Book Review—The Constitution: Unplugged

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Professor Corey Brettschneider’s book The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents was reviewed in the New York Law Journal by adjunct professor Joel Cohen and Dale Degenshein.

In this extremely timely book, Prof. Brettschneider reminds us that, in order for our government to work as it was meant to, each branch—Executive, Legislative and Judicial—must work with the other. Checks and balances are built in to our system of government so that no one person or group can act alone. “The [presidential]oath requires that the president uphold the Constitution—even parts which he or she disagrees with.” Such is the contract a president makes with the American people. Alexander Hamilton expressed his concern that a president might actually undermine the values of the Constitution in order to win popular support; the Framers attempted to guard against such action. Thus, James Madison argued, even if a president were to become a tyrant catering to the worst prejudices of the populace, people cannot be stripped of those Constitutionally-mandated rights. An important reminder.

Read the full book review.

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