Critical Reflections on Seidman's 'On Constitutional Disobedience'

8 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2015

See all articles by Hugh W. Baxter

Hugh W. Baxter

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2013


This symposium contribution critically examines Louis Seidman’s book "Constitutional Disobedience" (2012). Seidman questions whether American constitutionalism really has the positive values commonly attributed to it. He suggests that citizens and legislators should shift away from claims that the Constitution requires or forbids certain governmental choices and toward more straightforward, “all-things-considered” political debate about “how to solve real, modern problems” and “about what will produce the best country.” I argue against Seidman's view that straightforward political talk will be less polarizing and divisive than constitution-invoking discussion. Seidman, I think, might romanticize ordinary political discussion in somewhat the same way that orthodox constitutional theory romanticized the opinions of constitutional courts.

Suggested Citation

Baxter, Hugh W., Critical Reflections on Seidman's 'On Constitutional Disobedience' (2013). Boston University Law Review, Vol. 93:1373-80 (2013), Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper, Available at SSRN:

Hugh W. Baxter (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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