Download Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes by Sanford Levinson PDF

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By Sanford Levinson

The structure is without doubt one of the such a lot respected records in American politics. but this can be a record that frequently locations within the White condominium applicants who didn't in reality get a majority of the preferred vote. It provides Wyoming an identical variety of votes as California, which has seventy occasions the inhabitants of the Cowboy kingdom. And it bargains the President the ability to overrule either homes of Congress on laws he disagrees with on political grounds. is that this a recipe for a republic that displays the wishes and needs of today's Americans?

Taking a troublesome examine our much-venerated structure, Sanford Levinson right here argues that too lots of its provisions advertise both unjust or useless govt. lower than the present blueprint, we will be able to neither rid ourselves of incompetent presidents nor guarantee continuity of presidency following catastrophic assaults. less significant, possibly, yet definitely troublesome, is the appointment of perfect court docket judges for all times. including insult to damage, the us structure is the main tricky to amend or replace of any structure at present latest on the planet today.

Democratic debate leaves few stones unturned, yet we have a tendency to take our simple constitutional buildings with no consideration. Levinson boldly demanding situations the yankee humans to adopt an extended past due public dialogue on how they could most sensible reform this so much hallowed rfile and build a structure sufficient to our democratic values.

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

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But similar production technologies generated similar vulnerabilities to disruption, which were simply rediscovered in the new locations. Transmission of a cultural model. Symbols or tactics sometimes strike responsive chords across a wide variety of issues and social circumstances, as in the rapid spread of the idea of two broad forces, democracy and aristocracy, in the 1780s and 1790s or in the diffusion of the demonstration in the nineteenth century. Movement themes and tactics can both migrate across social boundaries to the extent that people are linked through communication networks.

The power capacity of states needs to be carefully distinguished from how decisions are made about how that capacity is to be used. We can imagine arrangements under which power is divided among several clusters of powerholders, who must come to some negotiated agreement if state capacity to tax, to use violence, and so on is to be exercised in a concerted fashion. And we can imagine arrangements under which powerholders are accountable to others—perhaps, as in contemporary democracies, to an electorate.

A distinguishing feature of the past two centuries is the claim that power is exercised on behalf of the people; often the claim is even made that power is exercised by the people. Abraham Lincoln’s brief formulation at the Gettysburg battlefield—“of the people, by the people, and for the people”—concisely embodies this image. Most of the world’s states now have written constitutions, and a written constitution is very close to being an implicit claim that human beings have set the rules under which authority is exercised.

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