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The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to the Constitution (Politically Incorrect Guides) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   258
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.99" Width: 7.3" Height: 0.59"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 11, 2007
Publisher   Regnery Publishing, Inc.
ISBN  1596985054  
EAN  9781596985056  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
An introduction to constitutional law in the United States looks at the role of the Supreme Court in defending the Constitution and discusses the historical rulings and changes that have gone against the document.

Publishers Description
The Constitution of the United States created a representative republic marked by federalism and the separation of powers. Yet numerous federal judges--led by the Supreme Court--have used the Constitution as a blank check to substitute their own views on hot-button issues such as abortion, capital punishment, and samesex marriage for perfectly constitutional laws enacted by We the People through our elected representatives.
Now, The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to the Constitution shows that there is very little relationship between the Constitution as ratified by the thirteen original states more than two centuries ago and the "constitutional law" imposed upon us since then. Instead of the system of state-level decision makers and elected officials the Constitution was intended to create, judges have given us a highly centralized system in which bureaucrats and appointed--not elected--officials make most of the important policies.
In The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to the Constitution, Professor Kevin Gutzman, who holds advanced degrees in both law and American history:
* explains how the Constitution was understood by the founders who wrote it and the people who ratified it * follows the Supreme Court as it uses the fig leaf of the Constitution to cover its naked usurpation of the rights and powers the Constitution explicitly reserves to the states and to the people * shows how we slid from the Constitution's republican federal government, with its very limited powers, to an unrepublican "judgeocracy" with limitless powers * reveals how huge swaths of American law and society were remade in the wake of Supreme Court rulings * reveals how the Fourteenth Amendment has been twisted to use the Bill of Rights as a check on state power instead of on federal power, as originally intended * exposes the radical inconsistency between "constitutional law" and the rule of law * contends that the judges who receive the most attention in history books are celebrated for acting against the Constitution rather than for it
As Professor Gutzman shows, constitutional law is supposed to apply the Constitution's plain meaning to prevent judges, presidents, and congresses from overstepping their authority. If we want to return to the founding fathers' vision of the Republic, if we want the Constitution enforced in the way it was explained to the people at the time of its ratification, then we have to overcome the "received wisdom" about what constitutional law is. The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to the Constitution is an important step in that direction.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good in the areas it addresses but too narrow in scope  Sep 15, 2008
The areas that this book covers are generally covered well; however, I was hoping for a book that was broader in scope. It really ought to be called "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Judicial Tyranny" or something to that effect as this is the area that the author focuses the most on.

He did do a good job covering judicial tyranny and explaining how the judicial branch has far exceeded the power the Founding Fathers intended it to have. He also provides an excellent overview of the history of the Constitution and the various conventions, which I learned a great deal from.

However, legislative and executive tyranny and abuse of the Constitution only receive brief mentions; for example, he addresses some of Abraham Lincoln's more blatant violations of the Constitution and does a good job covering the problem of secession but doesn't address more contemporary Constitutional issues like the PATRIOT Act, military commissions, secret prisons, and undeclared wars. These are some of the most hotly contested issues in Constitutional law right now and there have been several court rulings on them, so the book would've been more relevant if these issues had been addressed.

Another issue I was surprised the author omitted was the whole issue of Constitutional interpretation, which I consider a serious problem with the book. He simply assumes originalism without explaining or defending it, and he doesn't really distinguish between the different kinds of textualism (textualism vs. authorial intent). Given his intended audience, there's a pretty good chance that many people will either not understand originalism or disagree with it outright (e.g. proponents of the "living Constitution" theory of interpretation), so he really should have addressed this.

With that said, this book is still very informative and provides an important perspective on a number of issues, so it receives my recommendation.
Essential Reading For All Americans  Aug 17, 2008
When I studied constitutional law in law school, we studied what the Supreme Court said about the Constitution. I recall that our constitutional law text began its discussion of the First Amendment using an excerpt from Justice Hugo Black's opinion in the 1947 case of Everson v. Board of Education. What is vitally important in the study of any "text" - the historical background - was missing from my law school education.

Kevin Gutzman (an historian and attorney) provides the needed background in this outstanding book. As Gutzman shows in detail, while the Constitution did increase the power of the federal government as the expense of the states, the states still remained sovereign. In fact three states (Maryland, Virginia and Rhode Island) ratified the Constitution with the proviso that they were reserving the right to withdraw from the union if they saw fit. The Southern states did have the right to secede.

The Constitution is (or at least was) a states' rights document.

Two things changed this. First, Justice John Marshall interpreted the Constitution in a way beneficial to Supreme Court and federal power. Second, the Supreme Court gradually held that the Fourteenth Amendment "incorporated" the provisions of the Bill of Rights, making them binding on the states. Prof. Gutzman's attack on these two pillars of Court supremacy is quite persuasive.

In the Constitutional scheme as understood by Prof. Gutzman, the states retain almost complete power to regulate the economy, personal morality, and religion. This leads to some (by today's standards) unusual conclusions. While Prof. Gutzman rejects the "right to privacy" underlying such decisions Roe v. Wade, he also believes that the Supreme Court's decision in Pierce v. Society of Sisters (which struck down an Oregon law requiring nearly all children to attend public schools) an impermissible extension of judicial power over a purely state matter. This is a consistent state's rights view not held by any "conservatives" on the Supreme Court.

This is a vital work, which should be required reading for all law students and all Americans. I also recommend WHO KILLED THE CONSTITUTION? by Prof. Gutzman and Prof. Thomas Woods.
Absolutely Fascinating  Aug 1, 2008
I had just read The Revolution by Ron Paul when I saw this book. Interested in learning more about the Constitution I thought it looked promising. I had no idea what a treat I was in for. I couldn't put it down. Kevin Gutzman masterfully lays out how the constitution has been used and abused to achieve political ends that were not intended to be achieved. And the abuses started happening from the beginning, before the ink was even dry on the document. This book will help any reader gain a better understanding of the purpose of the constitution, what it says, what the framers meant, and how that has been ignored by far too many Supreme Court justices, Presidents, Senators, and Congressmen in the quest for power over the people. Gutzman is an excellent guide and by bringing out the human element in this fascinating journey he makes it very interesting to read. I highly recommend you read this book. Enjoy!
Politically Incorrrect Guide to the Constitution  Jul 24, 2008
Very interesting and informative book on how the US Constitution has been raped by the US Supreme Court over the years. A must read for everyone!
Required reading for all citizens  Jul 13, 2008
This book should be required reading for anyone who plans to vote. If you'd like a laundry list of most everything that's been done to eviscerate the Constitution and lead America down the wrong path, this is the book for you.
Also, if you'd like to support authors who are brave enough to speak the truth (a rare thing today), buy this book. I was beginning to think no one but Ron Paul had read the Constitution. After you've read this book, ask yourself if Obama, McCain or any of our elected officials have ever read the Constitution. If they have, they simply don't care what it says.

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