The Constitutional Debate Continues: Surprise! It is the Conservatives versus the Progressives

The interpretational debate about the constitution and the roles of the state and federal government continues to this day! Ruth Marcus, in her recent opinion piece, “Recovering the Constitution from Conservatives” discusses the debates latest form between the liberal “constitutional progressives” and the “constitutional conservatives.”

The constitutional progressives assert that the constitution enables a progressive government agenda and whereas the constitutional conservative approach, encroaches upon the  role of the federal government. As Marcus sees, the conservatives are interests in limiting the role of government to one based on a few activities, like defense and immigration. She asserts that this argument is based on what the federal government “should do and what the Constitution allows it to do.”

Where do you fall in the debate?

Perhaps, the reason why this debate is important to note, is because today is Constitution Day. VLS will commemorate with a panel discussion and program from 12:45-2 in the Chase Community Center and we hope you will attend.

Of course, naturally, the Cornell Library has a plethora of books related to the constitution. A subject search in JULIEN, for “United States Constitution” returns 96 results. You can find material related to a particular amendment, say the fourth, by searching “United States Constitution 4th Amendment” in JULIEN. Insert “history” to the end of your search to find materials related to the history of the amendment. Below are a few books from the collection related to various aspects of the Constitution.

Amar, Akhil Reed. America’s Constitution: A Biography  KF4541 .A87 2005

McDowell, Gary L. and Johnathan O’Neill. America and Enlightenment Constitutionalism KF4520 .A76 2006  

Hsueh, Vicki. Hybrid Constitutions: Challenging Legacies of Law, Privilege, and Culture in Colonial America  KF4541 .H79 2010  

Holton, Woody. Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution  KF4541 .H58 2007