John Hart Ely is a leading contemporary writer on political theory from the standpoint of American constitutional law. This collection covers a full range of topics of constitutional interpretation: federalism, separation of powers, freedom of expression, religious freedom, criminal procedure, racial discrimination, "e;substantive due process,"e; and honesty in government. Organized under these heads and linked by the author's witty explanatory and autobiographical remarks, the essays and other documents--many previously unpublished in any forum--range chronologically over the past three decades, from memoranda he wrote as a student working with lead counsel Abe Fortas on the landmark case of Gideon v. Wainwright to a comment on the constitutional implications of the O. J. Simpson verdict.Before beginning his academic career, Ely was the junior member of the Warren Commission's sixteen-lawyer staff, Chief Justice Earl Warren's law clerk, and a public defender in San Diego; and during the Ford Administration he took time off to serve as the third-ranking official of the U.S. Department of Transportation. This book reflects his various experience. It comments on many of the past quarter century's "e;hot button"e; issues--including abortion, affirmative action, anti-Communist legislation, busing, flag burning, governmental display of nativity scenes, the Nixon impeachment, "e;trial by newspaper,"e; the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill contretemps, congressionally unauthorized war in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia, and whether the Warren Commission Report should be officially reexamined.
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