Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Invisible Constitution or River of Doubt

The Invisible Constitution

Author: Laurence H Trib

As everyone knows, the United States Constitution is a tangible, visible document. Many see it in fact as a sacred text, holding no meaning other than that which is clearly visible on the page. Yet as renowned legal scholar Laurence Tribe shows, what is not written in the Constitution plays a key role in its interpretation. Indeed some of the most contentious Constitutional debates of our time hinge on the extent to which it can admit of divergent readings.
In The Invisible Constitution, Tribe argues that there is an unseen constitution--impalpable but powerful--that accompanies the parchment version. It is the visible document's shadow, its dark matter: always there and possessing some of its key meanings and values despite its absence on the page. As Tribe illustrates, some of our most cherished and widely held beliefs about constitutional rights are not part of the written document, but can only be deduced by piecing together hints and clues from it. Moreover, some passages of the Constitution do not even hold today despite their continuing existence. Amendments may have fundamentally altered what the Constitution originally said about slavery and voting rights, yet the old provisos about each are still in the text, unrevised. Through a variety of historical episodes and key constitutional cases, Tribe brings to life this invisible constitution, showing how it has evolved and how it works. Detailing its invisible structures and principles, Tribe compellingly demonstrates the invisible constitution's existence and operative power.
Remarkably original, keenly perceptive, and written with Tribe's trademark analytical flair, this latest volume in Oxford'sInalienable Rights series offers a new way of understanding many of the central constitutional debates of our time.

Steven Puro - Library Journal

Tribe (constitutional law, Harvard) a leading constitutional scholar, carefully argues that the text of the Constitution is silent on many of the most fundamental questions of constitutional law. He argues that these questions are addressed through underlying principles that create an "invisible constitution." He shows that these principles apply to a range of topics from the earliest constitutional interpretation to present controversies. Tribe defines the terrain of the invisible Constitution by exploring beyond the document's text and offering a half-dozen models to determine this "invisible" architecture. It is this architecture that provides the rationale for including foundational principles behind the written text when arriving at new interpretations of constitutional meaning. Tribe argues that these foundational principles create strong bonds that underlie the textual guarantees, which lead to answers on relevant questions that the written Constitution cannot provide. His original views here are carefully distinguished from the ideas of an "unwritten Constitution." His provocative analysis and arguments will challenge readers' understanding of constitutional provisions. Strongly recommended for all academic libraries.

Table of Contents:
Editor's Note



Part I: Beyond the Visible

Identifying "The Constitution"

Distinguishing "The Constitution" From "Constitutional Law"

Remembering Ours is a "Written" Constitution

The Variable Role of Interpretive Judicial Precedent

The "Dark Matter"

Part II: Defining the Terrain

Invisibility Defined

Not Necessarily an Ideal Constitution

Constitutional Axioms and Constitutional Theorems

The Politics of Constitutional Invisibility

This Book's Mission: Making Invisibility Visible

Supreme Law, Not the Supreme Court

The Constitution's Architecture, Not its "Construction"

Part III: Explorations Beyond the Text

Invisibility Exemplified: The Moving Finger Writes

Cleo's Claims

Doubling Back: The Holistic Reading Rule

Two Types of Extratextual Norms

Invisibility Illuminated: A Government of Laws

Invisibility Elaborated: Government of the People, By the People, For the People

Invisibility Further Illustrated: Suspending Habeas Corpus

Federalism - and "the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms"

States as Sovereigns?

Part IV: The Content of Liberty and Equality and the Boundaries of Government Power

The "Substantive Due Process" Conundrum

The Jagged Road to Equality

The Reapportionment Revolution

Lochner and Selective "Incorporation"

From Liberty of Contract to Forms of Self-Government

Intimate Association and Private Self-Government

The Maintenance ofBoundaries: From the Norm of Territoriality to the Preservation of Privacy

Part V: Visualizing the Invisible

Once Again: The Ninth Amendment's Rule of Construction

The Inescapable Role of Constitutional "Dark Matter"

The Analogy to Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

Organizing the Constitution's "Dark Matter"

Illustrations following page 156

1. Geometric Construction

2. Geodesic Construction

3. Global Construction

4. Geological Construction

5. Gravitational Construction

6. Gyroscopic Construction

Geometric Construction

Time's Geometry

A Libertarian Presumption

Lochner's Legacy Revisited

Geodesic Construction

Global Construction

Geological Construction

Gravitational Construction

Gyroscopic Construction

Coda: Concluding Observations


The Visible Constitution: Its Text and Accompanying Resolutions

The Declaration of Independence


Interesting book:

River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

Author: Candice Millard

At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

The River of Doubt-it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron.

After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil's most famous explorer, C–≤ndido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever.

Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.

From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt's life, here is Candice Millard's dazzling debut.

