chapter  1
37 Pages

The Problem of Constitutionalism in American Culture

A related phenomenon has been a cause but at other times a consequence of the one just described: namely, that a number of leading “custodians” of constitutionalism in the United States have been men with mixed ideological convictions. This chapter describes most of them as conservative liberals; and their dualistic vision has additional importance if one tries to look at constitutional values in biographical terms, which has been a standard approach. Some of the most important transformations in constitutional system occur so gradually that the general public only becomes aware of them, if at all, after they have occurred. The chapter explains a countervailing inclination among informed Americans, regardless of their ideological persuasion, to differentiate between the Constitution and the Court. So many actions germane to an understanding of constitutionalism in American culture have remained obscure either because they fail, or because the media neglect to cover them.