Framed: America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance

4 avg rating
( 20 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780199325245: Framed: America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance

In his widely acclaimed volume Our Undemocratic Constitution, Sanford Levinson boldly argued that our Constitution should not be treated with "sanctimonious reverence," but as a badly flawed document deserving revision. Now Levinson takes us deeper, asking what were the original assumptions underlying our institutions, and whether we accept those assumptions 225 years later.

In Framed, Levinson challenges our belief that the most important features of our constitutions concern what rights they protect. Instead, he focuses on the fundamental procedures of governance such as congressional bicameralism; the selection of the President by the electoral college, or the dimensions of the President's veto power--not to mention the near impossibility of amending the United States Constitution. These seemingly "settled" and "hardwired" structures contribute to the now almost universally recognized "dysfunctionality" of American politics.

Levinson argues that we should stop treating the United States Constitution as uniquely exemplifying the American constitutional tradition. We should be aware of the 50 state constitutions, often interestingly different--and perhaps better--than the national model. Many states have updated their constitutions by frequent amendment or by complete replacement via state constitutional conventions. California's ungovernable condition has prompted serious calls for a constitutional convention. This constant churn indicates that basic law often reaches the point where it fails and becomes obsolete. Given the experience of so many states, he writes, surely it is reasonable to believe that the U.S. Constitution merits its own updating.

Whether we are concerned about making America more genuinely democratic or only about creating a system of government that can more effectively respond to contemporary challenges, we must confront the ways our constitutions, especially the United States Constitution, must be changed in fundamental ways.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:


Sanford Levinson is Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Texas-Austin. His books include Our Undemocratic Constitution, Constitutional Faith, and Wrestling with Diversity.

Review:


"From America's greatest revolutionary constitutionalist, a profoundly important book, that will be at the center of the next reform movement."--Lawrence Lessig, author of Republic, Lost


"Anyone who cares about America's future should read Sandy Levinson's book. His fresh thinking illuminates old debates and his understanding of political nuance gives power to his analysis. You don't have to agree with him to know you are in the presence of a scholar who is a constitutional giant." --Senator Bill Bradley


"Sandy Levinson has authored an important, and cautionary, book-one that needs to be read as much by those who disagree with him as by those who share his analysis." --Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Professor of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law, founder of Instapundit


"I've been Framed! Levinson sparks a long-overdue conversation about the relationship between America's current governing crisis and the American Constitution-or rather, 'constitutions,' since he takes the unusual and valuable step of looking at state constitutions as well. His message: Pay attention to the 'Constitution of Settlement,' the established rules of the political game, not just the 'Constitution of Conversation' that sparks continuing legal dispute. It is a measure of the success of his stimulating book that he makes what once seemed settled appear newly ripe for debate." --Jacob S. Hacker, Stanley Resor Professor of Political Science, Yale University; co-author, Winner-Take-All Politics


"The most remarkable feature of Levinson's most remarkable book is his effort to place himself and his readers in the positions of the founding fathers and the founding generation." --Tulsa Law Review


"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Levinson, Sanford
Published by Oxford University Press (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199325243 ISBN 13: 9780199325245
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
PlumCircle
(West Mifflin, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New item in gift quality condition. Leaves our warehouse same or next business day. Most continental U.S. orders lead time 4-10 days. International - most countries 10-21 days, others 4 weeks. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000743846

