Read America's Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By by Akhil Reed Amar Free Online
Book Title: America's Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By|
The author of the book: Akhil Reed Amar
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Edition: Basic Books
Date of issue: September 11th 2012
ISBN 13: 9780465029570
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 624 KB
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Despite its venerated place atop American law and politics, our written Constitution does not enumerate all of the rules and rights, principles and procedures that actually govern modern America. The document makes no explicit mention of cherished concepts like the separation of powers and the rule of law. On some issues, the plain meaning of the text misleads. For example, the text seems to say that the vice president presides over his own impeachment trial—but surely this cannot be right. As esteemed legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar explains in America's Unwritten Constitution, the solution to many constitutional puzzles lies not solely within the written document, but beyond it—in the vast trove of values, precedents, and practices that complement and complete the terse text.
In this sequel to America's Constitution: A Biography, Amar takes readers on a tour of our nation's unwritten Constitution, showing how America's foundational document cannot be understood in textual isolation. Proper constitutional interpretation depends on a variety of factors, such as the precedents set by early presidents and Congresses; common practices of modern American citizens; venerable judicial decisions; and particularly privileged sources of inspiration and guidance, including the Federalist papers, William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech. These diverse supplements are indispensible instruments for making sense of the written Constitution. When used correctly, these extra-textual aids support and enrich the written document without supplanting it.
An authoritative work by one of America's preeminent legal scholars, America's Unwritten Constitution presents a bold new vision of the American constitutional system, showing how the complementary relationship between the Constitution's written and unwritten components is one of America's greatest and most enduring strengths.
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Read information about the authorAkhil Reed Amar is currently Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School. He received his B.A, summa cum laude, in 1980 from Yale College, and his J.D. in 1984 from Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of The Yale Law Journal. After clerking for Judge Stephen Breyer, he joined the Yale faculty in 1985. In 1994 he received the Paul Bator award from the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, and in 1997 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of law by Suffolk University. In 1995 the National Law Journal named him as one of 40 “Rising Stars in the Law,” and in 1997 The American Lawyer placed him on their “Public Sector 45" list. His work on the Bill of Rights also earned the ABA Certificate of Merit and the Yale University Press Governor’s Award. He has delivered endowed lectures at over two dozen colleges and universities, and has written widely on constitutional issues for such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, The New Republic, and Slate. He is also a contributing editor to The American Lawyer. His many law review articles and books have been widely cited by scholars, judges, and lawmakers; for example, the Justices of the United States Supreme Court have invoked his work in more than twenty cases, and he has testified before Congress on a wide range of constitutional issues. Along with Dean Paul Brest and Professors Sanford Levinson, Jack Balkin, and Reva Siegel, Professor Amar is the co-editor of a leading constitutional law casebook, Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking. He is also the author of several books, including The Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles (Yale Univ. Press, 1997), The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction (Yale Univ. Press, 1998), America’s Constitution: A Biography (Random House 2005), and most recently, America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By (Basic Books, 2012).