Cambridge Studies on the American Constitution
Since the 1980s, a ritualized
opposition in legal thought between a conservative 'originalism' and a liberal 'living constitutionalism' has obscured the
aggressively contested tradition committed to, and mobilization of arguments for, constitutional restoration and redemption
within the broader postwar American conservative movement. Conservatives and the Constitution is the first history of the
political and intellectual trajectory of this foundational tradition and mobilization. By looking at the deep stories told
either by identity groups or about what conservatives took to be flashpoint topics in the postwar period, Ken I. Kersch seeks
to capture the developmental and integrative nature of postwar constitutional conservatism, challenging conservatives and
liberals alike to more clearly see and understand both themselves and their presumed political and constitutional opposition.
Conservatives and the Constitution makes a unique contribution to our understanding of modern American conservatism, and to
the constitutional thought that has, in critical ways, informed and defined it.
1. The intellectual archipelago of
the postwar American right; 2. The alternative tradition of conservative constitutional theory; 3. Stories about markets;
4. Stories about communism; 5. Evangelical and fundamentalist Christian stories; 6. Right-wing Roman Catholic stories; Conclusion:
the development of constitutional conservatism.
Recovers a contested, evolving tradition of conservative constitutional
argument that shaped the past and is bidding to make the future.