The U.S. Constitution refers to itself as “the supreme Law of the Land.” Yet today it is the Supreme Court, rather than the Constitution itself, which most determines our fundamental law — often based on non-constitutional (even non-American) premises, such as international law. Now, under the supervision of former Attorney General Edwin Meese, and in conjunction with the nation’s preeminent conservative think tank — The Heritage Foundation — The Heritage Guide to the Constitution brings together more than 100 of the nation’s best conservative legal scholars to provide the first ever clause-by-clause examination of the complete Constitution, revealing its real meaning according to the original intent of the Framers. Considering the centrality of Constitutional interpretation to nearly every major issue dividing our nation, this is one book that belongs in every conservative’s library.
Special features of this monumental work:
In addition to the text of the Constitution itself, the Guide takes three widely recognized sources to be especially authoritative in this project. First, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, the definitive collection of the records and debates of the Constitutional Convention, written by participants of the Convention, including in particular the extensive notes taken by James Madison. Second, The Federalist Papers, the great series of essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in 1787 and 1788 to defend the Constitution during the debates over the document’s ratification. And third, Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, a classic and substantive work on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution, written in 1833 by one of its best scholars and one of the greatest Justices of the Supreme Court.
Discover the real meaning of the Constitution
Among the 100 eminent conservative legal scholars who contributed to this first-of-its-kind volume:
Albert W. Alschuler, Univ. of Chicago Law School * Gerard V. Bradley, Notre Dame Law School * James L. Buckley, U.S. Court of Appeals * Einer Elhauge, Harvard Law School * James W. Ely, Jr., Vanderbilt Univ. Law School * Trent England, The Heritage Foundation * Richard A. Epstein, Univ. of Chicago Law School * John Feerick, Fordham Univ. Law School * Charles Fried, Harvard Law School * Douglas Ginsburg, U.S. Court of Appeals * Michael S. Greve, American Enterprise Institute * James C. Ho, U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution * Charles Kesler, Claremont McKenna College * Douglas Kmiec, Pepperdine Univ. Law School * Gary Lawson, Boston Univ. Law School * Robert Levy, Cato Institute * Forrest McDonald, Univ. of Alabama * Thomas Merrill, Columbia Law School * Paul Moreno, Hillsdale College * John Copeland Nagle, Notre Dame Law School * Mackubin Owens, U.S. Naval War College * Terence Pell, Center for Individual Rights * Stephen B. Presser, Northwestern Univ. Law School * Paul Rosenzweig, The Heritage Foundation * Stephen Safranek, Ave Maria Law School * Bradley Smith, Capital Univ. Law School * Matthew Spalding, The Heritage Foundation * William J. Stuntz, Harvard Law School * Jonathan Turley, George Washington Univ. Law School * David Wagner, Regent Univ. Law School * dozens more
“The Constitution — the original document of 1787 plus its amendments — is and must be understood to be the standard against which all laws, policies, and interpretations should be measured. It is our fundamental law because it represents the settled and deliberate will of the people, against which the actions of government officials must be squared. In the end, the continued success and viability of our democratic Republic depends on our fidelity to, and the faithful exposition and interpretation of, this Constitution, our great charter of liberty. —Edwin Meese, from his introductory essay
“Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.” —Thomas Jefferson
“The Constitution ought to be the standard of construction for the laws, and that wherever there is an evident opposition, the laws ought to give place to the Constitution.” —Alexander Hamilton
“The Constitution means what the delegates of the Philadelphia Convention and of the state ratifying conventions understood it to mean; not what we judges think it should mean.” —Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas