Books on Constitutional and Administrative Law


February 6, 2023

342. Books on Constitutional & administrative law

Further Reading:

Akhil Reed Amar The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era, 2016.

Legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar points out that news events come at us so thick and fast today that we often do not stop to consider their ramifications for our government and our freedoms. He takes us through the political news from the mid-1990s to 2015, covering Bill Clinton’s impeachment, the contested election of 2000, and the fight over the Affordable Care Act, and examines them in light of the Constitution.

Patrick M. Garry Limited Government and the Bill of Rights, 2012.

In recent times, people have come to associate the Bill of Rights with the rights of each citizen. But when Patrick M. Garry looked at the document’s origins and considered it in the context of the Constitution, he found that it had more to do with limiting government power, specifically that of the judiciary.

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay The Federalist Papers, 1787.

Three of the founding fathers wrote The Federalist Papers as a series of articles for newspapers in New York to convince the state’s people to support the passage of the Constitution. The work is valuable in interpreting the Constitution because Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, in particular, explain what they intended when they wrote specific passages.

Woody Holton Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, 2007.

History professor Woody Holton makes the shocking assertion that the Constitution was not written by the founding fathers to give the citizens of America rights and freedoms at all. It was, rather, a document to make America more attractive to investors. If it weren’t for average citizens protesting, he believes we would live under a very different government.

Peter Irons Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese American Internment Cases, 1983.

One of the most shameful events in American history was the internment of Japanese Americans in prison camps during World War II. Peter Irons reveals a government campaign that destroyed evidence that would likely have led the Supreme Court to strike down the order.

Michael Kammen A Machine that Would Go of Itself: The Constitution in American Culture, 1987.

Professor of American Cultural History Michael Kammen examines the implications of the U.S. Constitution for our culture. He says Americans know little about this document because the men who wrote it had contradictory feelings about the ideas they were expressing. The nation’s courts and powers are at the heart of the issue.

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases, 2015.

Immigration attorney and law professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia provides the first book published to cover the history, theory, and application of prosecutorial discretion, which is the policy used to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program.

Jay Wexler Our Non-Christian Nation: How Atheists, Satanists, Pagans, and Others are Demanding Their Rightful Place in Public Life, 2019.

Law professor Jay Wexler looks at the impact the growing numbers of non-Christians are having on public discourse in America. When these people demand their rights to be represented alongside the traditional Christian representation, they are within the law, but they often face hostility that is anything but inclusive.

For more information on the Further Reading section, see Further Reading: Start Here.

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