In the spirit of Glenn Beck'sOriginal Argumentcomes a lively manifesto on the need to recover the original meaning of the Constitution. From law school classrooms to the halls of Congress, America's elites have come to regard the Constitution as a mere decorative parchment to be kept under glass at the National Archives. InThe Naked Constitution, conservative legal scholar Adam Freedman defends the controversial doctrine of originalism as the only way to restore the Founding Fathers? vision of American liberty. Freedman argues that the fashionable ?Living Constitution? theory has been used by judges and politicians since the Progressive Era of the early 1900s to centralize power in Washington and to threaten individual freedom. The Naked Constitutionexplains the fundamental themes animating America's founding charter: limited government, federalism, separation of powers, and individual liberty. Freedman explores the nature of each of the three branches of government as well as the key individual rights enshrined in the Constitution to show how original meaning can help answer the most pressing questions facing America today: Can the president invade another country without the approval of Congress? Can he assassinate or spy on American citizens in the name of fighting terror? Do corporations have the same ?free speech? rights as individuals? Can the federal government coerce states to adopt particular policies, or force individuals to buy insurance? Ultimately, Freedman calls for a new constitutional convention that will free the nation from capricious courts and idiosyncratic judges, and limit the growth of government for decades to come.
Freedman, a commentator for the conservative news site Ricochet.com, offers a no-holds-barred defense of originalism, which he defines as the proposition that the Constitution should retain the meaning it had when it was ratified in 1789. Although Freedman's analysis primarily condemns liberal interpretations of the Constitution, conservatives do not get a completely free ride. For example, he argues that in no place in the Constitution is there a provision for the president to "start an offensive war," which indicts Democratic and Republican presidents alike. And even the identification of a Supreme Court justice as conservative does not grant immunity from Freedman's sharp pen. Justice Scalia, the court's leading originalist, is taken to task for his views on religious freedom stated in a 1990 decision that Freedman argues "virtually ignores the original meaning of the First Amendment." Freedman is an entertaining writer and conservative readers will be amused by his use of sarcasm, hyperbole, and inflammatory attacks on liberals-Pulitzer Prize-winner Gary Wills is a "Sneerer in Chief of the antigun movement"; former president Jimmy Carter is "that cowboy." In order to return to the spirit of the original Constitution, paradoxically, Freedman says, amendment is necessary. He ends with the call for a new constitutional convention and suggests a list of amendments consistent with his conservative beliefs, for instance, returning power from the federal government to the states.. Agent: Geri Thoma, Markson Thoma Literary Agency. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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October 09, 2012
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