Conservatives and the 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
Recovers a contested, evolving tradition of conservative constitutional argument that
shaped the past and is bidding to make the future.