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

Russ Feingold, Peter Prindiville

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Political structures: democracy

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.

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