Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Sandefur on Amar

Timothy Sandefur has the first in what will be a series of posts by all of us at Positive Liberty about Akhil Amar’s new book, America’s Constitution: A Biography. Sandefur was kind enough to buy copies of this book and send them to me, Jon and Jason so we could all read it and comment on it. I’m still only about 1/4 of the way through the book so it may be a while before I add much of substance to the discussion, but I agree with Sandefur’s overall endorsement of Amar’s work. There are areas where I strongly disagree with him, but there is no question that he is among our finest constitutional scholars. His writing is clear and lucid and you can feel the reverence he has for the Constitution come through on every page. His work is a must-read for anyone who takes the Constitution seriously.


  1. #1 spyder
    January 25, 2006

    I have a question to which i am hoping you can respond. This story today based on an essay in InsightMagazine:
    “We find out today from an ultra-conservative magazine [via the Huffington Post] that the administration is gearing up for impeachment hearings–and here is where the first skirmish in the new campaign will be fought:

    The Bush administration is bracing for impeachment hearings in Congress. “A coalition in Congress is being formed to support impeachment,” an administration source said. Sources said a prelude to the impeachment process could begin with hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee in February. They said the hearings would focus on the secret electronic surveillance program and whether Mr. Bush violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Administration sources said the charges are expected to include false reports to Congress as well as Mr. Bush’s authorization of the National Security Agency to engage in electronic surveillance inside the United States without a court warrant. This included the monitoring of overseas telephone calls and e-mail traffic to and from people living in the United States without requisite permission from a secret court. ”

    My question: If by some strange quirk of fate, miracles, intelligent design and other cosmic interventions, the President (and his administration) were to be impeached would Chief Justice Roberts recuse himself from sitting as the presiding judge in the Senate?

  2. #2 Ed Brayton
    January 25, 2006

    I can’t imagine he would need to recuse himself in that circumstance. It’s not as though he actually would have anything to do with the outcome of such a trial. More importantly, there isn’t going to be any impeachment hearings.

  3. #3 spyder
    January 26, 2006

    Thanks Ed. I too am sure there will not be any impeachment processes, but it just struck me as unique to US history. I wasn’t sure what Chase had done in Johnson’s trial, but he was appointed by Lincoln the previous term. Nixon would have had his friend and appointee Burger. mmmm

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