“…we [Judge Janice Rogers Brown and I] dress as Lillian Hellman and Yosemite Sam respectively.” — Michael Greve on his participation in the presumed conspiracy to restore the dreaded “Constitution in Exile” of pre-New Deal days. [Liberty and Law]
Soon-to-be Prof. Greve (he will be joining the George Mason law faculty after many years at AEI) was at Cato this week to discuss his remarkable new book, The Upside-Down Constitution. At the risk of damning with faint praise, I will say that his book is the most stimulating work I know of on the subject of federalism to have been published in my lifetime. If I could sum up his thesis, it would be that one of the past century’s gravest constitutional malfunctions has been that the states (not a misprint, he means the 50 states) have overrun their proper role in the constitutional scheme. More on his thesis here, here, and, on “Madison’s nightmare,” here. In all seriousness, I recommend The Upside-Down Constitution highly; although it’s demandingly complex in places, I can’t imagine reading it without one’s understanding of the constitution, and federalism in particular, being permanently changed.