The Next Constitutional Revolution
Boston College - Law School; Yale University - Law School
March 11, 2011
University of Detroit Mercy Law Review, Vol. 88, No. 4, p. 707, 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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Constitutional Politics, Federalism, Confederalist Theory, State Sovereignty, State Supremacy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Federalists, Antifederalists, Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court
Date posted: March 23, 2011 ; Last revised: March 6, 2012