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Federalism, the Supreme Court, and the Seventeenth Amendment : The Irony of Constitutional Democracy - Ralph A. Rossum

Federalism, the Supreme Court, and the Seventeenth Amendment

The Irony of Constitutional Democracy

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Abraham Lincoln worried that the 'walls' of the constitution would ultimately be leveled by the 'silent artillery of time.' His fears materialized with the 1913 ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment, which, by eliminating federalism's structural protection, altered the very nature and meaning of federalism. Ralph A. Rossum's provocative new book considers the forces unleashed by an amendment to install the direct election of U.S. Senators. Far from expecting federalism to be protected by an activist court, the Framers, Rossum argues, expected the constitutional structure, particularly the election of the Senate by state legislatures, to sustain it. In Federalism, the Supreme Court, and the Seventeenth Amendment Rossum challenges the fundamental jurisprudential assumptions about federalism. He also provides a powerful indictment of the controversial federalist decisions recently handed down by an activist U.S. Supreme Court seeking to fill the gap created by the Seventeenth Amendment's ratification and protect the original federal design. Rossum's masterful handling of the development of federalism restores the true significance to an amendment previously consigned to the footnotes of history. It demonstrates how the original federal design has been amended out of existence; the interests of states as states abandoned and federalism left unprotected, both structurally and democratically. It highlights the ultimate irony of constitutional democracy: that an amendment intended to promote democracy, even at the expense of federalism, has been undermined by an activist court intent on protecting federalism, at the expense of democracy.

The Supreme Court, judicial activism, and the protection of federalism -- Constitutional structure, federalism, and the securing of liberty -- How the framers protected federalism -- The Senate's protection of federalism in the First Congress -- Marshall's understanding of the original federal design -- Altering the original federal design : the adoption and ratification of the seventeenth amendment -- The Supreme Court's attempts to protect the original federal design.

ISBN: 9780739154991
ISBN-10: 0739154990
Format: ePUB
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 13th August 2013