"Constitutional Cliffhangers" by Brian C. Kalt

Constitutional Cliffhangers A Legal Guide for Presidents and Their Enemies Brian C. Kalt

Publication date:
24 Jan 2012
Yale University Press
264 pages: 235 x 156 x 24mm
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The United States Constitution's provisions for selecting, replacing, and punishing presidents contain serious weaknesses that could lead to constitutional controversies. In this compelling and fascinating book, Brian Kalt envisions six such controversies, such as the criminal prosecution of a sitting president, a two-term president's attempt to stay in power, the ousting of an allegedly disabled president, and more. None of these things has ever occurred, but in recent years many of them almost have.

Besides being individually dramatic, these controversies provide an opportunity to think about how constitutional procedures can best be designed, interpreted, and repaired. Also, because the events Kalt describes would all carry enormous political consequences, they shed light on the delicate and complicated balance between law and politics in American government.

Brian C. Kalt is professor of law at Michigan State University.

"Brian Kalt''s Constitutional Cliffhangers is full of insights into constitutional interpretation, a lively topic of concern among both scholars and the public more generally. Without in the least diminishing its scholarly contribution, the book is also playfully written, so that it is a delight to read."--Robert William Bennett, Northwestern University