"From the early days of the American republic, the nature of government “of the people, by the people, for the people” has been disputed. This is because there are not one but two very different notions of “We the People” and popular sovereignty, which yield competing schools of constitutional thought. The democrats view We the People collectively and think popular sovereignty resides in the people as a group. They view the Constitution as a living document and contend that today's majority should not be governed by the dead hand of past majorities. The republicans view We the People as a collection of individuals. Their vision of government is that it should not reflect the will of the majority-but rather secure the preexisting rights of each and every person to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This fundamental disagreement lies at the heart of our current national divide. In [this book], Barnett tells the fascinating story of how this conflict arose shortly after the Revolution, leading to the adoption of a new and innovative republican constitution; and how the struggle and eventual victory over slavery led to its improvement by a newly formed Republican Party. Yet soon after, progressive academics and activists urged the courts to remake it into a democratic constitution by ignoring key passages of its text. And eventually the courts complied. ... Drawing from his deep knowledge of constitutional law and history ..., Barnett explains why We the People would benefit greatly from the renewal of our Republican Constitution, and how this can be accomplished in the courts and political arena." --Book jacket.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 263-283) and index.