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The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era

Akhil Amar

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Prose: non-fiction, Law

"I don't think there is anyone in the academy these days capable of more patient and attentive reading of the constitutional text than Akhil Amar."-Jeremy Waldron, New York Review of Books

"I don't think there is anyone in the academy these days capable of more patient and attentive reading of the constitutional text than Akhil Amar."--Jeremy Waldron, New York Review of Books

In The Constitution Today, Akhil Reed Amar, America's preeminent constitutional scholar, considers the biggest and most bitterly contested debates of the last two decades and provides a passionate handbook for thinking constitutionally about today's headlines. Amar shows how the Constitution's text, history, and structure are crucial repositories of collective wisdom, providing specific rules and grand themes relevant to every organ of the American body politic.

Prioritizing sound constitutional reasoning over partisan preferences, Amar makes the case for diversity-based affirmative action and a right to have a gun in one's home for self-defense, and the case against spending caps on independent political advertising and bans on same-sex marriage. He explains what's wrong with presidential dynasties, advocates a "nuclear option" to restore majority rule in the Senate, and suggests ways to reform the Supreme Court. And he revisits three dramatic constitutional conflicts--the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the contested election of George W. Bush, and the fight over Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Leading readers through the questions at stake in each episode while outlining his abiding views regarding the Constitution's letter, its spirit, and the direction constitutional law must go, Amar offers an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand America's Constitution and its relevance today.

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