naked Constitution explains the fundamental themes animating America’s founding charter: limited government, federalism, separation of powers, and individual liberty. Freedman explores the nature of each of the three branches of government as well as the key individual rights enshrined in the Constitution to show how original meaning can help answer the most pressing questions facing America today: Can the president invade another country without the approval of Congress? Can he assassinate or spy on American citizens in the name of fighting terror? Do corporations have the same “free speech” rights as individuals? Can the federal government coerce states to adopt particular policies, or force individuals to buy insurance? Ultimately, Freedman calls for a new constitutional convention that will free the nation from capricious courts and idiosyncratic judges, and limit the growth of government for decades to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Freedman, a commentator for the conservative news site Ricochet.com, offers a no-holds-barred defense of originalism, which he defines as the proposition that the Constitution should retain the meaning it had when it was ratified in 1789. Although Freedman’s analysis primarily condemns liberal interpretations of the Constitution, conservatives do not get a completely free ride. For example, he argues that in no place in the Constitution is there a provision for the president to “start an offensive war,” which indicts Democratic and Republican presidents alike. And even the identification of a Supreme Court justice as conservative does not grant immunity from Freedman’s sharp pen. Justice Scalia, the court’s leading originalist, is taken to task for his views on religious freedom stated in a 1990 decision that Freedman argues “virtually ignores the original meaning of the First Amendment.” Freedman is an entertaining writer and conservative readers will be amused by his use of sarcasm, hyperbole, and inflammatory attacks on liberals—Pulitzer Prize–winner Gary Wills is a “Sneerer in Chief of the antigun movement”; former president Jimmy Carter is “that cowboy.” In order to return to the spirit of the original Constitution, paradoxically, Freedman says, amendment is necessary. He ends with the call for a new constitutional convention and suggests a list of amendments consistent with his conservative beliefs, for instance, returning power from the federal government to the states.. Agent: Geri Thoma, Markson Thoma Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Mark Levin
“A compelling response to the ‘living Constitution’—a fradulent theory that allows judges and politicians to rewrite the Constitution at will...to centralize power and erode basic freedoms. Most importantly, he explains how we can return to the Founders’ principles of individual liberty and limited government.”
Peter Robinson
“Brilliant, lively, pugnacious, and very ambitious. Freedman intends to reclaim our founding document for us, the laymen, the ordinary citizens whom the Constitution was intended to serve, and masterfully does so in this lucid and accessible book.”
David Limbaugh
In this very entertaining and informative book, Freedman skewers those who have judicially rewritten the Constitution at the expense of our individual liberties. Well-researched and full of historical insight, The Naked Constitution explains the Founders’ original meaning, and demonstrates the urgency of reclaiming America’s founding ideals. Well done.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062094636
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 353
  • Sales rank: 632,995
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Is Homework Constitutional? The Living Constitution vs. the Naked Constitution 1

Chapter 2 We the People: Was the Constitution Really Written to Protect Terrorists, Illegal Aliens, and Chimpanzees? 15

Chapter 3 Congress: Who Killed Our Government of Limited Powers? 43

Chapter 4 The President: The Mouse That Roared 67

Chapter 5 The Courts: Supreme Power Grab 103

Chapter 6 Freedom of Speech: Some Speech Is More Equal Than Others 135

Chapter 7 Religion: One Nation, Under… Never Mind 157

Chapter 8 To Keep and Bear Arms: The Right the Left Left Behind 191

Chapter 9 Life, Liberty, and That Other Thing: Property Rights Declare Bankruptcy 221

Chapter 10 Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court Outsources the Constitution 253

Chapter 11 Federalism: The Forgotten Tenth Amendment 277

Chapter 12 Come the Revolution: Time for a New Convention 305

Acknowledgments 321

Select Bibliography 323

Index 337

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    I would highly recommend it

    I especially liked chapter eight, regarding the second Admendent, a must read for those interested in what's going on poltically these days.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    If you don't know where you have come from, any destination may appear okay. The fact is that our history as a country is solely derived from the ability of it's citizens to have a rudimentary understanding of what made this country great. Wonderfully written. Thank you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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