In this unique anthology, Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner draw on the writings of a wide array of people engaged in the problem of making popular government safe, steady, and accountable. The documents included range from the early seventeenth century to the 1830s, from the reflections of philosophers to popular pamphlets, from public debates in ratifying conventions to the private correspondence of the leading political actors of the day.
Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws, bk. 12, CH. 19
19.--In what Manner the Use of Liberty is suspended in a Republic
In countries where liberty is most esteemed, there are laws by which a single person is deprived of it, in order to preserve it for the whole community. Such are in England what they call Bills of Attainder. These are in relation to those Athenian laws by which a private person was condemned, provided they were made by the unanimous suffrage of six thousand citizens. They are in relation also to those laws which were made at Rome against private citizens, and were called privileges. These were never passed except in the great meetings of the people. But in what manner soever they were enacted, Cicero was for having them abolished, because the force of a law consists in its being made for the whole community. I must own, notwithstanding, that the practice of the freest nation that ever existed induces me to think that there are cases in which a veil should be drawn for a while over liberty, as it was customary to cover the statues of the gods.
Philip B. Kurland (ed.)
Philip B. Kurland (1922-1996) the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the College and the Law School, is credited with fundamentally reshaping our understanding of the U.S. Constitution, particularly its system of checks and balances, the separation of church and state and the importance of judicial restraint. He was an internationally renowned scholar of the U.S. Constitution and a University faculty member for more than 40 years.
Kurland received his B.A. in 1942 from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. in 1944 from Harvard.
He began his legal career after graduation from Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He served as law clerk for Judge Jerome Frank of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then for Justice Frankfurter. After working at the Department of Justice in 1946, he practiced law in New York City. He turned to teaching in 1950 and was on the faculty at Northwestern before joining Chicago's Law School faculty as Associate Professor in 1953; he was promoted to Professor in 1956. In 1973, he was appointed the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor in the College, and in 1977, he was named Distinguished Service Professor. He won the University's Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1990.
Kurland was a consultant to various entities, including the Conference of Chief Justices and the Department of Justice. From 1967 to 1974, he was chief consultant to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, which was charged with, among other duties, studying the Watergate break-in.
He founded the Supreme Court Review in 1960 and served as its editor until 1988. That same year, together with Ralph Lerner, Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, he won the Gordon J. Laing Award from the Press for editing The Founders' Constitution, a five-volume set of materials on the origins of the Constitution. Other books Kurland wrote or edited include Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United States (1951), Religion and the Law (1962), Of Life and Law and Other Things That Matter (1968), Felix Frankfurter on the Supreme Court (1970), Politics, the Constitution and the Warren Court (1970), Mr. Justice Frankfurter and the Constitution (1971), Watergate and the Constitution (1978) and Cable speech (1984).
Ralph Lerner (ed.)
Ralph Lerner is the Benjamin Franklin Professor in the College, and professor in the Committee on Social Thought, at the University of Chicago.
He attended public school in Chicago, received his degrees in political science at the University of Chicago, and had a year of post-graduate study of medieval Hebrew at the University of Cambridge. He has served in the U.S. Army. All of his teaching has been at the University of Chicago, apart from visiting appointments at Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard universities and a visiting lectureship at the Institut Raymond Aron. He has received fellowship awards from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Humanities Center. He has received a Quantrell Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching.