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The Constitution of the United States

A Primer for the People

Second Edition

2d edition
A masterly introduction to the United States Constitution, this slim book leads the reader through a concise overview of the document’s individual articles and amendments. With clear and accessible language, Currie then examines each of the three branches of the federal government and explains the relation between the federal and state governments. He analyzes those constitutional provisions that are designed to protect citizens from governmental interference, such as the due process and equal protection clauses and the confusing first amendment provisions respecting the separation of church and state, and includes discussions of judicial review and freedom of speech and of the press.

A sympathetic yet critical guide, Currie’s book enables students and laypersons to understand one of the cornerstones of the Western political tradition. The second edition, along with an updated chronology and bibliography, incorporates the Supreme Court decisions over the past decade that have affected constitutional interpretation.

"Superb . . . highly recommended for those seeking a reliable, understandable, and useful introduction to our constitution."—Appellate Practice Journal and Update

175 pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | © 2000

History: American History

Law and Legal Studies: The Constitution and the Courts

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
The President
The Courts
The Bill of Rights
Later Amendments
2. Judicial Review
Origin and Justification
Scope and Limitations
3. Federalism
Federal Powers
The Commerce Clause and State Authority
Intergovernmental Immunities
4. The Separation of Powers
The Rule of Law
Military Powers
Independent Agencies
5. Due Process of Law
Procedural Requirements
Substantive Due Process
Alternative Theories
6. Equality
Racial Discrimination and Segregation
Affirmative Action and De Facto Discrimination
Nonracial Classifications
State Action
The Right to Vote
7. Freedom of Speech and of the Press
Content Regulation
Time, Place, and Manner Regulations
8. Church and State
The Free Exercise of Religion
Establishment of Religion
9. Conclusion
Appendix A: Chronology
Appendix B: The Constitution of the United States

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