The Contemporary Constitution: Modern Interpretations

The Contemporary Constitution: Modern Interpretations


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This book continues the author's discussion of the United States Constitution as an unfolding ""work in progress."" The Constitution was written and ratified more than 200 years ago, but it continues to guide the operations of our political system to this day. The Constitution remains viable because so many of its provisions are open-ended and flexible. Constitutional provisions prohibiting ""unreasonable"" searches and seizures, guaranteeing ""speedy trials"" before ""impartial juries"" and protecting against ""cruel and unusual punishments"" are just a few examples. Such provisions must be interpreted and applied to modern circumstances. In this way, the Constitution remains a living, evolving, contemporary document. This theme ran through the author's previous two books with Krieger. The first (""The Constitution: Our Written Legacy"") was written while the Nation celebrated the 1989 bicentennial of the ratification of the United States Constitution. The second (""The Bill of Rights: Our Written Legacy"") was written while we commemorated the 1991 bicentennial of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. But the story of the Constitution is a continuing one, and this book focuses on developments since 1991.

About Author

Joseph A. Melusky, professor and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Saint Francis College (PA), has taught for more than twenty years. He is a former executive director of the Northeastern Political Science Association and former president of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association. He has served on the executive council of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the advisory board for the Institute of Experiential Learning. His publications include The Constitution: Our Written Legacy (Krieger, 1991), The Bill of Rights: Our Written Legacy (Krieger 1993), and The American Political System: An Owner's Manual (McGraw-Hill, 2000).


Preface; PART I: THE EVOLUTION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES; Chapter 1: How Do Americans Feel About the Constitution and How Much Do They Know About It?; Chapter 2: A "Living" Constitution; Chapter 3: Power-Granting Provisions; Chapter 4: Power-Limiting Provisions; PART II: DOCUMENTS AND READINGS; 1: The Declaration of Independence (1776); 2: The Articles of Confederation (1777); 3: James Madison, The Federalist, Number 10; 4: James Madison, The Federalist, Number 51; 5: Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, Number 78; 6: Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, Number 84; 7: Brutus; 8: The Constitution of the United States of America. PART III: CASES; 1: Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302 (1989); The Eighth Amendment and the execution of mentally retarded individuals; 2: United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990); Congress attempts to prohibit flag burning; 3: Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990); Does the right of privacy include a right to die?; 4: R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377 (1992); Cross burning and the First Amendment; 5: Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992); State power to restrict abortions; 6: Shaw et al. v. Reno, Attorney General, et al., 509 U.S. 630 (1993); Racial considerations and the drawing of congressional district lines; 7: Callins v. Collins, 510 U.S. 1141 (1994); Capital punishment: tinkering with the machinery of death; 8: United States v. Lopez, 514 US 549 (1995); Congress attempts to reach into local school zones to keep them gun free; 9: U.S. Term Limits, Inc. et al. v. Thornton et. al., 514 U.S. 779 (1995); State authority to impose term limits on congressional terms; 10: Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. (1995); The right of privacy meets random drug testing for student athletes; 11: United States v. Virginia et al., 518 U.S. 515 (1996); The equal protection clause and the Virginia Military Institute's exclusion of women; 12: Chandler et al. v. Miller, Govenor of Georgia, et al., 520 U.S. 320 (1997); Drug tests for political candidates; 13: Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1997); Must Paul Jones' sexual harassment suit wait until after the President leaves office?; 14: City of Boerne v. Flores, Archbishop of San Antonio, et al., 521 U.S. 507 (1997); Limiting the reach of congressional powers; 15: Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 701 (1997); Assisted suicide: If it is constitutionally permissible to allow someone to die, is it also permissible to make them die?; 16: Vacco, Attorney General of New York, et al. v. Quill, 117 D.Ct. 2293 (1997); Additional questions about assisted suicide; 17: Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997); Protecting minors from harmful material on the Internet; 18: Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998); The presidential line-item veto: The president as legislative "editor-in-chief"; 19: Department of Commerce et al. v. United States House of Representatives et al., 525 U.S. 316 (1999); Using statistical sampling to take a national census: Is sampling counting?; 20: Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428 (2000); The Miranda rules revisited; 21: Boy Scouts of America et al. v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640 (2000); Can the Boy Scouts ban gas scoutmasters?; 22. Mitchell et. al v. Helms et al., 530 U.S. 793 (2000); Governmental efforts to assist private schools: "Parochaid"; 23: Sternberg, Attorney of Nebraska, et al. v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000); State restrictions on partial-birth abortions. 24: George W. Bush et al. v. Albert Gore, Jr. et al., 531 U.S. 98 (2000); Disputes over the 2000 Florida popular vote: Who won?; 25: United States v. Morrison et al., 529 U.S. 598 (2001); Congress attempts to reach and address violence against women; 26: PGA Tour Inc., v. Martin, 532 U.S. 661 (2001); Should Casey Martin get his golf cart?; 27: Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002); Revisiting the execution of mentally retarded individuals; 28: Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie et al. v. Earls et al., 536 U.S. 822 (2002); Extending drug testing to all students in extracurricular activities; 29: Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343 (2003); Cross burning revisited; 30: United States et al. v. American Library Association, Inc., et al., 539 US 194 (2003); Regulating and restricting Internet access of library patrons; 31: Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003); Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003); Affirmative action: considering race in student admissions; 32: Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003); Is is a crime for adults to engage in certain forms of consensual intimate sexual contact?; 33: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004); Balancing liberty and security in a post-911 world: detaining suspected terrorists.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781575241616
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 364
  • ID: 9781575241616
  • ISBN10: 1575241617

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