“This work is an epic produced by amazing intellectual energy. It will be of unique present interest and a wonderful gift to posterity.”
—Hon. John P. Flaherty, associate justice (1979-1996),
chief justice (1996-2001), Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
“The Founders looked to Blackstone as the foremost authority on English common law. In this book, John Remington Graham, America’s Blackstone, has come into his own. His long years of study and learned honesty make the original Constitution accessible.”
—Laura C. Tesh of the South Carolina Bar, from the foreword
A restatement and rediscovery of the intended meaning of the United States Constitution, this exhaustive volume closely examines the document as originally framed in 1787, implemented in 1789, and amended in 1791, 1798, and 1804. Tracing each provision of the Constitution to its historic roots, John Remington Graham presents a focused yet comprehensive reading of the document, exposing its true legal meaning in a manner never done before.
Based on centuries of human experience and legal tradition, the intended meaning of the Constitution has a substantive content that must endure, Graham argues, despite fluctuating judicial interpretations. For good reason, the Framers of the Constitution wanted to assure that judges would resolve disputes upon established principles of law and not legislate from the bench; that responsibility for maintaining the Constitution would be shared as well by the executive and legislative branches of government; and that legal equilibrium across the country would be achieved by prudent distribution of power between the Union and the States.
Uniquely, the book considers the founding fathers of the United States, including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Mason, alongside the reigning princes of Europe (Louis XVI and George III)—formidable figures who deeply influenced the fledgling republic. Presenting the immutable and timeless features of the Constitution as it was originally intended and given to posterity, this consummate work is a true treasure of American scholarship, timeless as the magnificent document it deftly illuminates.