The Intelligible Constitution

The Intelligible Constitution

Author: Joseph Goldstein

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780195093759

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 222

View: 791

Download BOOK »

In Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, a critical abortion rights case, a bitterly divided Supreme Court produced no less than six different opinions. Writing for the plurality, Chief Justice Rehnquist attacked the trimester framework established in Roe v. Wade because it was "not found in the text of the Constitution or in any place else one would expect to find a constitutional principle." This approach, writes legal authority Joseph Goldstein, confuses constitutional principles (in this case, the right to privacy) with the means to protect them (here, the trimester system). As a result, the Court left the public bewildered about the constitutional scope of a woman's right to reproductive choice--failing in its duty to speak clearly to the American public about the Constitution. In The Intelligible Constitution, Goldstein makes a compelling argument that, in a democracy based upon informed consent, the Supreme Court has an obligation to communicate clearly and candidly to We the People when it interprets the Constitution. After a fascinating discussion of the language of the Constitution and Supreme Court opinions (including the analysis of Webster), he presents a series of opinion studies in important cases, focusing not on ideology but on the Justices' clarity of thought and expression. Using the two Brown v. Board of Education cases, Cooper v. Aaron, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, and others as his examples, Goldstein demonstrates the pitfalls to which the Court has succumbed in the past: Writing deliberately ambiguous decisions to win the votes of colleagues, challenging each others' opinions in private but not in public, and not speaking honestly when the writer knows a concurring Justice misunderstands the opinion which he or she is supporting. Even some landmark decisions, he writes, have featured seriously flawed opinions--preventing We the People from understanding why the Justices reasoned as they did, and why they disagreed with each other. He goes on to suggest five "canons of comprehensibility" for Supreme Court opinions, to ensure that the Justices explain themselves clearly, honestly, and unambiguously, so that all the various opinions in each case would constitute a comprehensible message about their accord and discord in interpreting the Constitution. Both a fascinating look at how the Court shapes its opinions and a clarion call to action, this book provides an important addition to our understanding of how to maintain the Constitution as a living document, by and for the People, in its third century.
The Intelligible Constitution : The Supreme Court's Obligation to Maintain the Constitution as Something We the People Can Understand
Language: en
Pages: 226
Authors: Joseph Goldstein Sterling Professor of Law Yale University Law School
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 1992-05-28 - Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

In Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, a critical abortion rights case, a bitterly divided Supreme Court produced no less than six different opinions. Writing for the plurality, Chief Justice Rehnquist attacked the trimester framework established in Roe v. Wade because it was "not found in the text of the Constitution
Individuum und Individualität im Mittelalter
Language: de
Pages: 948
Authors: Jan Aertsen, Andreas Speer, Thomas-Institut (Cologne, Allemagne)
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 1996 - Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

Die MISCELLANEA MEDIAEVALIA präsentieren seit ihrer Gründung durch Paul Wilpert im Jahre 1962 Arbeiten des Thomas-Instituts der Universität zu Köln. Das Kernstück der Publikationsreihe bilden die Akten der im zweijährigen Rhythmus stattfindenden Kölner Mediaevistentagungen, die vor über 50 Jahren von Josef Koch, dem Gründungsdirektor des Instituts, ins Leben gerufen wurden.
Philosophy of Space and Time
Language: en
Pages: 440
Authors: Michael Whiteman
Categories: Philosophy
Type: BOOK - Published: 2014-06-03 - Publisher: Routledge

First published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Constitutional Conscience
Language: en
Pages: 144
Authors: H. Jefferson Powell
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2008-09-15 - Publisher: University of Chicago Press

While many recent observers have accused American judges—especially Supreme Court justices—of being too driven by politics and ideology, others have argued that judges are justified in using their positions to advance personal views. Advocating a different approach—one that eschews ideology but still values personal perspective—H. Jefferson Powell makes a compelling
The Least Examined Branch
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: Richard W. Bauman, Tsvi Kahana
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2006-07-31 - Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Unlike most works in constitutional theory, which focus on the role of the courts, this book, first published in 2006, addresses the role of legislatures in a regime of constitutional democracy. Bringing together some of the world's leading constitutional scholars and political scientists, the book addresses legislatures in democratic theory,