- Series: Politically Incorrect Guides (Paperback)
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Regnery Publishing; 1st edition (June 11, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596985054
- ISBN-13: 978-1596985056
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution (Politically Incorrect Guides) (Politically Incorrect Guides (Paperback)) 1st Edition
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From the Inside Flap
The Constitution of the United States created a representative republic marked by federalism and the separation of powers. Yet numerous federal judges--led by the Supreme Court--have used the Constitution as a blank check to substitute their own views on hot-button issues such as abortion, capital punishment, and samesex marriage for perfectly constitutional laws enacted by We the People through our elected representatives.
Now, The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to the Constitution shows that there is very little relationship between the Constitution as ratified by the thirteen original states more than two centuries ago and the "constitutional law" imposed upon us since then. Instead of the system of state-level decision makers and elected officials the Constitution was intended to create, judges have given us a highly centralized system in which bureaucrats and appointed--not elected--officials make most of the important policies.
In The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to the Constitution, Professor Kevin Gutzman, who holds advanced degrees in both law and American history:
* explains how the Constitution was understood by the founders who wrote it and the people who ratified it * follows the Supreme Court as it uses the fig leaf of the Constitution to cover its naked usurpation of the rights and powers the Constitution explicitly reserves to the states and to the people * shows how we slid from the Constitution's republican federal government, with its very limited powers, to an unrepublican "judgeocracy" with limitless powers * reveals how huge swaths of American law and society were remade in the wake of Supreme Court rulings * reveals how the Fourteenth Amendment has been twisted to use the Bill of Rights as a check on state power instead of on federal power, as originally intended * exposes the radical inconsistency between "constitutional law" and the rule of law * contends that the judges who receive the most attention in history books are celebrated for acting against the Constitution rather than for it
As Professor Gutzman shows, constitutional law is supposed to apply the Constitution's plain meaning to prevent judges, presidents, and congresses from overstepping their authority. If we want to return to the founding fathers' vision of the Republic, if we want the Constitution enforced in the way it was explained to the people at the time of its ratification, then we have to overcome the "received wisdom" about what constitutional law is. The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to the Constitution is an important step in that direction.
About the Author
Kevin R. C. Gutzman, J.D., Ph.D. is Professor of American history and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of History at Western Connecticut State University. He received his Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas, his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia. Dr. Gutzman is the author of James Madison and the Making of America, of Virginia's American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776-1840, and -- with Tom Woods -- of Who Killed the Constitution? He was a featured expert in the documentary film John Marshall: Citizen, Statesman, and Jurist, as well as in Nullification: The Rightful Remedy. He has written in all the leading history journals, in numerous popular publications, and in several historical encyclopedias. He lives in Bethel, Connecticut, with his children.
Top Customer Reviews
This is not another of the toothless and forgettable laments about the death of the Constitution at the hands of activist judges that we read from time to time from the right-wing pundit class, though of course author Kevin Gutzman decries both of these things. This is a far more sweeping, much more fundamentally devastating indictment of the Supreme Court, of the "legal training" that raises up ever more people to perpetuate its record of dishonesty and usurpation, and of the American regime at large -- which rests on the legal fictions Gutzman shreds in his book.
To those who weep over the Constitution's neglect these past 50 or 100 years, Gutzman shows that defiance of that document has gone on from the beginning, starting in the 1790s. An expert on colonial and early republican Virginia -- and who has been published in all the major professional journals -- Gutzman knows the Virginia ratifying convention inside and out. He knows the promises made to the people, and the assurances that Virginia's ratifiers inserted into that state's ratification instrument. And he shows that Jefferson and his allies were faithful to those principles and promises, and that the so-called Federalists and their present-day apologists (which includes just about everybody) were not.
John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States from 1801 to 1835, comes in for some serious scholarly thrashing as well. Marshall is all too typically held up as an idol before conservatives and even libertarians, and he remains a central icon of early American history.Read more ›
As a gifted historian and lawyer, Gutzman allows the reader to uncover the genuine and potentially-viable core of the American constitutional tradition: diffused authority. He traces the core tradition from the Colonial Era, to the Declaration of Independence, to the Articles of Confederation, to the Constitutional Convention and equally vital Ratification Period, and onward, while uncovering the litany of errors and false hagiography of previous scholarship (his treatment of James Madison and John Marshall alone are worth the price of the book!).
Most importantly, this book provides a significant critique of just how far we have departed from the American constitutional tradition. Utilizing as many Supreme Court decisions as one would fine in a standard law textbook, but presenting these decisions in a more historically accurate and exceeding readable format, you cannot afford to ignore this book!
H. Lee Cheek, Jr., Ph.D.
Two key things Dr. Gutzman left out of his "incorporation doctrine" discussion are (i) the preamble to the bill of rights, (ii) a discussion of the 9th amendment, and (iii) the lost history of the 9th amendment.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very much needed reminders of the origins and intents of our National Covenant..........Published 1 month ago by carl inWis
I liked this book, but I didn't enjoy the writer's style as much as I thought I would.Published 3 months ago by L. Osterweil
This has been a fascinating and I opening read. A little dry at times but not too much considering the subject matter I feel it is a book that everyone should read giving you a... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nichole P. Conard
My boyfriend and I are reading this book together after attending a Tea Party meeting on the history of Constitutional interpretation, where this book was on a recommended reading... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ellen on the Rock
SEND COPY TO CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONGPublished 5 months ago by Ronald L. Fruend