The Democratic Constitution

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-08-26
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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The Democratic Constitution is the first attempt to capture the perpetual, collaborative process that shapes the interpretation of the American Constitution. Though the Court has unique power in the American system, the Constitution created a balance of power between the three branches of government, a balance essential to a vibrant and durable democracy. Nonjudicial contributions to constitutional interpretation, Neal Devins and Louis Fisher demonstrate, make the Constitution more stable, more consistent with constitutional principles, and more protective of individual and minority rights. Making use of case studies on race, privacy, federalism, war powers, speech, separation of powers, and religion, Devins and Fisher show how elected officials uphold and safeguard individual rights as well as, and often better than, the courts. This highly readable narrative is an impressive affirmation of public participation in the political process that defines, protects, and gives life to the constitutional order. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Neal Devins is Ernst W. Goodrich Professor of Law and Government at the College of William and Mary. He is also editor of the Constitutional Conflicts Book Series at Duke University Press. Louis Fisher is senior specialist in separation of powers at the Congressional Research Service. He testifies before congressional committees on a variety of constitutional issues, including war powers, executive privilege, item vetoes, legislative vetoes, and covert spending.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3(214)
1. Judicial Supremacy as Orthodoxy
2. Who Participates?
3. Federalism
4. Separation of Powers
5. The War Power
6. Privacy
7. Race
8. Speech
9. Religion
10. The Ongoing Dialogue 217(24)
Notes 241(48)
Case Index 289(8)
Subject Index 297

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