By Stephen M. Griffin
This e-book is a brilliantly concise survey of up to date constitutional research. Professor Griffin outlines many of the camps of constitutional proposal with notable readability and extremely cautious quotation. despite the intensity of inspiration or trouble of the subject material, Professor Griffin lays out the positions of either side during this targeted and novel e-book. This booklet may still locate its method at the cabinets of any attorney, historian, pupil or political scientist attracted to the U.S. structure. This publication combines unique scholarship with an obtainable writing type. a real excitement.
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Additional info for American Constitutionalism
96 AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONALISM 37 mental changes to the American constitutional order. First, the power and prestige of the presidency was enhanced dramatically by Roosevelt’s leadership during the Great Depression. 99 As we shall see, one of the reasons for this change was the inadequacy of state constitutions. The inability of state governments to respond adequately to the Depression caused constitutional power to shift upward to the national level. 100 Although these elements of the constitutional revolution of the New Deal were among the most significant changes ever made to the American constitutional order, none of them were ratified through amendments made under Article V.
69 Since the first ten amendments to the Constitution, commonly called the Bill of Rights, were ratified only three years after the Constitution itself, it seems evident that they were part of the same historical process and so are not useful as evidence as to the difficulty of change under Article V. Once these amendments are excluded, the infrequency of change through Article V is apparent. Since 1791, the Constitution has been amended only sixteen (or seventeen) times. The provisions of Article V have undoubtedly played a role in causing this low rate of amendment.
Wesleyan University Press, 1961), p. 251. 52 See Madison, The Federalist Nos. , pp. 250–67, 308–23, 347–53. ”53 On this Madisonian understanding, sovereignty lies with the people, who then delegated power to the federal and state governments. 54 Historian Jack Greene notes that in “the early decades of the republic . . 56 The dissolution of the Madisonian understanding suggests that the idea of a delegation of power from the people is ultimately an abstraction unless it is actually the case that the people can step in to resolve conflicts between the different levels of government.