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Radical Rupture

The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution
 by john w. compton
 harvard, 272 pages, $45 The Constitution has become something different than what it once was. It used to be an actual document, something written on paper, solid and unchanging. Now, according to American constitutional . . . . Continue Reading »

How the Constitution was Defeated in 1788

In a parallel universe, the United States of America is somewhere still governed under the Articles of Confederation. Here’s what happened in this other United States: To the dismay of Federalists (called “nationalists” or conservatives at the time) the proposed constitution of 1787, which would have replaced the Articles of 1781, was defeated in four crucial state conventions and never became the framework of the American union.The hard political battle pitted radicals (called anti-Federalists) against conservatives and the radicals won, barely. The “United States, assembled in Congress”, remained the political subordinate of the states. Continue Reading »

Recasting Religious Freedom

Few among us concerned for the defense of religious freedom can doubt that these have become dark times indeed. Most recently, arguments have been brought before the Supreme Court—there has been a veritable cascade of briefs—against the government on Obamacare. Many of these have one way . . . . Continue Reading »

Constitutionally Catholic

The tension between American democracy, capitalism, and culture is acute—more acute, perhaps, than at any time in our history. Even the best human fruits of this nation’s founding principles are in peril. I mean the principles of natural rights and the internal constitution of checks and . . . . Continue Reading »

Egypt’s New Constitution

Via The Arabist , I found this primer on the new Egyptian constitution, by one Zaid Al-Ali at Open Democracy . Very thorough, and plausibly seeking to lay out the good news and the bad, from a broadly liberal perspective. The summation: Altogether, in comparison with Egypt’s constitutional . . . . Continue Reading »

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