Original Intent and the Framers' Constitution

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Ivan R. Dee, Jan 1, 2000 - History - 525 pages
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For more than two hundred years a debate has raged between those who believe that jurists should follow the original intentions of the Founding Fathers and those who argue that the Constitution is a living document subject to interpretation by each succeeding generation. The controversy has flared anew in our own time as a facet of the battle between conservatives and liberals. In Original Intent and the Framers' Constitution, the distinguished constitutional scholar Leonard Levy cuts through the Gordian Knot of claim and counterclaim with an argument that is clear, logical, and compelling. Rejecting the views of both left and right, he evaluates the doctrine of "original intent" by examining the sources of constitutional law and landmark cases. Finally, he finds no evidence for grounding the law in original intent. Judicial activism the constant reinterpretation of the Constitution he sees as inevitable."

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Original intent and the framers' constitution

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Among its many legacies, the Reagan administration will be remembered for its spirited defense of "a jurisprudence of original intent''the simplistic assertion that the Constitution has a fixed and ... Read full review


The Framers and Original Intent
Foreign Policy and War Powers
Judicial Review and Judicial Activism

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Abraham Baldwin act of Congress Alexander Hamilton American Anti-Federalists Article Articles of Confederation authority Bill of Rights bills of attainder Carolina Charles Grove Haines Charles Pinckney Charles Warren Chief Justice church civil committee common law Complete Anti-Federalist Connecticut Consti Constitution Constitutional Convention constitutional law contract clause criminal Crosskey Dartmouth College debates decisions declared direct taxes double jeopardy Dred Scott due process Edmund Pendleton Edmund Randolph Edwin Meese III Elbridge Gerry establishment clause establishment of religion evidence ex post facto executive existed Farrand federal Federalist Felix Frankfurter Fifth Amendment Fourteenth Amendment Fourth Amendment Framers freedom freedom of speech Gouverneur Morris habeas corpus Hamilton Hampshire Harvard Law Review Harvard University House Hugh Williamson Hugo L Ibid interpretation issue James James Bradley Thayer James Iredell James Madison James Wilson Jefferson John John Dickinson John Lansing John Lilburne John Marshall Jonathan Elliot Joseph Story judges judicial activism judicial review Judiciary jurisprudence jurisprudence of original jury legislative legislature Leonard W libel libertarian liberty Madison Magna Carta mandamus Marbury Marshall Maryland Massachusetts Massachusetts Constitution Max Farrand meaning meant ment natural rights North Carolina oath Oliver Ellsworth opinion original intent originalist Patrick Henry Pennsylvania Petition of Right Philadelphia Philadelphia Convention political post facto laws President principle protection provision Raoul Berger ratification ratifying convention Records Rehnquist Rhode Island Richard Dobbs Spaight Richard Henry Lee right against Roger Sherman Rufus King rule rules of construction search and seizure Sedition Act seditious libel self-incrimination Senate separation of powers speech Spencer Roane Star Chamber statute supremacy clause Supreme Court Thomas Jefferson treaties trial trial by jury tution unconstitutional unenumerated rights United University Press Virginia Virginia Plan vols warrants William William Blackstone William Cushing writ Writs of Assistance York

About the author (2000)

Leonard W. Levy, whose Origins of the Fifth Amendment won the Pulitzer Prize in history, is formerly Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional History at Brandeis University and Andrew W. Mellon All-Claremont Professor of Humanities and History at the Claremont Graduate School. His other writings, many of which have also won awards, include The Palladium of Justice, Blasphemy, The Establishment Clause, Freedom of the Press from Zenger to Jefferson, and Jefferson and Civil Liberties. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.

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