Strongly recommended for all academic libraries. Constitutional interpretation, the understanding of the role of a constitution in a nation's life, and the relationship between constitutional text and context will never be the same as they were before this powerful, inspiring, and original book was written. To read The Invisible Constitution is to enter the mind of a brilliant thinker as he reflects upon many of the most important issues of the day.
By Dahlia Lithwick When the sun rose on Nov. Basic conservative principles—free markets, deregulation, small government—had taken a beating in the weeks before.
But with the rout of GOP candidates on Election Day, it looked as if liberalism was the last man standing. That is, of course, unless you were standing in the courtroom of the Supreme Court on Nov. Dahlia Lithwick Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate and hosts the podcast Amicus.
It's not just about numbers, although it's indisputable that with the appointments in of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, the number of strongly ideological judicial conservatives at the high court rose to four.
And it's not just about demographics, although the average age of the court's conservatives is markedly younger than the average age of its liberals. It's about something almost undefinable that has changed on the bench in the past two years: The court's liberal wing, in contrast, often appears to spend oral argument engaging in four sedate, side-by-side games of computer solitaire.
Advertisement But at the most granular level, the momentum shift at the high court has less to do with the current lineup of justices than with constitutional theory. Last spring's Heller decision, for instance, overturning the District of Columbia's gun ban on Second Amendment grounds, revealed the absolute dominance of conservative interpretive theories at the high court.
The liberals and conservatives took turns trying to outdo one another as "textualists" and "originalists" and "strict constructionists," leading more than one commentator to enthuse that regardless of the outcome, after Heller, "we are all originalists now.
Certainly, while the sun may have set on some conservative political theory, it's been decades since the sun of conservative constitutional theory shone so brightly at the Supreme Court.
Liberals today mostly only whisper the words "living Constitution," for fear of being taunted by their Federalist Society friends for advocating the "sweet mystery of life" and "penumbras" and other feel-good '60s notions about a Constitution so vast and unchecked and benevolent that it might just as well be called "Mom.
A few years ago, Tribe stunned legal academia when he announced that he would not be updating his legendary constitutional-law treatise because, as he said at the time, "conflict over basic constitutional premises is today at a fever pitch. Instead, this fall saw the publication of The Invisible ConstitutionTribe's effort to explain to ordinary Americans that when it comes to this cherished founding document, what we see is much less than what we get.
This book is a kick in the shin to "textualism" and "originalism," in that Tribe begins from the principle that the written, or "visible," Constitution so revered by conservative jurists is, in fact, only a small part of what Americans think of as the Constitution.
He notes that the text of the Constitution contains words that are not even constitutional—original language that has been amended but that still appears in the document.
He points out that some of our most cherished constitutional convictions, such as "one person, one vote," appear nowhere in the text. In other words, by fetishizing the words alone, we lose sight of the enormity of what the document does.
Advertisement Tribe's argument is not so much an argument for a living Constitution that morphs and adapts to meet the needs of a changing society. He's more interested in the shadow Constitution—what he calls the "dark matter" that represents the "ocean of ideas, propositions, recovered memories, and imagined experiences" of which the visible Constitution is only a small part.
You cannot spend five minutes listening to oral arguments without realizing that most discussion of what is "constitutional" transcends the mere words in the document.
And that is the ground he seeks to excavate. One of his examples, the proposition that no state may secede from the Union, he describes as a part of the Constitution that is written "not in ink but in blood.
But like those progressive scholars, Tribe seeks to distance himself from what conservatives decry as the flabby, results-based decision-making that is parodied by justices like Antonin Scalia as empty lyricism. Scalia's brutal attack on what he dubbed "the sweet mystery of life" passage found in Planned Parenthood v.
Casey reveals what happens when constitutional courts wax Shakespearian. That opinion features the famous phrase: Tribe, with his background in math and science, is determinedly more earthbound. This is a book about "excavation" and "dark energy" and "double helixes.
The 14th Amendment provides that no state shall "deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law. This defies common sense, however.Author's Bio. Laurence H. Tribe is Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard University.
He has published more than books and articles, including American Constitutional Law, On Reading the Constitution, and Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes. Now, one of the most prominent constitutional lawyers of our generation and our chief legal doctrinalist, Laurence Tribe, has tried to contribute to this discourse with his book The Invisible Constitution.
Now, in Uncertain Justice, Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz show the surprising extent to which the Roberts Court is revising the meaning of our Constitution. This essential book arrives at a make-or-break moment for the nation and the court/5(6). This item: American Constitutional Law (University Treatise Series) by Laurence Tribe Hardcover $ Only 10 left in stock (more on the /5(17).
To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment - Ebook written by Laurence Tribe, Joshua Matz. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices.
Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read 5/5(2). Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution [Laurence Tribe, Joshua Matz] on ashio-midori.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Irresistible A brilliantly layered account of the Roberts Court filled with memorable stories This book is a joy to read from start to finish. - Doris Kearns Goodwin/5(99).