The Dynamic Constitution

The Dynamic Constitution : An Introduction to American Constitutional Law and Practice

3.88 (42 ratings by Goodreads)

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In this revised and updated second edition of The Dynamic Constitution, Richard H. Fallon, Jr provides an engaging, sophisticated introduction to American constitutional law. Suitable for lawyers and non-lawyers alike, this book discusses contemporary constitutional doctrine involving such issues as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, rights to privacy and sexual autonomy, the death penalty, and the powers of Congress. Through examples of Supreme Court cases and portraits of past and present Justices, this book dramatizes the historical and cultural factors that have shaped constitutional law. The Dynamic Constitution, 2nd edition, combines detailed explication of current doctrine with insightful analysis of the political culture and theoretical debates in which constitutional practice is situated. Professor Fallon uses insights from political science to explain some aspects of constitutional evolution and emphasizes features of the judicial process that distinguish constitutional law from ordinary politics.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 1139108867
  • 9781139108867

Review quote

"A remarkably lucid and engaging primer into constitutional law. It is difficult to imagine a better way to acquire a working knowledge of what the Constitution means, in some of the most important areas. Fallon brings to his subject the sensibilities of a first-class law professor, combined with a sympathetic understanding of what political science can add. I highly recommend it." - Barry Friedman, New York University Law School "Richard H. Fallon has distilled the often unruly and always complex cases into a clear, concise, and beautifully written book. Fallon simplifies without oversimplifying, distills without dumbing down, and writes for a general audience without sacrificing the insights that made his name as an academic. He is one of the most sure-footed and balanced analysts in the legal academy. If you are seeking a smart, accessible, and utterly trustworthy guide to constitutional law, look no farther." - Heather Gerken, Yale Law School "If you read just one book on the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court, Fallon's Dynamic Constitution is it. And if you read everything on the subject, this up-dated edition should be required reading - you will gain fresh and important insights. Why? In two words: breadth and judgment. Across the full range of current Supreme Court decisions Fallon elucidates doctrine, assesses competing strands of constitutional interpretation, provides historical context enlivened by memorable historical anecdotes, brings into play the background and styles of individual justices, acknowledges the force of practicability in decision making, incorporates recent political science research, and offers a sophisticated judgment of the part politics (only rarely partisan politics) plays in judicial decisions - tracing the Court's interactions with Congress, public opinion, and social movements and the 'political construction' of its authority. Fallon does it all with clarity and verve, and with deep respect for the 'dynamic' constitutional enterprise. We are in the hands of a true master of constitutional law." - Nancy L. Rosenblum, Senator Joseph Clark Professor of Ethics in Politics and Government, Department of Government, Harvard University "Fallon's book is not only a wonderfully sophisticated survey of American constitutional doctrine as developed by the Supreme Court, but it is also, and even more importantly, a powerful argument for why that doctrine matters to lawyers, to judges, to public officials, to the public at large, and to the country as a whole." - Frederick Schauer, University of Virginia "This is a wonderful introduction to American constitutional law. It is clear, lively, and easily accessible to non-lawyers. It is filled with common sense and good judgment. At the same time, though, it is sophisticated in its approach both to the law and to the political setting in which, inevitably, the law develops. Anyone who is interested in the Supreme Court and the Constitution will learn a lot from this book." - David A. Strauss, University of Chicago Law School
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Table of contents

Preface; Prologue; Introduction: The Dynamic Constitution; Part I. Individual Rights under the Constitution: 1. Freedom of speech; 2. Freedom of religion; 3. Protection of economic liberties; 4. Fundamental rights 'enumerated' in the Bill of Rights; 5. Equal protection of the laws; 6. 'Unenumerated' fundamental rights; Part II. The Constitutional Separation of Powers: 7. The powers of Congress; 8. Executive power; 9. Judicial power; Part III. Further Issues of Constitutional Structure and Individual Rights: 10. Structural limits on state power and resulting individual rights; 11. The Constitution in war and emergency; 12. Reach of the Constitution and Congress' enforcement powers; 13. Conclusion; Appendix.
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Rating details

42 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 24% (10)
4 43% (18)
3 31% (13)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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