The United States Constitution and Citizens’ Rights

The Interpretation and Mis-Interpretation of the American Contract for Governance


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About the Book

In a time when American politics has become a spectator sport often viewed with a cynical eye by the people, it is needful to be reminded that our freedom entails a civic responsibility to preserve the legal document that gives us that freedom, the United States Constitution.
The Constitution is a contract to which all citizens are parties and upon which they have a right to rely. The people have as well the right to protect themselves from interpretations that go unreasonably beyond the original intent of the Framers. It is clear that in the past the Constitution has been abused to justify decisions made by the legislative and judicial branches of government (as in the Dred Scott case) that have since been overturned. Decisions that extend the powers of the federal government beyond the expressly stated limits declared in the Constitution continue to occur today and remain subjects of intensely debated contention.
This book gives detailed examples of where Congress and the Supreme Court have gone outside the people’s mutual contract and have, in effect, amended the Constitution. The last chapter outlines a procedure by which citizens, voting directly, can overrule or repeal amendments made by elements of their government.

About the Author(s)

Roland Adickes, a retired attorney at law, has written for the California Law Review and the Southern California Law Review. He lives in Dixon, California.

Bibliographic Details

Roland Adickes
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 174
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2001
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0929-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5001-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
On Sources      3
Introduction: What’s the Problem?      7

I. The Expansion of the Powers of Congress      21
II. The Expansion of the Judicial Power      45
III. Education      60
IV. Housing      77
V. Americans with Disabilities      84
VI. Air      94
VII. Water      101
VIII. Endangered Species      110
IX. The Arts      122
X. Prisons      129
XI. What Can and Should We Do?      150

Index      163

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended…useful”—Catholic Library World; “detailed”—University of Chicago Magazine.