Skip to main content

Research Canons

Books and articles that are essential to a new academic in various areas of legal inquiry as suggested by contributors to PrawfsBlawg.

Books

  1. Constitutionalism: Philosophical Foundations (Larry Alexander, ed., 1998) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell). 
  2. T.R.S. Allan, Law, Liberty, and Justice: The Legal Foundations of British Constitutionalism (1993) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  3. T.R.S. Allan, Constitutional Justice: A Liberal Theory of the Rule of Law (2001) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  4. Akhil Reed Amar,  The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction (1998) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  5. Randy E. Barnett, The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law (1998) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  6. Randy E. Barnett, Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty (2004) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  7. Charles A. Beard,  An Economic Interpritation of the Constitution of the United States (1913) (it's old now but still useful and interesting; suggested by Matt). 
  8. Philip Bobbitt, Constitutional Fate: Theory of the Constitution ( 1982) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  9. Philip Bobbitt, Constitutional Interpretation (Rev. ed. 2006) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  10. Stephen Breyer, Active Liberty (2005) (particularly for those interested in the current court's constitutional interpretation ideologies. Each carries a part devoted to the special cases of constitutions; suggested by Richard).  
  11. Erwin Chemerinsky, Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies (2nd ed., 2002) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  12. Edward F. Cooke, A Detailed Analysis of the Constitution ( 7th ed., 2002) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  13. Robert A. Dahl, How Democratic is the American Constitution (2nd ed. 2003) (It's probably not sophisticated enough to really be considered canonical in this area (it seems to be pitched primarily towards undergrads) but it's very useful in summing up the undemocratic (on one sense of that idea) elements in the constitution; suggested by Matt). 
  14. Congress and the Constitution (Neal Devins & Keith E. Whittington, eds. 2005) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  15. Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously (1977) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell; Constitutional Cases in Taking Rights Seriously more than most of the articles in Freedom's Law Dworkin here gives a good account of his approach to constitutional law and shows an alternative to originalism that I find quite attractive; suggested by Matt).  
  16. Constitutionalism and Democracy (Jon Elster & Rune Slagstad, eds. 1988) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  17. John Hart Ely, Democracy and Distrust: A Theory of Judicial Review (1980) (suggested by Alan Tauber).
  18. Richard H. Fallon, Implementing the Constitution (2001) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  19. Russell Hardin, Liberalism, Constitutionalism, and Democracy (1999) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  20. Stephen Holmes, Passions & Constraint: On the Theory of Liberal Democracy (1995) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  21. Laura Kalman, The Strange Career of Legal Liberalism (1996) (can I recommend Laura Kalman's account of the debate between Tribe and Ackerman  (toward the end)? It's a wonderfully clear (and opinionated) account of two very different ways of looking at constitutional interpretation; suggested by Frank Pasquale).
  22. Charles Howard McIlwain, Constitutionalism: Ancient and Modern (Rev. ed. 1947) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  23. Jethro K. Lieberman,  A Practical Companion to the Constitution: How the Supreme Court Has Ruled on Issues from Abortion to Zoning (1999 expanded ed.) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  24. J. Mitchell Pickerill, Constitutional Deliberation in Congress (2004) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  25.  Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (1996) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  26. Lawrence G. Sager, Justice in Plainclothes: A Theory of American Constitutional Practice (2004) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  27. Antonin Scalia,  A Matter of Interpretation (1997) (particularly for those interested in the current court's constitutional interpretation ideologies. Each carries a part devoted to the special cases of constitutions; suggested by Richard). 
  28. Joseph L. Story Commentaries on the Constitution (1883) (suggested by Nicole Huberfeld).  
  29. Cass R. Sunstein, Designing Democracies: What Constitutions Do. (2001). (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  30. Cass Sunstein The Partial Constitution (1993) (suggested by Nicole Huberfeld). 
  31. Laurence Tribe, American Constitutional Law (2000) (serves as a solid resource/reference book, particularly for the new Con Law teacher; suggested by Nicole Huberfeld). 
  32. Mark Tushnet, The New Constitutional Order (2003) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  33. Keith E. Whittington, Constitutional Construction: Divided Powers and Constitutional Meaning (1999) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).
  34. Keith E. Whittington, Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent, and Judicial Review (1999) (suggested by Patrick S. O'Donnell).