An increasing number of constitutional theorists, within both the legal academy and university departments of government, are focusing on the conceptual and political problems attached to the notion of constitutional amendment. Amendments are, among other things, recognitions of the imperfection of existing schemes of government. The relative ease or difficulty of amendment has significant implications for the ways that governments respond to problems that call either for new structures of governance or new powers for already established structures. This book brings together essays by leading legal authorities and political scientists on a range of questions from whether the U.S. Constitution is subject to amendment by procedures other than those authorized by Article V to how significant change is conceptualized within classical rabbinic Judaism. Though the essays are concerned for the most part with the American experience, other constitutional traditions are considered as well. The contributors include Bruce Ackerman, Akhil Reed Amar, Mark E. Brandon, David R. Dow, Stephen M. Griffin, Stephen Holmes and Cass R.
Sunstein, Sanford Levinson, Donald Lutz, Walter Murphy, Frederick Schauer, John R. Vile, and Noam J. Zohar.
Sanford Levinson holds the St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr., Regents Chair in Law, University of Texas at Austin, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government there. He is also the author of Constitutional Faith (Princeton).
Acknowledgments1Introduction: Imperfection and Amendability32How Many Times Has the United States Constitution Been Amended? (A) < 26; (B) 26; (C) 27; (D) > 27: Accounting for Constitutional Change133Constitutionalism in the United States: From Theory to Politics374Higher Lawmaking635Popular Sovereignty and Constitutional Amendment896The Plain Meaning of Article V1177Amending the Presuppositions of a Constitution1458Merlin's Memory: The Past and Future Imperfect of the Once and Future Polity1639The Case against Implicit Limits on the Constitutional Amending Process19110The "Original" Thirteenth Amendment and the Limits to Formal Constitutional Change21511Toward a Theory of Constitutional Amendment23712The Politics of Constitutional Revision in Eastern Europe27513Midrash: Amendment through the Molding of Meaning307Appendix: Amending Provisions of Selected New Constitutions in Eastern Europe319Contributors325Index327