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Constitutional Commentary


A review of FROM PARCHMENT TO DUST: THE CASE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL SKEPTICISM. Louis Michael Seidman.* New York: The New Press. 2021. Pp. viii + 311. $27.99 (Hardcover).

You’d be forgiven for assuming that Louis Michael Seidman’s estimation of the U.S. Constitution had improved over the course of the last decade. In his 2012 book, On Constitutional Disobedience, he asked whether anyone should “feel obligated to obey [a] deeply flawed, eighteenth-century document,” and answered (emphatically) “No.”2 Now he has published From Parchment to Dust: The Case for Constitutional Skepticism. At first blush, skepticism seems rather different and less radical than disobedience. Has he come to think better of the “oldest [constitution] currently in force in the world”?3

No. Seidman remains dedicated to demystifying the U.S. Constitution, U.S. constitutional law, and the institution most closely associated with both—the Supreme Court of the United States—in the hopes that doing so will persuade readers to make a break with them. The end goal remains robust democracy that “rule[s] no outcomes out of bounds and encourage[s] unending argument” between citizens who will better “negotiate [their] differences . . . listen to others . . . [and] compromise rather than insist on using all the power we have” (p. 246).

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College of Law





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