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Virtual Displays: Constitution Day 9/17/2020

This guide showcases eBook versions of physical displays at the Fr. Leonard Alvey Library.

Constitution Day - September 17,2020

Browse our selection of eBooks available about the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights. Find more resources through our catalog.

The Heart of the Declaration

An eye-opening, meticulously researched new perspective on the influences that shaped the Founders as well as the nation's founding document. From one election cycle to the next, a defining question continues to divide the country's political parties: Should the government play a major or a minor role in the lives of American citizens? The Declaration of Independence has long been invoked as a philosophical treatise in favor of limited government. Steve Pincus reveals how the document is actually a blueprint for a government with extensive powers to promote and protect the people's welfare. By examining the Declaration in the context of British imperial debates, Pincus offers a nuanced portrait of the Founders' intentions with profound political implications for today.

First Amendment Institutions

Addressing a host of hot-button issues, Horwitz argues that rigidly doctrinal interpretation renders First Amendment law inept in the face of messy, real-world situations. Courts should let institutions with a stake in these freedoms do more work to enforce them. Self-regulation and public criticism should be the key restraints, not judicial fiat.

Figures of Speech

Recounting controversial First Amendment cases from the Red Scare era to Citizens United, William Bennett Turner--a Berkeley law professor who has argued three cases before the Supreme Court--shows how we've arrived at our contemporary understanding of free speech. His strange cast of heroes and villains, some drawn from cases he has litigated, includes Communists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Ku Klux Klansmen, the world's leading pornographer, prison wardens, dogged reporters, federal judges, a computer whiz, and a countercultural comedian. This is a fascinating look at how the scope of our First Amendment freedoms has evolved and the colorful characters behind some of the most important legal decisions of modern times.

Democracy, Expertise, and Academic Freedom

A leading American legal scholar offers a surprising account of the incompleteness of prevailing theories of freedom of speech. Robert C. Post shows that the familiar understanding of the First Amendment, which stresses the "marketplace of ideas" and which holds that "everyone is entitled to an opinion," is inadequate to create and preserve the expert knowledge that is necessary for a modern democracy to thrive.

The Pursuit of Happiness in the Founding Era

Scholars have long debated the meaning of the pursuit of happiness, yet have tended to define it narrowly, focusing on a single intellectual tradition, and on the use of the term within a single text, the Declaration of Independence. In this insightful volume, Carli Conklin considers the pursuit of happiness across a variety of intellectual traditions, and explores its usage in two key legal texts of the Founding Era, the Declaration and William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. 

Bill of Rights

Are the deep insights of Hugo Black, William Brennan, and Felix Frankfurter that have defined our cherished Bill of Rights fatally flawed? With meticulous historical scholarship and elegant legal interpretation, a leading scholar of Constitutional law boldly answers yes as he explodes conventional wisdom about the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution in this incisive new account of our most basic charter of liberty. 

America's Lone Star Constitution

Beyond representing all doctrinal areas of constitutional law, Texas cases deal with the major issues of the nation. Leading legal scholar and Supreme Court historian Lucas A. Powe, Jr., charts the rich and pervasive development of Texas-inspired constitutional law. From voting rights to railroad regulations, school finance to capital punishment, poverty to civil liberties, this wide-ranging and eminently readable book provides a window into the relationship between constitutional litigation and ordinary politics at the Supreme Court, illuminating how all of the fiercest national divides over what the Constitution means took shape in Texas.

Jefferson, Madison, and the Making of the Constitution

In this book, Jeff Broadwater explores the evolution of the constitutional thought of these two seminal American figures, from the beginning of the American Revolution through the adoption of the Bill of Rights. In explaining how the two political compatriots could have produced such seemingly dissimilar documents but then come to a common constitutional ground, Broadwater reveals how their collaboration--and their disagreements--influenced the full range of constitutional questions during this early period of the American republic.

Origins of the Bill of Rights

Americans resorted to arms in 1775 not to establish new liberties but to defend old ones, explains constitutional historian Leonard W. Levy in this fascinating history of the origins of the Bill of Rights. He offers here a panoramic view of the liberties secured by the first ten amendments to the Constitution-a penetrating analysis of the background of the Bill of Rights the meanings of each provision of the amendments. 

Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments

This book offers a set of alphabetically organized entries designed as a one-stop resource for high school and college students, members of the general public, and scholars interested in the numerous proposals that individuals have introduced to amend the U.S. Constitution. * Over 500 A-Z entries on amendments, proposed amendments, alternate constitutions, and amending issues * A chronology of the most popular amending proposals by year and key events and publications related to constitutional amendments * Primary documents, including the U.S. Constitution and its amendments * An extensive bibliography plus suggestions for further reading for each entry * A comprehensive index