Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution (Penn State Romance Studies)

For the first time ever, a retired Supreme Court Justice offers a manifesto on how the Constitution needs to change.

By the time of his retirement in June 2010, John Paul Stevens had become the second longest serving Justice in the history of the Supreme Court. Now he draws upon his more than three decades on the Court, during which he was involved with many of the defining decisions of the modern era, to offer a book like none other. SIX AMENDMENTS is an absolutely unprecedented call to arms, detailing six specific ways in which the Constitution should be amended in order to protect our democracy and the safety and wellbeing of American citizens.

Written with the same precision and elegance that made Stevens's own Court opinions legendary for their clarity as well as logic, SIX AMENDMENTS is a remarkable work, both because of its unprecedented nature and, in an age of partisan ferocity, its inarguable common sense.

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By Kyle (Lake Zurich, IL) · ★★★☆☆ · March 27, 2014
Gotta hand it to former Justice Stevens: Just when you think you're gonna get a straight political polemic on the ills of the country, you instead get a quiet, calm, legally-reasoned set of arguments for a handful of constitutional amendments. Each proposed change gets its own mini legal history,... ...more
By Joe (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · April 25, 2014
More like 3.5. I will avoid going into detail because of the subject matter (I realize this book touches on controversial topics), but I really enjoyed it. Any reader, whether agree or disagree with the six proposals in this book, if the reader is fair, will respect his careful and thorough reaso... ...more
By Jkimballcook (Pittsford, NY) · ★★★★☆ · June 11, 2014
Concise, cogent, and to the point. The six changes Justice Stevens would make are (1) enable the federal government to require state officers to enforce federal law (currently, although the constitution says that federal law is "the supreme law of the land" over state law, the supreme court has i... ...more
By Chris (Commack, NY) · ★★★★★ · August 13, 2014
A relatively short and easy read covering quite a range of legal topics, from major hot button issues like gun control and campaign finance, to issues that the average person has probably never even heard of, like sovereign immunity and the anti-commandeering rule. It's a nice change of pace to s... ...more
By Dustin (Provo, UT) · ★★★★☆ · February 18, 2015
Nearly five years after his retirement, Stevens writes what I'm sure every Supreme Court justice has bursting inside themselves while serving: A quick, to-the-point book of advice making prescriptive suggestions for law rather than hiding behind the usual language of interpretation.

His six propos... ...more
By Jason (Alexandria, VA) · ★★☆☆☆ · August 31, 2014
I have now read both of Justice Stevens' recent books (Five Chiefs about his time with five chief justices; this one, about his proposed revisions to six amendments). And, frankly, neither was that good. Five Chiefs was like reading a set of 1L law school case briefs (and not the insider take of... ...more
By Andrew (Stafford, TX) · ★★★☆☆ · June 11, 2014
Six Amendments is Justice Stevens’ prescription for a better America by reversing particular Supreme Court decisions through the ratification of amendments to the Constitution.

Although we typically think of the Supreme Court as being the final say in matters of constitutional interpretation, the... ...more
By Bryan (Sydney, NSW, Australia) · ★★★☆☆ · May 21, 2014
May it please the court.

"Six Amendments" is fascinating in some places, but disappointing in others. On the one hand, this is a unique insight into what a Supreme Court justice really thinks, and a chance to keep pace -- for an hour or two -- with a towering intellect. On the other hand, the text... ...more
By Lane (Knoxville, TN) · ★★★☆☆ · December 18, 2014
I was in over my head before I finished the prologue. While I don't agree with all of Justice Stevens' ideas, I found it quite reassuring to know that in this day and time there are still folks in our judicial system willing to thoughtfully express philosophies and improvements in our constitutio... ...more
By John (Salem, OR) · ★★★★☆ · May 26, 2014
Former US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was appointed to the court by Republican President Gerald Ford, but wound up differing from most of the other Republican-appointed conservatives on the court as the years went on. Rather than criticizing those justices for making "wrong" decisions... ...more