I have not been blogging lately and I do miss it. However, I am committed to finishing a draft of a new casebook on constitutional law by August. This project has required a single-minded focus that does not permit me to blog. My previous post is an exception I could not resist.
The good news is that the casebook is coming along quite nicely. It will be quite different from all others now on the market. There will be no “notes” following the cases (though other sources, such as statements by Presidents and others, will be included). Text by me will be limited to briefly providing purely descriptive context and questions to guide students when reading the materials. The cases will be ordered and edited to allow the Supreme Court (and others) to speak for themselves.
If not impeded by tedious comments and notes, what emerges from the cases is a continuous debate about the meaning of the Constitution that traces back to the founding. What makes editing this casebook different than my contracts casebook, is that in constitutional law, we are mainly studying the reasoning of one court that has been in continuous existence since the Founding. If presented chronologically, the great debate that has always existed becomes clear.
The key was to order the earlier cases and other sources chronologically (as just one other current casebook does) and then get out of the way of the different voices that reside in the sources themselves. When it is published, which most likely won’t be until January 2008, it should make for a fascinating course. At least that is my goal and hope.