Published Humanitas, Volume XXXIII, Nos. 1 & 2, 2020

Keep a highlighter and pen handy. I don’t recall the last time I used the former so frequently or made so many comments in a book’s margins. Each draft of this review has had a different emphasis. The conclusion I reached was this: the reader will have an incredible number of issues to mull over, and this review simply cannot discuss every worthwhile topic. Thus, while not a casual read, this volume certainly is a rewarding one.

The book commences with a basic political insight: a constitution originating in one country may not be transplanted to another country and be expected to work in the same manner as it had in the country of origin. This book demonstrates the many reasons why that is so, and more particularly, how current legislative and executive practices have undermined the framers’ understanding of the rule of law. In sum, our nation’s governance has become increasingly arbitrary under a system the authors aptly describe as “quasi-law.”

George W. Carey is perhaps the better-known author. Until his death in 2013 he was for nearly fifty years Professor of Government at Georgetown University and a major academic influence among conservatives. Bruce P. Frohnen, who is the Ella and Ernest Fisher Professor of Law at the Ohio Northern University College of Law, also has strong…

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