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This book can be used as a supplement to introductory courses in Constitutional Law, or as a text for a course in Constitutional Theory. Chapter 1 begins with a look at some of the currently influential theories of the constitution. Is there an ideology that governs this area of the law? Is it a good one? Chapter 2 looks to the document itself, and examines various proposals for interpreting it. Chapter 3 takes up the closely allied problem of judicial review. How we should interpret the constitution is a different question than who should interpret it. In the United States we usually assign that job to the courts. Are we right to do so? Thereafter, the book is organized to correspond with the major topics covered in casebooks on Constitutional Law. The authors have, however, omitted treatment of the First Amendment. It is not addressed in most first-year classes, and is often the subject of a separate upper-level course. For that reason, and because an adequate treatment would require a vast amount of material, it is covered in a separate volume. Although the chapters are organized according to doctrinal categories, the reading they contain are not an elaboration (or condensation) of doctrine such as one would find in a hornbook. They seek to go deeper than a restatement of the law, to ask what and whose purposes are served by existing rules, and to inquire whether some other organization is preferable. Not all the readings address these questions from the same point of view. The selections take opposing positions on each subject, in order to make students aware of the existing conflict and to facilitate class discussion of the materials.
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Notre Dame Law School
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