Magazine September 19, 2011, Issue

What Constitutionalism Means

(Roman Genn)
Not a reluctance to amend the Constitution, but a willingness to follow its rules

Soon after Texas governor Rick Perry announced his presidential campaign, a few websites, mostly liberal, compiled a list of the constitutional amendments he has at various times touted. He has spoken favorably about amendments to end the lifetime tenure of federal judges, to allow supermajorities of Congress to overturn Supreme Court decisions, to repeal the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments (which established, respectively, the income tax and the direct election of senators), to limit federal spending, to define marriage in American law as the union of a man and a woman, and to prohibit abortion.

Liberals responded, either explicitly or implicitly, with

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A review of Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy–Nixon to Obama–McCain, by Jim Lehrer.

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