The Bill of Rights in Modern America
New Edition

The Bill of Rights in Modern America

Revised and Expanded
Edited by David J. Bodenhamer and James W. Ely, Jr.
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/12/2008
ISBN: 978-0-253-00027-9
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This newly revised and expanded edition of The Bill of Rights in Modern America captures the contentious national debate about the nature and extent of our individual rights. Free speech, the separation of church and state, public safety and gun control, property rights, the rights of criminals and victims, the limits of law enforcement, the death penalty, affirmative action, the right to privacy, abortion, states' rights—the Bill of Rights has been evoked as the legal basis for every one of these issues. Twelve distinguished legal scholars discuss the history of and the current debates on these and other important rights issues in a book that is certain to stimulate thoughtful discussion among all citizens.

Author Bio

David J. Bodenhamer is Professor of History and Executive Director of the Polis Center at Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis. He is author or editor of several books and more than thirty book chapters and journal articles. He lives in Carmel, Indiana.

James W. Ely, Jr., is Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law and Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. He is author of
The Guardian of Every Other Right: A Constitutional History of Property Rights and American Legal History: Cases and Materials, among other works. He lives in Nashville,Tennessee.


"A collection of short and lively essays that make splendid reading for anyone interested in law or civil liberties [and] an excellent resource for stimulating and guiding classroom discussion." —The Journal of Southern History , reviewing a previous edition or volume

"A worthy contribution to the continuing debate over the meaning of the American Bill of Rights." —
Choice , reviewing a previous edition or volume

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Table of Contents

Introduction James W. Ely, Jr., and David J. Bodenhamer

The Bill of Rights (and the Fourteenth Amendment)

Part 1. The Myth and Reality of Rights
1. Rights Consciousness in American History Daniel T. Rodgers
2. The Explosion and Erosion of Rights Gary L. McDowell

Part 2. Modern Rights in Controversy
3. The First Amendment and the Freedom to Differ Suzanna Sherry
4. Church and State: The Religion Clauses Melvin I. Urofsky
5. Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms Robert J. Cottrol and Raymond T. Diamond
6. The Enigmatic Place of Property Rights in Modern Constitutional Thought James W. Ely, Jr.
7. Reversing the Revolution: Rights of the Accused in a Conservative Age David J. Bodenhamer
8. Police Practices and the Bill of Rights Laurence A. Benner and Michal R. Belknap
9. "The "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" Clause: A Limit on the Power to Punish or Constitutional Rhetoric? Joseph L. Hoffmann
10. Equal Protection and Affirmative Action Herman Belz

Part 3. Rights Remembered, Revised, and Extended
11. The Right to Privacy Ken I. Kersch
12. Second Wind for the State Bill of Rights Randall T. Shepard

Bibliographic Essays
List of Contributors
Table of Cases