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 2.19
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.49
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Sanford Levinson
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199325243 ISBN 13: 9780199325245
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In his widely acclaimed volume Our Undemocratic Constitution, Sanford Levinson boldly argued that our Constitution should not be treated with sanctimonious reverence, but as a badly flawed document deserving revision. Now Levinson takes us deeper, asking what were the original assumptions underlying our institutions, and whether we accept those assumptions 225 years later. In Framed, Levinson challenges our belief that the most important features of our constitutions concern what rights they protect. Instead, he focuses on the fundamental procedures of governance such as congressional bicameralism; the selection of the President by the electoral college, or the dimensions of the President s veto power-not to mention the near impossibility of amending the United States Constitution. These seemingly settled and hardwired structures contribute to the now almost universally recognized dysfunctionality of American politics. Levinson argues that we should stop treating the United States Constitution as uniquely exemplifying the American constitutional tradition. We should be aware of the 50 state constitutions, often interestingly different-and perhaps better-than the national model. Many states have updated their constitutions by frequent amendment or by complete replacement via state constitutional conventions. California s ungovernable condition has prompted serious calls for a constitutional convention. This constant churn indicates that basic law often reaches the point where it fails and becomes obsolete. Given the experience of so many states, he writes, surely it is reasonable to believe that the U.S. Constitution merits its own updating. Whether we are concerned about making America more genuinely democratic or only about creating a system of government that can more effectively respond to contemporary challenges, we must confront the ways our constitutions, especially the United States Constitution, must be changed in fundamental ways. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780199325245

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.43
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Sanford Levinson
Published by Oxford.
ISBN 10: 0199325243 ISBN 13: 9780199325245
New Softcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford. Book Condition: New. Fine. Paperback. 2013. Originally published at $24.95. Bookseller Inventory # W86327b

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 5.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Sanford Levinson
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199325243 ISBN 13: 9780199325245
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In his widely acclaimed volume Our Undemocratic Constitution, Sanford Levinson boldly argued that our Constitution should not be treated with sanctimonious reverence, but as a badly flawed document deserving revision. Now Levinson takes us deeper, asking what were the original assumptions underlying our institutions, and whether we accept those assumptions 225 years later. In Framed, Levinson challenges our belief that the most important features of our constitutions concern what rights they protect. Instead, he focuses on the fundamental procedures of governance such as congressional bicameralism; the selection of the President by the electoral college, or the dimensions of the President s veto power-not to mention the near impossibility of amending the United States Constitution. These seemingly settled and hardwired structures contribute to the now almost universally recognized dysfunctionality of American politics. Levinson argues that we should stop treating the United States Constitution as uniquely exemplifying the American constitutional tradition. We should be aware of the 50 state constitutions, often interestingly different-and perhaps better-than the national model. Many states have updated their constitutions by frequent amendment or by complete replacement via state constitutional conventions. California s ungovernable condition has prompted serious calls for a constitutional convention. This constant churn indicates that basic law often reaches the point where it fails and becomes obsolete. Given the experience of so many states, he writes, surely it is reasonable to believe that the U.S. Constitution merits its own updating. Whether we are concerned about making America more genuinely democratic or only about creating a system of government that can more effectively respond to contemporary challenges, we must confront the ways our constitutions, especially the United States Constitution, must be changed in fundamental ways. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780199325245

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.76
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Levinson, Sanford
Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0199325243 ISBN 13: 9780199325245
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Mesilla Internet
(Mesilla, NM, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0199325243 New. Bookseller Inventory # Z0199325243ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.98
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Sanford Levinson
Published by Oxford UP (2012)
ISBN 10: 0199325243 ISBN 13: 9780199325245
New Quantity Available: 6
Seller:
Sandpiper Books Ltd
(NEWTON ABBOT, DEVON, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford UP, 2012. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 218782

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.40
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Levinson
Published by Oxford University Press (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199325243 ISBN 13: 9780199325245
New Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
textbooksNow
(Westchester, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. Book Condition: New. Inventory is subject to prior sale. SHIPPING: Only Standard shipping to PO Boxes. We are not able to ship to APO/FPOs or Internationally. Orders are shipped from Illinois. Bookseller Inventory # 5924750N1

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.29
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Levinson
Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0199325243 ISBN 13: 9780199325245
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0199325243

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.09
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Sanford Levinson
Published by Oxford University Press (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199325243 ISBN 13: 9780199325245
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0199325243

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 24.04
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Levinson, Sanford
Published by Oxford University Press (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199325243 ISBN 13: 9780199325245
New Paperback First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Prior Books Ltd
(Cheltenham, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Edition. A new copy: firm, clean, square and tight with no underlining or splits. Bookseller Inventory # 044557

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.67
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 8.09
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book