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The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government Paperback – March 20, 2017
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[An] important and learned book. (Gary L. McDowell Times Literary Supplement 2015-03-13)
Epstein has now produced a full-scale and full-throated defense of his unusual vision of the Constitution. This book is his magnum opus…Much of his book consists of comprehensive and exceptionally detailed accounts of how constitutional provisions ought to be understood…All of Epstein’s particular discussions are instructive, and most of them are provocative…Epstein has written a passionate, learned, and committed book. (Cass R. Sunstein New Republic 2014-05-18)
The central mission of The Classical Liberal Constitution is to go against the grain of modern Supreme Court jurisprudence and much of the legal scholarship that has grown up around that body of work. The motivation for this argument should be apparent from the major disarray that infects every area of modern American life: steady decline in the average standard of living; constant battles over debt limits and fiscal cliffs; uncertainty over key elements of the tax structure; massive overregulation of the most productive sources in society (health care and financial services); government-inspired brinksmanship in labor negotiations; and runaway redistribution programs that undercut the economic production that makes these programs viable. All of these major programs could not have happened under the original constitutional structure, faithfully interpreted in light of changed circumstances. The confluence of these events cannot be dismissed as the result of random noise or simple mistakes. Rather, they are the ultimate consequence of the profound progressive break with the classical liberal tradition that was the guiding genius in the drafting and interpretation of the Constitution. (From the book) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Richard A. Epstein is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Law and Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.
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To clarify my point to my fellow citizens in reference to contemporary political issues, the author indicated that Obama care would have been declared unconstitutional ( as four supreme court justices indicated) if only the Pre-NEW DEAL meaning of the Commerce Clause was still in U.S. Supreme Court judicial favor [pg 185].
Also note the numerous regulatory agencies created by Congress over the past 100 + years has no Constitutional basis in law[ pg 276]. Once again various justices of the supreme court have merely twisted the meaning of the old constitution in order to justify the Populist- Progressive regulatory revolution that swept the nation from 1877 through 1912 and then became enshrined during Roosevelts New deal in his failed attempt to correct the problems following the aftermath of the Great Depression 1929-1941. The author said if we returned to the substantive common law rules on property, contract, and tort, it would reduce the level of discretion placed in political hands at all levels of government pg 282.
1937 was a watershed year of change on the U.S. Supreme Court. By then, FDR appointed new judges. Those
progressive judges changed the court's legal ruling on issues. Before 1937 , most court's protected economic liberty and property rights. After 1937, the court's began to protect personal rights and bless government transfer payments and permit government regulations of business and private life matters . The Courts stopped protecting economic liberty and individual property rights see pgs 337-342.
I urge all citizens to read parts of this book.