Connecticut State Library with state seal

Spotlight on ...the Law Collection at the CT State Library
Constitution, Courts, and Individual Liberties, row two

Censorship and Silencing: Practices of Cultural Regulation Edited by Robert Post (Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1998)

KF4775 .C46 1998
"This book explores the transformation of familiar understandings of censorship. Questions involving the regulation of speech used to conform to simple, predictable political alignments, with `conservatives' set against `liberals'. But the landscape of censorship has radically altered. Feminists join with right wing fundamentalists to seek the suppression of pornography, while liberals ally with right wing libertarians to protect hate speech. Underlying these developments are fundamental intellectual developments, exemplified in the work of Michael Foucault. In this volume a distinguished and interdisciplinary set of authors examine the issue of censorship from a variety of perspectives. They inquire into the use of law as an instrument for the regulation of speech, they explore the use of state power to establish and marginalize discursive practices, and they address the question of invoking state power to regulate speech so as to redress private imbalances of power."

Citizenship Without Consent: Illegal Aliens in the American Polity, by Peter H. Schuck and Rogers M. Smith (Yale University Press, 1985)

KF4704 .S38 1985
"Should children born in the United States to illegal aliens be granted constitutionally mandated citizenship here? In this controversial book, the authors argue that they should not - that America's liberal democracy is based on the notion of political membership by consent and that citizenship by birth for these aliens is inconsistent with this commitment. The authors discuss the two competing conceptions of citizenship - one based on birth, the other on consent of both state and citizen - and trace their historical origins. They then examine the reflection of these ideas in American law, focusing in particular on the citizenship clause of the Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment. The authors also contend that with our large and increasing number of illegal aliens and with the growth of the welfare state, the concept of birthright citizenship is creating new and unforeseen problems. They suggest, advance, and defend a set of innovative policy proposals that would create a citizenship law that is more consensual, an immigration law that is more inclusive, and an enforcement policy that is more effective than what is now in effect."

Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History by Donald S. Lutz (Liberty Fund, Inc, 1998)

KF4502 .C58 1998
"This volume is not just another collection of documents assembled in the hope of illuminating general historical trends or eras. Instead, it is a set of colonial documents based on author Eric Voegelin's theory of politics. Eric Voegelin argues that political analysis should begin with a careful examination of a people's attempt at self-interpretation - a self-interpretation that is most likely to be found in their political documents and writing. The crucial point occurs when, either before or after creating a political society, a people reach a shared psychological state wherein they recognize themselves as engaged in a common enterprise and bound together by values, interests, and goals. It is this sharing, this basis for their being a people rather than an aggregate of individuals, that constitutes the beginning point for political analysis."

A Community Built on Words: The Constitution in History and Politics. by H. Jefferson Powell

KF4541 .P68 2002
"This book offers a powerful new approach to one of the central issues in American constitutional thinking today: the problem of constitutional law's historicity, or the many ways in which constitutional arguments and outcomes are shaped both by historical circumstances and by the political goals and commitments of various actors including judges. The presence of such influences is often considered highly problematic: if constitutional law is political and historical through and through, then what differentiates it from politics per se, and what gives it integrity and coherence? Powell argues that constitutional theory has as its (sometimes hidden) agenda the ambition of showing how constitutional law can escape from history and politics, while much constitutional history seeks to identify a historically true meaning of the constitutional text that, once uncovered, can serve as a corrective to subsequent deviations from that truth."

Constitutional Amendments: 1789 to the Present, by Kris E. Palmer (CQ Press, 2000)

KF4557 .C665 2000
"In its first twenty-seven chapters, this book examines all of the amendments that have become part of the Constitution. Chapter 28, the final chapter, explores the failed amendments, looking closely at the six amendments passed by Congress but rejected by the states and surveying the many additional efforts to change the highest law in the land. Each chapter explores the political and social forces, and individuals, that contributed to the amendment, and the amendment's influence once passed. Key interpretations, rights, and court decisions deriving from the amendments are also discussed."