The Embattled Constitution

385 pages

June, 2013

ISBN: 9780814770122

$55

Cloth

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Authors

Norman Dorsen is Stokes Professor of Law, New York University School of Law, the former president of the ACLU and former Chairman of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. He is author or editor of nine books.

All books by Norman Dorsen

Catharine DeJulio is an Associate in the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2011. During law school, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the New York University Law Review.  

All books by Catharine DeJulio

"An indispensable and provocative guide through the thicket of today's most challenging constitutional controversies by some of the most eminent judges of their time. It offers an invaluable peek behind the curtain of judicial decision making."
—David Cole, Professor of Law, Georgetown University  
 
The Embattled Constitution presents the fourth collection of the James Madison lectures delivered at the NYU School of Law, offering thoughtful examinations of an array of topics on civil liberties by a distinguished group of federal judges, including Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court. The result is a fascinating look into the minds of the judges who interpret, apply, and give meaning to our “embattled Constitution.”
 
In these insightful and incisive essays, the authors bring to bear decades of experience to explore wide-ranging issues. Are today’s public schools racially segregated? To what extent can the federal courts apply the Bill of Rights without legislative guidance? And what are the criteria for the highest standards of judging and constitutional interpretation? The authors also discuss how and why the Constitution came to be embattled, shining a spotlight on the current polarization in both the Supreme Court and the American body politic and offering careful and informed analysis of how to bridge these divides.
 
Contributors include Marsha S. Berzon, Michael Boudin, Stephen Breyer, Guido Calabresi, Robert H. Henry, Robert Katzmann, Pierre N. Leval, M. Blane Michael, Davis S. Tatel, J. Harvie Wilkinson, III, and Diane P. Wood.

Reviews

  • "An indispensable and provocative guide through the thicket of today's most challenging constitutional controversies by some of the most eminent judges of their time. It offers an invaluable peek behind the curtain of judicial decision making."

    —David Cole, Professor of Law, Georgetown University

  • "The unique value of the book is also clear, especially when we consider it as the fourth volume in the James Madison lecture series.  The participating judges had the rather uncommon luxury of expressing their views on laws and legal institutions freed from the normal constraints of writing opinions in the course of deciding specific cases.  The subjects they selected - be they identifying judicial role models, examining the methodology of judging, or examining problems facing the judiciary - represent issues, problems, and reforms of great importance to them.  In addition to the value of their individual efforts, the four volumes that preserve the Madison lectures provide an interesting insight into the evolving concerns of American jurists over past half century."

    —Thomas G. Walker, The Law and Politics Book Review