The Naked Constitution:  What the Founders Said and Why It Still Matters

Adam Freedman. HarperCollins/Broadside, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-209463-6
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Freedman, a commentator for the conservative news site Ricochet.com, offers a no-holds-barred defense of originalism, which he defines as the proposition that the Constitution should retain the meaning it had when it was ratified in 1789. Although Freedman’s analysis primarily condemns liberal interpretations of the Constitution, conservatives do not get a completely free ride. For example, he argues that in no place in the Constitution is there a provision for the president to “start an offensive war,” which indicts Democratic and Republican presidents alike. And even the identification of a Supreme Court justice as conservative does not grant immunity from Freedman’s sharp pen. Justice Scalia, the court’s leading originalist, is taken to task for his views on religious freedom stated in a 1990 decision that Freedman argues “virtually ignores the original meaning of the First Amendment.” Freedman is an entertaining writer and conservative readers will be amused by his use of sarcasm, hyperbole, and inflammatory attacks on liberals—Pulitzer Prize–winner Gary Wills is a “Sneerer in Chief of the antigun movement”; former president Jimmy Carter is “that cowboy.” In order to return to the spirit of the original Constitution, paradoxically, Freedman says, amendment is necessary. He ends with the call for a new constitutional convention and suggests a list of amendments consistent with his conservative beliefs, for instance, returning power from the federal government to the states.. Agent: Geri Thoma, Markson Thoma Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-209465-0
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-60978-214-6
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-06-209464-3
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