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Constitutional Choices Paperback – November 14, 1986

ISBN-13: 978-0674165397 ISBN-10: 067416539X Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 474 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (November 14, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067416539X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674165397
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,505,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Laurence H. Tribe...has provided in the essays in Constitutional Choices a brisk commentary on developments since 1978 [in American constitutional law]...This acute and wide-ranging commentary also offers ostensive proof that Americans cannot simply choose what to believe about the Constitution in the absence of all interpretive theory. (Geoffrey Marshall Times Literary Supplement)

Professor Laurence Tribe's Constitutional Choices is a collection of essays at the cutting edge of constitutional law. One of the country's leading constitutional scholars...Tribe possesses all of the analytical background necessary to explore burning constitutional issues with insight and wisdom...Constitutional Choices has so much going for it that every constitutional scholar--political scientist, teacher, judge, historian, congressman, and advocate alike--has to own it, to peruse at leisure and to refer to with pride. The belief in principle that underlies the book, the self-doubt, the recognition that choice is not the 'instrumental calculation of utility or...[the] pseudo-scientific calibrations of social cost against social benefit' all enrich our understanding of the Constitution. In sum, Professor Tribe has achieved his goal of having the whole add up to more than the sum of all the parts. (James L. Oakes Harvard Law Review)

Constitutional Choices consists of 16 superb--at times brilliant--essays...that argue against the present trend of grand constitutional theory toward a segmentation into groups of scholars who advocate that the legitimacy of judicial review can only be sustained by staying close the Framers' intentions (Robert Bork), by proceduralism (reinforcing the structures of representation and stopping racial prejudice, e.g., John Hart Ely), or by creating rights (Michael Perry)...The strength of the book is that it actually shows us one of the foremost constitutional scholars and practitioners at work making constitutional choices--that is, considering the relationship in the Constitution between structural values and rights values in the light of the realities of economic and social power. His analyses result in a most perceptive critique of constitutional theory and the practice of the Burger Court. (Ronald Kahn American Political Science Review)

Professor Tribe is revealed again in this volume as a graceful writer and a brilliant analyst of constitutional law...The publication of Constitutional Choices is an occasion for celebration. (Judge David L. Bazelon, U. S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. District)

Review

Professor Tribe is revealed again in this volume as a graceful writer and a brilliant analyst of constitutional law...The publication of Constitutional Choices is an occasion for celebration. (Judge David L. Bazelon, U. S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. District) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By josh ashby on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this based on the recommendation of a law school prep book I was reading. I was already in my second year, but the review really sold it as useful so I ordered it to supplement my study of con law. I found it out of date for the current discussion of con law issues. I wouldn't order it unless it's required reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Smith VINE VOICE on September 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
yes, in my opinion, tribe is probably the master of constitutional law. he probably has a sounder mind, keener vision, and judicial philosophy than anyone the US Supreme Court today. as an admirer of the man with one of the finest legal minds in US history, i acknowledge that this review is biased.

that said, this book consists of writings on 16 topics from case issues to overarching philosophy and the issues of court roles today. written 2 decades ago, at that time, it was the finest analysis of its day. as i've written elsewhere about professor tribe, i've gotta read his work two or three times before i have that "aha" - which is probably much slower than other readers of his works but it magnitude of that "aha" is tremendous. i give this an "A+" for ideas and a "B+" for ease of understanding.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bargain Huntress on February 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Laurence Tribe understands the constitution as well as any man alive. His work and reputation will live long after he's gone. This is worth reading.
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18 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Laurence Tribe sacrificed an almost sure nomination to the Supreme Court by lending his academic credentials to the attack on Robert Bork's nomination to the Court. He succeeded in keeping Bork off the Court, but in doing so, was removed from consideration for a seat himself. Ironically, it is not the hapless Republicans who have kept him from a nomination: it is common knowledge in Washington that the Democrats themselves have dropped him for the simple reason that one does not appoint a hitman to high court.
This is tragic, because reading Laurence Tribe side by side with Bork makes it clear what America lost when they both were denied a position on the Court. Both men are brilliant. Both are flawed. Together, each of them supplies the ingredients the other one lacks. Tribe, with his aggressive role for the Court, tends to disregard the fact that we live in a democracy, while Bork gives excessive deference to tradition and popular will. Together, they would have balanced each other out, providing thesis and antithesis at an extremely sophisticated level. The country would have benefitted. Instead, we have to suffer Justices Souter and Breyer, living examples of the Peter Principle in action. What hath Tribe wrought?
Tribe's work, like that of Bork, really deserves three stars, but I have demoted him because of the McCarthyite tactics of Tribe and his allies in defeating Bork, tactics which included breaking into the video store Judge Bork used in order to find dirt against him (unfortunately for them, Bork's tastes ran to opera, symphonies and classic Hollywood fare of the 30s and 40s). Perhaps the Tribes and Borks of the future will face a less rabid political process and the Supreme Court will have a place for them both. In the meanwhile, read Bork and Tribe together and try to imagine what a splendid place the Supreme Court could have been.
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