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Hardcover The Heritage Guide to the Constitution Book

ISBN: 159698001X

ISBN13: 9781596980013

The Heritage Guide to the Constitution

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Book Overview

This guide is the first of its kind, and presents the U.S. Constitution as never before, including a clause-by-clause analysis of the document, each amendment and relevant court case, and the documents that serve as the foundation of the Constitution.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Invaluable to anyone with an interest in the meaning of the Constitution.

This is a remarkable work with contributions from more than a hundred legal scholars. The intent is to "present the Founder's understanding of the Constitution and its various provisions" along with the judicial interpretations and political circumstances that make up the historical development of constitutional law. Intended for an audience of lawmakers, judges and lawyers, the Heritage Guide is also a valuable addition to the library of any person with an abiding interest in one of the most - if not the most - remarkable documents created by the hand of man. Every line of the Constitution is scrutinized, interpreted and discussed. Significant cases are cited and references for further research are provided. This is definitely not light reading, but it is certainly informative and enlightening reading. Jerry

A Perfect Gift.

This is a necessary text for every legislator, and for anyone involved in law, policy, politics, or public affairs. I wish I had this book during my years in law school. It will destroy many assumptions taught in academia, and well illustrates the very weighty issues considered during the framing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It is not polemical, but it does inspire, and yet could easily be part of a course syllabus. You will come away with the belief that the Framers came very close to perfection with respect to balancing the issues of liberty, power, freedom, and order. And this is the very root of the problem today: the lack of faith in the vision of which the Framers were possessed. The tension between originalism and textualism is present throughout, and yet the authors do much more than describe contradictions: they offer a vision of jurisprudential traditionalism that could integrate both approaches to combating the "case-law chaos" sown by today's non-Constitutionalist court. A. Goldman Lake Mary, Florida

This book should be in your home and discussed with your family

This is a book that should be read in every home in America. We have a written Constitution and the more each of us knows about this document, its origins, history, the debates about its meaning, and the present views about it, the better our public discourse can be and the more we can hold our representatives, Presidents, judges and justices to account. This book takes the Constitution clause by clause and provides an article that discusses the origin of that clause, what was said about it at the time (if such a record exists), what the courts have said about it over time, and where the current debate rests. Yes, the Heritage Foundation is the sponsoring organization for this book. However, these articles are not simple conservative talking points about each clause. The articles are quite readable but scholarly in providing serious discussion of what this written document has meant, has been held to mean, how it has been ignored, and where the current trends are in our public life. I think it is essential that we realize that we have a written Constitution and that it is very different than the British Constitution, which is unwritten and changes with the political will of the people and the audacity of their politicians. That movement is represented in our country by those who for the past century or so have been saying that our Constitution is a "living document". No, we have a written document with a mechanism for changing it. That process has been used effectively over time to accommodate society as it changes. To leave it open ended to mean whatever judges and unelected justices impose upon it is to subject ourselves to tyranny and to have a very different government that our founders fashioned for us. While the book begins with a few really nice essays, you do not have to read this book front to back. You can dip into it here and there and read the articles independently of each other. In fact, it is probably best to focus on certain clauses one at a time, dig deeply in the article and have discussions about it (especially with your children). That way, over time, the whole of it takes on a stronger and interconnected substance. You will be able to see the serious debates and debunk the spurious claims made by those who find the written Constitution an impediment to their political aims. The fact that it is an impediment to them is actually to our protection and the reason our founders wrote the thing down. We should be grateful to them for doing that and study what was created by them for us. This book is a great tribute to them and a valuable resource for our study. Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI You might also be interested in: Originalism: A Quarter-Century of Debate

Essential reading for all federal judicial appointments...

In an era of American history where Supreme Court Justices sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States cite foreign law, "international public opinion," and any number of random foundations for their erroneous rulings, "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution" offers readers a glimpse into the proper methods for interpreting the Constitution. Written by former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese, in conjunction with Constitutional experts Matthew Spalding and David Forte, the book explores the Constitution step-by-step, line-by-line in an attempt to shed light on the true and original intent of the Founding Fathers. With great emphasis on historical context, "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution" not only examines the text of the world's greatest governmental document, but it also extensively cites the notes and opinions of the Founders, the Federalist papers, time-honored commentaries on the Constitution, and a number of other sources in its efforts to bring the Constitution into the world of today. In so doing, the book proves itself a valuable resource for all Americans who grapple with the great Constitutional questions of our day... Is the Constitution a "living document"? Is it a rigid set of rules? What is the true interpretation of a specific passage? Is the best judicial philosophy one of a strict constructionist nature? Whether or not this book provides you with the answers to those questions, I have no doubt you will finish reading it a more informed and competent citizen, whether layperson or Constitutional scholar. This should be essential reading for every high school student in our nation... Britt Gillette Author of "The Dittohead's Guide to Adult Beverages"

Brilliant! - unique, comprehensive, and authoritative.

Excellent unbiased scholarship! Provides an authoritative research device for people who want to know what the Constitution says and what the history of the various provisions are. One of the greatest points is that it also includes the court cases and legal articles that explain in more detail the particular provision involved. This book will be a great tool for legislators, lawyers and judges, and law students. But most importantly - it is terrific for anyone who is interested in understanding what the Constitution actually says. It features a clause-by-clause analysis of the original and contemporary meaning of the Constitution. It can be called the ultimate guide to our beloved Constitution that, in spite of much abuse, still stands head and shoulders above any other document of it's kind in the world. Highly recommended!
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