Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It)

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Oxford University Press, Sep 28, 2006 - Political Science - 272 pages
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Levinson argues that too many of our Constitution's provisions promote either unjust or ineffective government. Under the existing blueprint, we can neither rid ourselves of incompetent presidents nor assure continuity of government following catastrophic attacks. Less important, perhaps, but certainly problematic, is the appointment of Supreme Court judges for life. Adding insult to injury, the United States Constitution is the most difficult to amend or update of any constitution currently existing in the world today. Democratic debate leaves few stones unturned, but we tend to take our basic constitutional structures for granted. Levinson boldly challenges the American people to undertake a long overdue public discussion on how they might best reform this most hallowed document and construct a constitution adequate to our democratic values. "Admirably gutsy and unfashionable." --Michael Kinsley, The New York Times "Bold, bracingly unromantic, and filled with illuminating insights. He accomplishes an unlikely feat, which is to make a really serious argument for a new constitutional convention, one that is founded squarely on democratic ideals." --Cass R. Sunstein, The New Republic "Everyone who cares about how our government works should read this thoughtful book." --Washington Lawyer
 

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Contents

Sending the Constitution to a New Convention for Repair
11
2 Our Undemocratic Legislative Process
25
TooPowerful Presidents Chosen in an Indefensible Process Who Cannot Be Displaced Even When They Are Manifestly Incompetent
79
An Idea Whose Time Has Passed
123
5 The Constitution as Creator of SecondClass Citizens
141
6 The Impermeable Article V
159
What Is to Be Done?
167
The Wisdom of Woodrow Wilson
181
The Constitution of the United States
183
AFTERWORD FOR THE PAPERBACK EDITION
201
NOTES
217
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
239
INDEX
243
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Sanford Levinson holds the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School. The author of over 200 articles in professional and more popular journals, his books include Constitutional Faith (1988); Written in Stone (1998); Wrestling With Diversity (2003) and the edited volume, Torture: A Collection (Oxford University Press, 2004).

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