The Next Constitutional Revolution
29 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2011 Last revised: 16 Sep 2017
Date Written: March 11, 2011
In these brief reflections presented at the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review’s March 2011 Symposium on “Celebrating an Anniversary: A Twenty-Year Review of Justice Clarence Thomas’ Jurisprudence and Contributions as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court,” I advance the view that the history of the United States is a series of constitutional revolutions that have defined and redefined the nation and its people. I illustrate how constitutional revolutions have shaped the United States using three different examples of revolution leadership: legislative, presidential, and judicial. My objective is to suggest that America may now find itself on the cusp of yet another constitutional revolution – a modern conservative constitutional revolution that could change much of what lies at the foundation of the United States Constitution.
The constitutional revolutionary leading this transformative movement is neither a president nor a legislator nor an amorphous aggregation of political interests. It is instead a single, and indeed singular, individual who currently sits on the Supreme Court of the United States: Clarence Thomas. His judgments have come to constitute the intellectual core of a persistent movement to return the United States to its founding confederate design. The battle pitting nation-centric federalism versus state-centric confederalism may be the next frontier in American constitutional law.
Keywords: Constitutional Politics, Federalism, Confederalist Theory, State Sovereignty, State Supremacy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Federalists, Antifederalists, Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court
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