Epstein, Richard Allen, 1943-

The classical liberal constitution : the uncertain quest for limited government / Richard A. Epstein. - 1 online resource (xv, 684 pages) - JSTOR eBooks .

Includes bibliographical references (pages 585-651) and indexes.

Preface: My Constitutional Odyssey -- PART ONE: PRELIMINARIES. Introduction: Our Two Constitutions. The Classical Liberal Synthesis ; The Progressive Response ; Constitutional Interpretation: The Original and the Prescriptive Constitutions -- PART TWO: CONSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES. The Origins of Judicial Review ; Marbury and Martin ; Standing: Background and Origins ; Modern Standing Law ; The Political Question Doctrine ; The Commerce Power: Theory and Practice, 1787-1865 ; The Commerce Clause in Transition: 1865-1937 ; The Commerce Clause: Transformation to Consolidation, 1937-1995 ; Constitutional Pushback: 1995 to Present, from Lopez to NFIB ; Enumerated Powers: Taxing and Spending ; The Necessary and Proper Clause ; The Dormant Commerce Clause ; Basic Principles and Domestic Powers ; Delegation and the Rise of Independent Agencies ; Foreign and Military Affairs -- PART THREE: INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. From Structural Protections to Individual Rights ; Procedural Due Process: Implementing the Classical Liberal Ideal ; Freedom of Contract ; Takings, Physical and Regulatory ; Personal Liberties and the Morals Head of the Police Power ; Freedom of Speech and Religion: Preliminary Considerations ; Force, Threats, and Inducements ; Fraud, Defamation, Emotional Distress, and Invasion of Privacy ; Government Regulation of the Speech Commons ; Progressive Regulation of Freedom of Speech: Labor, Communications, and Campaign Finance ; Free Exercise ; The Establishment Clause: Theoretical Foundations ; Regulation and Subsidy under the Establishment Clause ; The Commons ; Race and the Fourteenth Amendment ; Citizenship and the Fourteenth Amendment ; Equal Protection and Sex Discrimination -- PART FOUR: CONCLUSION. Conclusion: The Classical Liberal Alternative.

Main Description:American liberals and conservatives alike take for granted a progressive view of the Constitution that took root in the early twentieth century. Richard A. Epstein laments this complacency which, he believes, explains America's current economic malaise and political gridlock. Steering clear of well-worn debates between defenders of originalism and proponents of a living Constitution, Epstein employs close textual reading, historical analysis, and political and economic theory to urge a return to the classical liberal theory of governance that animated the framers' original text, and to the limited government this theory supports. Grounded in the thought of Locke, Hume, Madison, and other Enlightenment figures, the classical liberal tradition emphasized federalism, restricted government, separation of powers, property rights, and economic liberties. The most serious challenge to this tradition, Epstein contends, has come from New Deal progressives and their intellectual defenders. Unlike Thomas Paine, who saw government as a necessary evil at best, the progressives embraced government as a force for administering social good. The Supreme Court has unwisely ratified the progressive program by sustaining an ever-lengthening list of legislative programs at odds with the classical liberal Constitution. Epstein's carefully considered analysis addresses both halves of the constitutional enterprise: its structural safeguards against excessive government power and its protection of individual rights. He illuminates contemporary disputes ranging from presidential prerogatives to health care legislation, while reexamining such enduring topics as the institution of judicial review, the federal government's role in regulating economic activity, freedom of speech and religion, and equal protection.

9780674726499 0674726499

22573/ctt65vgt3 JSTOR


Constitutional law--United States.
Liberalism.

KF4550 / .E69 2013

342.73