DOASKDOTELL BOOK REVIEW of Linda Monís The Bill of Rights: A Userís Guide


Author (or Editor): Monk, Linda

Title: The Bill of Rights: A Userís Guide

Fiction? N

Publisher:Close Up

Date:1991, 1995


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Book Review: The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide, by Linda Monk

Foreword by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Close Up Publishing

1991, 1995

I bought this wonderful text at the Supreme Court bookstore in Washington just after having heard oral arguments regarding the Communications Decency Act (from the Three Minute Line), on March 19, 1997.

This is probably the clearest technical guide to the Bill of Rights, amendment by amendment, in print. There is an introductory rather detailed history section, which traces its origins (in earlier English documents), and explains James Madison's (and others') early reluctance to enact a Bill of Rights on the theory that it would weaken unenumerated rights, and gives the details of ratification (it became "law" in 1791). The book follows up with a discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment, and a perspective for the future. There are plenty of illustrations and sidebars, which fit on to the large page layout. Particularly effective are the stories of individual challengers to the system. Michael Hardwick's (Bowers v. Hardwick, 1986) sidebar is called "the Courage of Their Convictions."

There are lucid explanations of enumerated powers and rights, fundamental rights, equal protection, procedural and substantive due process.

doaskdotell's proposal for Bill of Rights 2





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