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The Constitution in 2020 Paperback – May 26, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0195387964 ISBN-10: 0195387961 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195387961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195387964
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"It is clear that no talent was spared in the construction of Balkin and Siegel's book The Constitution in 2020....Balkin and Siegel have drawn together a group of contributors highly qualified to predict the challenges that redemptive constitutionalism could face in the next decade."--Political Studies Review

"The Constitution in 2020 belongs in every academic law library. This collection would be a valuable addition to a suggested reading list for constitutional law classes. High school students in advanced placement US government and politics classes might be encouraged to read a few of the essays. Law librarians should at least skim through this book, too. You never know when someone is going to ask a question that you may be able to answer thanks to your outside reading."--Law Library Journal

"For a generation, conservatives have dominated our constitutional conversation. Now as a new day dawns, this inspiring book recaptures a progressive vision of a Constitution that can fulfill the country's oldest commitments to a robust and inclusive democracy."--Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Becoming Justice Blackmun:R

"For much too long, progressive thinkers have been either responding reflexively to agendas set by the right, or wringing their hands over the absence of constructive options of their own. This volume marks the end of that time in the wilderness. Constitutional progressives who read this book's veritable cornucopia of carefully conceived alternatives are bound to be energizes by the vistas opened here--and challenged by the puzzles poster in every sparkling chapter."--Laurence H. Tribe, University Professor, Harvard Law School, and author of The Invisible Constitution

About the Author

Jack M. Balkin is Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School, and the Founder and Director of Yale's Information Society Project, an interdisciplinary center that studies law and the new information technologies. Professor Balkin teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, telecommunications and Internet law, first amendment law, cultural and social theory, and jurisprudence. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the author of over 80 articles on constitutional and legal theory. He has written op-eds and commentaries for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the L.A. Times, the Hartford Courant, the New Orleans Times Picayune, the Washington Monthly, and the New Republic Online. He also runs a weblog, Balkinization, at Reva B. Siegel is Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where she teaches constitutional law, antidiscrimination law, and legal history, and serves as faculty advisor to the American Constitution Society chapter. Professor Siegel's writing draws on legal history to explore questions of law and inequality, and to analyze how courts interact with representative government and popular movements in interpreting the Constitution. Much of her recent work analyzes how progressive and conservative movements have struggled to shape constitutional law in matters concerning race, sex, and the family over the last several decades. She is currently writing a series of articles exploring the genesis of the "traditional family values" coalition and the evolving strategies of the anti-abortion movement.

Customer Reviews

This book is definitely progressive.....and like most liberal arguments, has no basis in truth.
Wrightfully Sew
While some Republican politicians may be ignoramuses, I don't think anybody could accuse John Roberts of that crime.
Nowhere will you find so much progressive-minded legal brainpower accumulated in such a short, readable volume.
E. Morrison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book's premise is interesting - gather the country's top liberal constitutional law experts and write a book (originally a conference) on how progressives would interpret the Constitution. I consider myself somewhat a progressive budding comparative constitutional law scholar, so the book fit some of my ideological biases. However, I'm much more concerned about good scholarship and sound arguments, and in that respect this book didn't meet my expectations. I found some of the articles too short to really address the topic at hand, and therefore shallow. Others barely concealed their liberal bias, which in turn affected their reasoning by focusing on the goal and not the means. The authors seem to argue their views based on unrealistic notions of what constitutes "progressive."

For example, in my own field of comparative law, Vick Jackson (unarguably the world's leading scholar in comparative constitutional law), argues that U.S. courts should be allowed to refer to foreign law (a proposition with which I agree). In doing so, she rationalizes that progressives should support such a goal because they believe that it is "better to know more than to know less" - as if all conservatives were ignoramuses who disdained knowledge. Knowing more is one thing, but the debate around the use of foreign law concerns HOW that knowledge is used. While some Republican politicians may be ignoramuses, I don't think anybody could accuse John Roberts of that crime. Another of her arguments is that the judiciary is under attack when judges are restricted in their use of foreign law. This ignores the fact that Congress does have a constitutional right to determine what constitutes law and restrict the judiciary's jurisdiction. At most, Jackson's claim constitutes fear-mongering.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Glenn C. Zorn on October 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I consider myself a liberal democrat, but the tenor of this book is really almost leftist, so it didn't really appeal to me. I had to get it for a class, I wouldn't have bought it if it wasn't required reading.
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11 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sam on October 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Constitution in 2020 is a long overdue effort by progressive legal scholars to articulate their vision of the Constitution. Modeled after the Constitution in 2000, a document produced in the Reagan Justice Department that shaped the direction of conservative legal thought, the book is timely and engaging.

It provides a wonderful introduction to progressive legal thought for law students and lay people alike. The chapters are very accessible, and clearer than your typical law review article -- this is definitely a book written for the general public, not for constitutional scholars. And the essays cover the whole gamut of legal issues, from first amendment rights to social and economic rights to citizenship issues.

Moreover, the book pulls together essays from the leading progressive thinkers of our time. If any ideas are likely to shape the progressive legal agenda for years to come, it is those of the contributors to this volume.

This collection of essays will be extremely valuable for people interested in learning more about progressive legal thought.
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