Walter Frank tackles, in a comprehensive but lively manner, subjects rarely treated in one volume.
Aiming at both the general listener and students of political science, law, or history, Frank begins with a brief discussion of the nature of constitutional law and why the Court divides so closely on many issues. He then proceeds to an analysis of the Constitution and subsequent amendments, placing them in their historical context. Next, Frank shifts to the Supreme Court and its decisions, examining doctrinal developments, the Court's decision making processes, how justices interact with each other, and the debate over how the Constitution should be interpreted.
The work concludes with a close analysis of Court decisions in six major areas of continuing controversy, including abortion, affirmative action, and campaign finance.
The book is published by Southern Illinois University Press.
©2012 Board of Trustees, Southern Illinois University (P)2015 Redwood Audiobooks
"Walter Frank's clear and sober picture of the Supreme Court's perspective on constitutional law also models the moderation he seeks in future Supreme Court appointments. A useful primer for students and the general reader." (Jeffrey K. Tulis, University of Texas at Austin)
"Making Sense of the Constitution is the civics lesson we all need. It is the most brilliant explanation of what the Supreme Court does that we have ever had. Walter Frank writes with wit and insight, and a profound devotion to the law." (Michael Zuckerman, Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania)
"Walter Frank's lively and immensely readable survey shows how the Supreme Court reaches its decisions and how those decisions have helped shape our nation. If you want to understand how the Supreme Court has used constitutional interpretation to structure America's government and define the rights of its citizens, this is the book to read." (Edward Rubin, University Professor of Law and Political Science, Vanderbilt University)
I have read at least a dozen books on the topic. This one hits a nice balance between detail and complexity, and readability. Likewise there is a nice mix between the original texts and the briskly-told little historical vignettes that fill each one out. The narration is competent and fitting. It is at the intelligent end of popular works, not the deepest rumination on the complexities, but very fitting to its announced task, to raise the understanding of the public. This is one I will revisit again in a few years.
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