The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution: A Fully Annotated Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Amendments, and Selections from The Federalist Papers

The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution: A Fully Annotated Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Amendments, and Selections from The Federalist Papers

Richard Beeman

Language: English

Pages: 150

ISBN: 2:00144528

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A unique and handy guide to the law of land from one of America's most esteemed constitutional scholars.

Known across the country for his appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Professor Richard Beeman is one of the nation's foremost experts on the United States Constitution. In this book, he has produced what every American should have: a compact, fully annotated copy of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and amendments, all in their entirety. A marvel of accessibility and erudition, the guide also features a history of the making of the Constitution with excerpts from The Federalist Papers and a look at crucial Supreme Court cases that reminds us that the meaning of many of the specific provisions of the Constitution has changed over time.

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States,” rather than merely on “we the states.” Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have here-unto subscribed our Names. Attest William Jackson, Secretary Go. Washington, President and deputy from Virginia There were forty-one delegates present in the Assembly Room of

gruesome punishments for relatively minor offenses. The definition of “cruel and unusual punishments” has often proven a point of contention. Currently, opponents of the death penalty argue that that punishment qualifies as cruel and unusual. Except for a period during the 1970s, the Supreme Court has not agreed, and both state governments and the federal government are free to permit executions if they desire (at present, thirty-five of the fifty states have laws permitting death penalties in

when the amendment was in force, it certainly did not cease. Indeed, as people turned to illegal sources for their alcoholic beverages, the operation of the Eighteenth Amendment served to encourage otherwise law-abiding people to break the law and bolster the activities of organized crime. AMENDMENT XIX (1920) The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this

force of an interested and overbearing majority. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation, the evidence of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. . . . By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the

must be less pretext also, to provide for the security of the former, by introducing into the government a will not dependent on the latter; or in other words, a will independent of the society itself. It is no less certain than it is important, notwithstanding the contrary opinions which have been entertained, that the larger the society, provided it lie within a practical sphere, the more duly capable it will be of self-government. And happily for the republican cause, the practicable sphere

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