From the earliest church covenants and compacts of the Puritans to the present day, Americans have seen their Constitution as a fundamental bulwark of liberty and limited government. This collection of essays, intended to honor and further understanding of the work of one of the nation's foremost constitutional scholars, Georgetown University’s George W. Carey, analyzes the origins of public order in America and in constitutional government more generally.
The contributors discuss and develop Carey's key insights, including his argument that constitutional government cannot survive without general adherence to a "constitutional morality" binding political actors to the limited roles laid out for them in our frame of government. The essays further delineate a series of issues at the heart of American constitutionalism: Why should political actors respect constitutional restrictions on their exercise of power? What role has the drive to increase the power of political majorities played in the development or derailment of the American political tradition? And what effect have debates and developments regarding presidential power, foreign policy, and judicial review had on our constitutional system?
What They're Saying...
"The purpose of this study is to discuss and develop Carey's ideas on the American republic, namely, the "origin, development, and derailment of the American political tradition. Our republic, the editors warn, has slowly deteriorated. Part of this is due to the tension between an older political tradition that was not individualist or egalitarian and the newer American creed based on liberal abstractions from the Enlightenment. . . . Characterizing the origin, foundation, and derailment of our republic, these essays contain valuable information. And perhaps some roadmaps to restoration."
— Matthew A. Roberts The American Spectator
"Every essay in Defending the Republic deserves close attention. . . . In our time, Carey's writings are as essential a guide to constitutional morality as The Federalist itself is to the Constitution. Read him, and consult this book to deepen your understanding of our most distinguished constitutionalist."
— Daniel McCarthy The American Conservative
"These essays are timely, thoughtful, and well-written, and this title is recommended for college, university, and law school libraries."
— Catholic Library World