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Our Unsettled Constitution: A New Defense of Constitutionalism and Judicial Review First Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0300085310
ISBN-10: 0300085311
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Not quite two centuries ago, Chief Justice John Marshall counseled the Supreme Court (and, by implication, the rest of us) to remember that it is a Constitution we are interpreting. Taking the Constitution seriously is no small task, and, as Seidman (law, Georgetown Univ. Law Ctr.) so ably reminds us, constitutional interpretation is more a matter of creativity than discovery. In this fresh, innovative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking examination of the Constitution and its role in American law and politics, he presents a theory of constitutional "unsettlement" that forces us to reexamine what we think of the text of the Constitution, its interpretation and application, and its role in crafting conversation and consent rather than merely concluding or "settling" conflict (such as that over the 2000 presidential election). This insightful book will not command universal agreement, but its core thesis concerning the political ramifications of judicial review must be encountered. It belongs in all libraries, especially those serving scholars and graduate students. Stephen K. Shaw, Northwest Nazarene Univ., Nampa, ID

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

[A] fresh, innovative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking examination of the Constitution and its role in American law and politics. -- Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300085311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300085310
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #799,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Arnold TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Seidman's book made me think of Obama's remarks on the need for judges to empathize with litigants (I wouldn't be surprised if Obama had read the book). Seidman argues that bright-line rules in our jurisprudence are misleading and glare over important particularistic elements in cases (hence the unsettled part). He defends judicial review as a way to sort through the inherent contradictions in our constitution, such as those between public and private spheres of life. He also argues that judges, as relatively private public officials, are well poised to do this. However, after reading the book, I'm not left convinced that an "unsettled" approach would be feasible. He shows how the "unsettled" pre-Miranda and pre-Brown frameworks proved unworkable, but doesn't quite rescue his thesis from that observation. Nonetheless, he provides some insightful criticisms of judicial interpretation and bright-line rules as they are taught in most law schools (including mine). Recommended for political and legal theorists.
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Format: Paperback
Seidman's book made me think of Obama's remarks on the need for judges to empathize with litigants (I wouldn't be surprised if Obama had read the book). Seidman argues that bright-line rules in our jurisprudence are misleading and glare over important particularistic elements in cases (hence the unsettled part). He defends judicial review as a way to sort through the inherent contradictions in our constitution, such as those between public and private spheres of life. He also argues that judges, as relatively private public officials, are well poised to do this. However, after reading the book, I'm not left convinced that an "unsettled" approach would be feasible. He shows how the "unsettled" pre-Miranda and pre-Brown frameworks proved unworkable, but doesn't quite rescue his thesis from that observation. Nonetheless, he provides some insightful criticisms of judicial interpretation and bright-line rules as they are taught in most law schools (including mine). Recommended for political and legal theorists.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this quickly but haven't yet read it. Thanks, it should be an interesting read. It arrived in great shape.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Prof Seidman domonstrates here the liberal goals and articulates clearly the liberal political agenda for the remainder of the American life cycle which is rapidly closing. However, I appreciate the liberal academics surrendering and effectively giving up on the Idea, concept and application of a Constitutional Republic. It is clear that the liberal academic and liberal political establishment are in complete agreement on the demise of the US Constitution. It is every readers duty to read understand that this books speaks to the intent to destroy and not to the reason or meaning, and far from any alternative or consideration to replace the Cosntiutitonal Republic with a cognitively superior system that will better serve a public and allow public participation.
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