THE COMPROMISING OF THE CONSTITUTION: Early Departures by Rex G. Tugwell

THE COMPROMISING OF THE CONSTITUTION: Early Departures

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Tugwell, an economist in Roosevelt's Brains Trust, revived his penchant for a corporate state in The Emerging Constitution (1974). Here he settles for an attack on the Constitution, backing off from his earlier proposals for a new one though he still maintains that the doctrine of rights inviolable by government should be replaced with a doctrine of powers the government must exert. This book attacks what Tugwell considers the soft underbelly of the Constitution--its inconsistencies and inadequacies, and the impropriety of Supreme Court review of legislation. Tugwell argues that the Constitution was ""devised for a republic not yet democratized,"" and, if put to a referendum today, wouldn't have a chance. Exactly what would defeat the document--separation of powers, free speech, regulation of trade, states' rights?--is not specified. Tugwell's own additional objections include the lack of direct powers over the economy and the difficulties of impeachment. In view of Tugwell's past proposals for the introduction of ""National Overseers,"" ""Regulators,"" and the like, his protest against the ""elitism"" of the Constitution rings somewhat hollow. Nor does the book add anything significant to existing systematic critiques of the judicial review doctrine. Cranky rather than incisive.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1976
Publisher: Univ. of Notre Dame Press