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Constitutional Law for a Changing America

Constitutional Law for a Changing America
Institutional Powers and Constraints

Tenth Edition
Experience with SAGE edge

January 2019 | 776 pages | CQ Press
A host of political factors—both internal and external—influence the Court’s decisions and shape the development of constitutional law. Among the more significant forces at work are the ways lawyers and interest groups frame legal disputes, the ideological and behavioral propensities of the justices, the politics of judicial selection, public opinion, and the positions that elected officials take, to name just a few.
Combining the lessons of the legal model with the influences of the political process, Constitutional Law for a Changing America shows how these dynamics shape the development of constitutional doctrine. 

The Tenth Edition offers rigorous, comprehensive content in a student-friendly manner. With meticulous revising and updating throughout, bestselling authors Lee Epstein and Thomas G. Walker streamline material while accounting for new scholarship and recent landmark cases—including key opinions handed down through the 2018 session. Well-loved features keep students engaged by offering clear delineation between commentary and opinion excerpts, a "Facts" and "Arguments" section before every case, a superb photo program, “Aftermath” and “Global Perspective” boxes, and a wealth of tables, figures, and maps. Students will walk away with an understanding that Supreme Court cases involve real people engaged in real disputes, and are not merely legal names and citations.

Bundle with the Resource Center for FREE! 
Take your constitutional law class beyond the book with Epstein and Walker’s newly redesigned  Resource Center, featuring more than 500 excerpted, supplemental cases referenced in the commentary of the Constitutional Law for a Changing America volumes. The Resource Center offers a place for students to study core content with online quizzes and explore court cases. Instructors can find teaching materials, including hypothetical cases paired with discussion questions and writing assignments, moot-court simulations, test banks, and more. 
An Introduction to the U.S. Constitution  
The Road to the U.S. Constitution  
Underlying Principles of the Constitution  
Chapter 1: Understanding the U.S. Supreme Court
Processing Supreme Court Cases  
Supreme Court Decision Making: Legalism  
Supreme Court Decision Making: Realism  
Conducting Research on the Supreme Court  
Structuring the Federal System  
Origins of the Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances System  
Separation of Powers and the Constitution  
Contemporary Thinking on the Constitutional Scheme  
Chapter 2: The Judiciary
Establishment of the Federal Judiciary  
Judicial Review  
Constraints on judicial Power: Article III  
Constraints of Judicial Power and the Separation of Powers System  
Chapter 3: The Legislature
Article I: Historical Overview  
Congressional Authority over Internal Affairs: Institutional Independence and Integrity  
Legislative Powers: Sources and Scope  
Federal Legislature: Constitutional Interpretations  
Chapter 4: The Executive
The Structure of the Presidency  
The President's Constitutional Authority and Tools for Executing It  
The Faithful Execution of the Laws: Defining the Contours of Presidential Power  
Domestic Powers of the President  
The Role of the President in External Relations  
Chapter 5: Inter-Branch Interactions
Debates over Inter-Branch Interactions  
Domestic Powers  
Powers over Foreign Affairs  
Part III: Nation-State Relations
Allocating Government Power  
The Framers and Federalism  
The Tenth and Eleventh Amendments  
Chapter 6: Federalism
The Doctrinal Cycle of Nation-State Relations  
The Eleventh Amendment and Sovereign Immunity  
National Preemption of State  
Chapter 7: The Commerce Power
Foundations of the Commerce Power  
Attempts to Define the Commerce Power in the Wake of the Industrial Revolution  
The Supreme Court and the New Deal  
The Era of Expansive Commerce Clause Jurisprudence  
Limits on the Commerce Power: The Republican Court Era  
Commerce Power of the States  
Chapter 8: The Power to Tax and Spend
The Constitutional Power to Tax and Spend  
Direct Taxes and the Power to Tax Income  
Taxation of Exports  
Intergovernmental Tax Immunity  
Taxation as a Regulatory Power  
Taxing and Spending for the General Welfare  
Restrictions on the Revenue Powers of the States  
Economic Liberties and Individual Rights  
Chapter 9: The Contract Clause
The Framers and the Contract Clause  
John Marshall and the Contract Clause  
Decline of the Contract Clause: From the Taney Court to the New Deal  
Modern Applications of the Contract Clause  
Chapter 10: Economic Substantive Due Process
Development of Substantive Due Process  
The Roller-Coaster Ride of Substantive Due Process: 1898-1923  
The Heyday of Substantive Due Process: 1923-1936  
The Depression, the New Deal, and the Decline of Economic Substantive Due Process  
Substantive Due Process: Contemporary Relevance  
Chapter 11: The Takings Clause
Protecting Private Property from Government Seizure  
What Is a Taking?  
What Constitutes a Public Use?  
Key features


  • Excerpts of recent important Supreme Court decisions help students to understand how these decisions have made fundamental changes in areas such as presidential power, taxation and spending, separation of powers, and federalism.
  • An expanded online case archive allows the instructor more flexibility in assigning case readings to students and gives students expanded resources for study.
  • Reorganized chapters on presidential power and separation of powers help instructors present the material in a more effective manner as well as provide students with a clearer understanding of the tools available to the president to execute power. 
  • Additional boxes on laws and legal practices of other countries broaden students’ perspective on the U.S. legal system. Students and instructors can use these to compare and contrast U.S. Supreme Court decisions on issues such as judicial review, privileges, and immunities for legislators, and the separation of powers system with policies developed in other countries.



  • Authors are known for fastidious revising and streamlining of decisions. 
  • Latest scholarship in the fields of both political science and legal studies. 
  • Includes key opinions handed down through the 2018 session. 
  • SAGE edge Constitutional Law for a Changing America Resource Center features more than 500 excerpted, supplemental cases mentioned or referenced in the commentary of the Constitutional Law for a Changing America volumes, as well as other important research and study tools. 

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ISBN: 9781544317908