A Constitution of many minds: why the founding document doesn't mean what it meant before

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Average Rating
Publisher:
Princeton University Press,
Pub. Date:
c2009.
Language:
English
Description

The future of the U.S. Supreme Court hangs in the balance like never before. Will conservatives or liberals succeed in remaking the court in their own image? InA Constitution of Many Minds, acclaimed law scholar Cass Sunstein proposes a bold new way of interpreting the Constitution, one that respects the Constitution's text and history but also refuses to view the document as frozen in time.

Exploring hot-button issues ranging from presidential power to same-sex relations to gun rights, Sunstein shows how the meaning of the Constitution is reestablished in every generation as new social commitments and ideas compel us to reassess our fundamental beliefs. He focuses on three approaches to the Constitution--traditionalism, which grounds the document's meaning in long-standing social practices, not necessarily in the views of the founding generation; populism, which insists that judges should respect contemporary public opinion; and cosmopolitanism, which looks at how foreign courts address constitutional questions, and which suggests that the meaning of the Constitution turns on what other nations do.

Sunstein demonstrates that in all three contexts a "many minds" argument is at work--put simply, better decisions result when many points of view are considered. He makes sense of the intense debates surrounding these approaches, revealing their strengths and weaknesses, and sketches the contexts in which each provides a legitimate basis for interpreting the Constitution today.

This book illuminates the underpinnings of constitutionalism itself, and shows that ours is indeed a Constitution, not of any particular generation, but of many minds.

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ISBN:
9780691133379
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full_title constitution of many minds why the founding document doesn t mean what it meant before
author sunstein cass r
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:17AM

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physical xi, 225 p. ; 25 cm.
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subject_facet Constitutional law -- United States
table_of_contents There is nothing that interpretation just is -- Burkean minimalism -- Rationalists vs. Burkeans -- Due process traditionalism -- Backlash's travels -- Public opinion and social consequences -- Public opinion and judicial humility -- What other nations do.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title A Constitution of many minds : why the founding document doesn't mean what it meant before
title_display A Constitution of many minds : why the founding document doesn't mean what it meant before
title_full A Constitution of many minds : why the founding document doesn't mean what it meant before / Cass R. Sunstein
title_short A Constitution of many minds :
title_sort constitution of many minds why the founding document doesn't mean what it meant before
title_sub why the founding document doesn't mean what it meant before