The New York Times Sunday Book Review - Bruce Barcott

Although The River of Doubt sheds new light on one of the more exciting years in Theodore Roosevelt's life, bookstore clerks ought not to shelve it under biography. In her debut book, Millard, a former writer and editor for National Geographic, combines high adventure well told with dazzling passages of nature writing that illuminate the darkest, steamiest sections of the Amazon forest.

The New York Times - Janet Maslin

The River of Doubt is not an ordinary biography. Its author, Candice Millard, is a credible historian as well as a former writer and editor for National Geographic. She pays keen attention to nature, human and otherwise, in this vigorous, critter-filled account of Roosevelt's last epic journey: a white-water voyage through the Brazilian rain forest and the deep unknown.

The Washington Post - Shah Tahir

Roosevelt pulled through, and The River of Doubt reminds one of the man himself -- thorough, robust, extremely knowledgeable and triumphant. There are far too many books in which a travel writer follows in the footsteps of his or her hero -- and there are far too few books like this, in which an author who has spent time and energy ferreting out material from archival sources weaves it into a truly gripping tale.

Publishers Weekly

Ferrone's gravelly, stentorian, hushed voice sounds downright presidential in reading the story of this little-known event from ex-Commander-in-Chief Theodore Roosevelt's postpolitical life. After losing his third-party run for the 1912 presidential election, Roosevelt agreed to accompany a Brazilian explorer on a trip along the Amazon, hoping to map the river's uncharted path. Expecting an uneventful trip, Roosevelt and his party barely managed to escape with their lives. Ferrone adopts a strange tone when providing Roosevelt's voice, attempting to echo his famously brusque boom and sounding oddly strangled in the process. His reading is on steadier ground in conveying the sweep of Millard's prose, uniting the personal drama of the Roosevelt family with the naturalist investigations of the voyage. Ferrone carries the narrative along on the waves of his own raspy, gruff instrument, shuttling readers through Millard's book with a steely self-assurance reminiscent of its subject. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, July 11). (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal

Whenever fate dealt him a blow, Theodore Roosevelt struck back by taking on a new physical challenge. Millard, formerly with National Geographic, charts how TR dealt with his "third term" loss for the White House in 1912: he accepted a lecture invation to Buenos Aires and followed it with a dangerous expedition deep into the Amazon in search of a remote tributary known as the River of Doubt. Millard's book has four central characters, each vividly brought to life: the 55-year-old ex-president; the celebrated Brazilian explorer Col. Candido Rondon; TR's 24-year-old second son, Kermit; and the Amazon rain forest itself, which nearly doomed the two dozen members of the expedition. From the outset, the three men had different goals. For TR it was his "last chance to be a boy" and to become a genuine explorer, for Rondo it was an opportunity to survey properly the river he had discovered in 1909, and for Kermit it was a duty to his mother, who worried about her aging husband. The expedition encompassed miles of impassable rapids, loss of canoes and supplies, malaria, near-starvation, cannibalistic Indians, deadly snakes and insects, and a murderous porter. Millard turns this incredible story into one that easily matches an Indiana Jones screen adventure. Essential.-William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

The 26th U.S. president, failing re-election, has an adventure that nearly kills him. In an admirable debut, historian Millard records Theodore Roosevelt's exploration of a hitherto uncharted river in the heart of the Mato Grosso. A confluence of circumstances, including a South American speaking tour and the eagerness of others to investigate the Amazonian headwaters, brought Teddy, aged 55 and still bold and plucky, to Brazil, then largely unmapped and unknown. When the opportunity came to change a planned route to follow the uncharted course of the ominously named River of Doubt, the former chief executive seized it eagerly. And so, with devoted son Kermit and truly intrepid Brazilian co-commander Candido Rondon, along with a band of hardy recruits, the party plunged into the fierce, fecund jungle and its unknown dangers. (It's an exploit that standard TR biographies generally treat lightly, if at all). With heavy, useless equipment and inappropriate provisions, the Roosevelt-Rondon Expedition ventured into the luxuriant wilderness where every life form threatened. There were pit vipers, piranhas and tiny fish that attack where a man is most vulnerable. There were poisonous plants, malevolent insect swarms and native warriors, ever present and never seen. The beefy former president must have embodied some prime cuts for the cannibals as he sat in his canoe. Eventually Colonel Roosevelt was downed by injury and fever. He ended his journey emaciated at three-quarters of the weight he started with on the watercourse now found in atlases as the Roosevelt River. Millard tells the story wonderfully, marshaling ecology, geography, human and natural history to tell the tale of the jungleprimeval, of bravery and privation, determination and murder in the ranks as cowboy Roosevelt survived the Indians of the Amazon. Teddy Roosevelt's tropical adventure, splendidly related.

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