Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered

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Regnery Publishing, Oct 6, 1994 - Political Science - 397 pages
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Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered claims that our wayward courts are partly responsible for our current societal ills and calls for a moral and cultural renewal by turning back to our Framers' understanding of law and society.
Presser illuminates the original understanding of the Constitution by exploring the decisions of the earliest federal judges, those who interpreted it closest in time to its ratification. What he finds is that these judges, as well as the Framers themselves, believed in an inextricable link between law and morality. Unlike the proponents of today's self-fulfillment culture, the Founders realized that in order for a society to prosper there needs to be a delicate balance struck between individual liberty and individual responsibility to the community.
When constitutional jurisprudence is returned to the original understanding. Presser contends, we will reject government mandated, race-conscious remedies, including most affirmative action, race-norming, or quota programs, and return to a "color-blind" Constitution; we will return to an understanding of the First Amendment which permitted state and local governments to promote religion on a non-sectarian basis; and we will allow state governments to decide the extent to which they wish to regulate abortion without interference from the federal courts.
 

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Contents

Beyond Jefferson and SelfActualization
3
Summary of the Argument
23
Recapturing the Constitution
31
E The Purpose of Political Life in a Republic
40
The Balancing Test Method
49
H Turning Back the Clock in Order to Understand
59
The Intertwining
75
B The Earliest Federal Jurisprudence
86
F Roe v Wade
192
B Religion
225
Abortion
241
Summary of the Argument
255
Altering the Supreme Court
257
The Preservation of Popular Sovereignty Religion
270
E Hierarchy Deference and Elites
277
Notes
291

Samuel Chase Natural Law Natures God
115
B Lochner v New York
139
The School Prayer and Flag Salute Cases
150
E The Great Trilogy of the Warren Court
170
Bibliography
363
Index
387
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About the author (1994)

Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History at Northwestern University, where he teaches courses in the law school, in the history department, and in the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

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