POLITICS AND THE CONSTITUTION IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES in Two Volumes

By: Crosskey, William Winslow

Price: $74.95

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Book Condition: Very Good+ in Very Good- dust jacket


Both volumes clean and tight in original green cloth binding in edgeworn chipped, dustjackets (now in protective mylar covers). William Winslow Crosskey's reputation as a constitutional historian rests upon his Politics and the Constitution in the History of the United States (1953), a learned, controversial reinterpretation of the framing of the Constitution. Crosskey, a professor of law at the University of Chicago, argued that the Framers of the Constitution sought to create a unitary system of government with virtually unlimited legislative powers, that Congress would have supreme authority within the constitutional system, and that the power of judicial review was intended merely as a means for the judiciary to defend itself against encroachments by the other branches of government. Crosskey began with two premises: first, that the words of the Constitution should be understood according to the meanings they had in common usage in 1787; and, second, that the source relied upon by most historians to determine the intent of the Framers, James Madison's Notes of the Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, had been deliberately distorted by Madison to support the "limited- powers'' interpretation of the Constitution favored by Jeffersonian Republicans. [Richard B. Bernstein (1986)] Crosskey "alleged that Madison had doctored his notes from the constitutional convention as part of a deliberate plan to foist a fraudulent Jeffersonian constitutionalism upon an unsuspecting nation." [ Ken Kersch, 2011] A third volume was eventually published posthumously in 1980. This set is from the collection of Judge Gerhard Alden Gesell (1910 – 1993) who began his career as a staff trial lawyer and later as adviser to Chairman William O. Douglas at the new Securities and Exchange Commission from 1935 to 1941. Gesell then entered private practice with Covington & Burling in Washington, where he specialized in antitrust and other corporate cases. While engaged in private practice, Gesell continued to serve the public sector. In 1945 and 1946, he served as Chief Assistant Counsel for the Democrats during the Pearl Harbor hearings. In 1962 he was a appointed Chairman of the President Kennedy's Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces from 1962 to 1964. In 1967 Gesell was appointed to the United States District Court for DC by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He presided over several memorable cases. For example, in 1969 Judge Gesell declared that the District of Columbia's abortion statute was unconstitutional. In 1971, Judge Gesell was involved in the litigation surrounding the publication of The Pentagon Papers. He ruled that The Washington Post could continue to publish the series of articles about the Vietnam War based on the leaked secret study despite the Government's attempts to halt publication. During the Watergate investigations and litigation, Judge Gesell ruled that the dismissal of Archibald Cox as special prosecutor in the "Saturday night massacre" in October 1973 had been illegal. In the 1974 trial of John D. Ehrlichman, Judge Gesell sentenced him to 20 months to five years in prison for his role in the Watergate break-in. In 1989, a jury found Colonel North guilty of three of the 12 crimes he was charged with: obstructing Congress, destroying documents and receiving an illegal gratuity. Believing North had been carrying out orders from authorities above him, Gesell did not to send him to prison, but fined North $150,000, placed him on probation for two years, and assigned him community service.

Title: POLITICS AND THE CONSTITUTION IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES in Two Volumes

Author Name: Crosskey, William Winslow

Categories: Political Science, Americana and American History, Law and Legal History,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Chicago, University of Chicago Press: 1953

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good+ in Very Good- dust jacket

Size: 4to 11" - 13" tall

Seller ID: 39738

Keywords: Constitutional History Constitutional Interpretations Politicization of Constitutional Law Conservative Thought William Winslow Crosskey