We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court
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We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court

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Several of the most divisive moral conflicts that have beset Americans in the period since World War II have been transmuted into constitutional conflicts and resolved as such. In his new book, eminent legal scholar Michael Perry evaluates the grave charge that the modern Supreme Court has engineered a "judicial usurpation of politics." In particular, Perry inquires which of several major Fourteenth Amendment conflicts-over race segregation, race-based affirmative action, sex-based discrimination, homosexuality, abortion, and physician-assisted suicide-have been resolved as they should have been. He lays the necessary groundwork for his inquiry by addressing questions of both constitutional theory and constitutional history. A clear-eyed examination of some of the perennial controversies in American life, We the People is a major contribution to modern constitutional studies.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 286 pages
  • 164.6 x 224 x 15.5mm | 399.17g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0195151259
  • 9780195151251

Review quote

"Valuable. . . . While far from a must-agree, it is definitely a must-read. [Perry's] original contribution is to link Fourteenth Amendment interpretation with democratic theory. In so doing, he manages to break the nexus between review of the record and ratification of personal opinion."-Law and Politics Book Review "We the People develops a detailed....highly intelligent reading of the Constitution and how to interpret it and its amendments....An excellent complement to law, Civil War, and constitutional interpretation collections for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and professionals."-Choice Perry has written an ambitious, thoughtful, and provocative book that combines theoretical analysis of interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment with nuanced discussions of several specific constitutional cases. It is a worthy addition to the large and diverse scholarly literature on the Fourteenth Amendment.-Perspectives on Politics Scienceshow more

About Michael J. Perry

Michael J. Perry holds the University Distinguished Chair in Law at Wake Forest University. From 1982 to 1997, he taught at the Nothwestern University School of Law, where he held the Howard J. Trienens Chair in Law. Perry is the author of several books, including The Idea of Human Rights: Four Inquiries (Oxford, 1998), Religion in Politics: Constitutional and Moral Perspectives (Oxford, 1997), The Constitution in the Courts: Law or Politics? (Oxford, 1994), and Love and Power: The Role of Religion and Morality in American Politics (Oxford, 1991).show more

Table of contents

Preface ; 1. Introduction: "The Judicial Usurpation of Politics" ; 2. What is "the Constitution" (And Other Fundamental Questions) ; 3. The Fourteenth Amendment: What Norms Did "We the People" Establish? ; 4. The Fourteenth Amendment and Race: Segregation and Affirmative Action ; 5. Beyond Race: Sex and Sexual Orientation ; 6. Further Beyond: Abortion and Physician-Assisted Suicide ; 7. Concluding Reflectionsshow more

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