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The Constitution in Jeopardy: An Unprecedented Effort to Rewrite Our Fundamental Law and What We Can Do About It

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The Constitution in Jeopardy: An Unprecedented Effort to Rewrite Our Fundamental Law and What We Can Do About It

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A former U.S. senator joins a legal scholar to examine a hushed effort to radically change our Constitution, offering a warning and a way forward.Over the last two decades, a fringe plan to call a convention under the Constitution's amendment mechanism—the nation's first ever—has inched through statehouses. Delegates, like those in Philadelphia two centuries ago, would exercise nearly unlimited authority to draft changes to our fundamental law, potentially altering anything from voting and free speech rights to regulatory and foreign policy powers. Such a watershed moment would present great danger, and for some, great power.In this important book, Feingold and Prindiville distill extensive legal and historical research and examine the grave risks inherent in this effort. But they also consider the role of constitutional amendment in modern life. Though many focus solely on judicial and electoral avenues for change, such an approach is at odds with a cornerstone ideal of the Founding: that the People make constitutional law, directly. In an era defined by faction and rejection of long-held norms, The Constitution in Jeopardy examines the nature of constitutional change and asks urgent questions about what American democracy is, and should be.

As a lawmaker, diplomat, attorney, and professor, Russ Feingold has devoted his career to protecting the Constitution's bedrock guarantees. Serving nearly two decades in the United States Senate, Feingold was the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act, citing civil liberty concerns, and cosponsored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold Act), the most important campaign finance reform in decades. He sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and chaired its Sub-committee on the Constitution. Feingold has also served as a U.S. special envoy and taught at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and Marquette Law Schools. He is now president of the American Constitution Society, the nation's leading progressive legal organization, and an affiliated scholar of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center. He is a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. His previous book, While America Sleeps: a Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era, was a New York Times bestseller.Peter Prindiville is a nonresident fellow at the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and an attorney based in Washington, D.C. He previously was a fellow on the Senate Judiciary Committee and a high school history and civics teacher. Prindiville earned a law degree from Stanford; master's degrees from Notre Dame and University College Cork, Ireland, where he was a Mitchell Scholar; and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown.
 

ISBN: 9781541701526

ISBN-10: 9781541701526

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Publication Date: 08/30/2022 - 12:00am

On Sale: 08/30/2022 - 12:00am

Pages: 320

Language: English

Categories

Law / Constitutional

Political Science / Political Ideologies / Democracy

Political Science / American Government / National