Saturday, March 8, 2014

Memorandum to the Tea Parties (II)--and others

[Please forward]

With more and more constitutionalists and others reading The American Constitution and Ayn Rand’s "Inner Contradiction" in print and on Kindle (and elsewhere with apps), I'm being asked what is "constitutional law."

Here's my understanding, which I use in all my writing on that subject (with thanks to the late Professor Edward S. Corwin):

1.  A body of principles,

2.  Derived from the interpretation or application,

3.  By a high court (e.g. the Supreme Court of the United States),

4.  Of a written constitutional document,

5.  In the course of disposing of cases,

6.  In which the validity of some exercise or non-exercise of governmental power,

7.  National, state or local,

8.  Has been challenged,

9.  In relation to the constitutional document.

In other words, in the United States "constitutional law" results from comparing government action against what the American people have authorized it to do (in our written Constitution) and prevented it from doing (in our Bill of Rights).
Unfortunately, for at least the last seventy years there has been little public education about the United States Constitution, let alone the mostly indefensible manner in which it has been applied by lower courts and interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States. 

That's why I wrote the book!