- Publisher: Replica Books (July 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0735102562
- ISBN-13: 978-0735102569
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,336,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Here, the People Rule: A Constitutional Populist Manifesto Hardcover – July, 2001
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"Even those of us who disagree with some of Parker's arguments should welcome his central point: that it is neither desirable nor possible in a democracy to find permanent bypasses around public opinion on the most important issues." -- U.S. Representative Barney Frank
"Much of this book is downright fun to read-a rarity in legal scholarship. Parker's main theme-that we need to rediscover constitutional law's populist/majoritarian nature and possibilities-is both provocative and supremely important." -- Akhil Amar, Yale Law School
"This book deserves to be read, reread, and reread again. Its logic and fundamental understanding of the purpose of constitutional law will persuade, challenge, or infuriate readers. But Parker's words will linger and his book will sow an intellectual revolution grounded in the experience and sensibilities of citizens. Oligarchs, plutocrats, sophists, and practitioners of noblesse oblige beware: your controlling processes stand exposed by a profoundly illuminating mind." -- Ralph Nader
"Though I didn't concur with all of it, this is the most provocative book on law and politics in a long time." -- U.S. Representative Mel Reynolds
"What a breath of fresh air! Anyone who thinks a constitutional court must be conceived solely in terms of restraining popular impulse and containing the passions of the masses will have to think again after reading Parker's provocative books which makes a very eloquent plea for assigning to courts and constitutions the very difficult mission of unleashing political energy and stimulating public participation in civic life." -- Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard University Law School --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
'Even those of us who disagree with some of Parker's arguments should welcome his central point: that is is neither desirable nor possible in a democracy to find permanent bypasses around public opinion on the most important public issues.' --U.S. Representative Barney Frank --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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He calls "Here the people rule" a populist manifesto. It uses a story by Thomas Mann to discuss the two prevalent attitudes towards majority rule (positive and negative). I take his own attitude to be that majority rule, with all its difficulties and attendant problems, is by far the best way to govern. He seems, however, to associate populism with ordinary (statutory) law and the political energy of statutory law-makers and their constituents. He associates the Constitution with elitism and depreciates it in favor of statutes and "ordinary political energy.'
I understand his making these associations because Parker's experience with the Constitution has been obtained among academics and, in particular, constitutional lawyers. However, his own disillusioning experience does not change the fact that Madison (in Federalist 53) alluded to our Constitution as "established by the people and unalterable by the government." Neither does it change the fact that Article V limits the power os Congress in this respect to proposing amendments and deciding whether they are to be approved by state legislatures or by state conventions.
Admittedly, Madison's words have an empty ring. All twenty-seven of our constitutional amendments were proposed by the federal government and twenty-six were approved by state governments. This sad record, however, cannot be blamed on Congress, the presidency or the judiciary. It is our (the people's) fault. Statutes are the province of government, but our Constitutions is our province and our responsibility. The 1st Amendment gives us the right to petition our state legislatures to apply for a constitutional convention. The 9th and 10th Amendments can be used to make the states' compliance with these petitions mandatory. It is no one's fault but our own that we have abdicated our power to Congress and failed to propose an "anti-corruption" amendment to our Constitution. Such an amendment could put us back in control of our presently out-of-control government.
Parker concludes that "the purpose of modern constitutional law should be `to promote majority rule." He believes that we should be both enabled and encouraged to take part" in politics. I applaud his views. They can best be achieved, however, not by downplaying our "reverence" for our Constitution, but by encouraging and facilitating our ability to change it. The Constitution is our province, not the province of our government's. We should reverence and respect it. If we are to wrest control of our country back from our federal government, our "constitutional road" to majority decisions should be, as Madison said in Federalist 49, "marked out and kept open." Only in this way can we achieve Parker's goal of using our Constitution to promote majority rule. I discuss ways and means of marking out this road and keeping it open in my award-winning book, After Patrick Henry: a 2ns American Revolution (Black Rose Books, 2009)..