from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Government in which power is distributed and limited by a system of laws that must be obeyed by the rulers.
- n. A constitutional system of government.
- n. Advocacy of such a system.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Philosophical belief in government under a written constitution.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The theory, principles, or authority of constitutional government; attachment or adherence to a constitution or constitutional government.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The theory or principle of a constitution or of constitutional government; constitutional rule or authority; constitutional principles.
- n. Adherence to the principles of constitutional government.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a constitutional system of government (usually with a written constitution)
- n. advocacy of a system of government according to constitutional principles
Sorry, no etymologies found.
So to be more precise, one of the most difficult unsolved problems in American constitutionalism – perhaps a constitutional “abeyance” or silence – is what a president is supposed to do with an act (presumably passed over a veto) that directly encroaches on presidential power.
The task of a progressive constitutionalism is the task of understanding that the Constitution can be better -- no, * is* better -- than those in power want it to be.
And this idea has become so ingrained in the American mind that it will be difficult to gain credence for the assertion that the terms constitutionalism and absolutism represent the forces or systems which, have really been antagonistic ever since Christianity began to affect and animate social and political relations.
Before the American experiments in constitutionalism, the most prominent example of a “president” was the presiding officer in the king’s privy council in Stuart times.
Here’s the abstract:Current debates in Chinese constitutionalism centering on issues such as judicial independence, the justiciability of constitutional rights, and the relationships between Party and state, political pluralism and dictatorship, and liberal conceptions of the rule of law versus more traditional Chinese articulations of the asymmetric ethical relationship between ruler and ruled are neither novel nor unfamiliar in the PRC.
This is the central theme of Stephen Elkin’s magnificent RECONSTRUCTING THE COMMERCIAL REPUBLIC: CONSTITUTIONAL DESIGN AFTER MADISON (a must read for anyone interested in American constitutionalism) and the Dred Scott book to the right (a must read for anyone interested in helping me pay for two, soon to be three, daughters at private colleges).
It is not contradictory, I believe, to argue at one and the same time that Bush's conception of his prerogatives of office is dictatorial (or, if one prefers, "authoritarian" or "monarchical," which is Bruce Fein's term) AND that he gives no hint of rejecting the most basic norm of American constitutionalism, which is the opportunity to vote the rascals out in an election.
The failure to ratify the New Deal, as well as other important aspects of the contemporary constitutional system, through amendments has created an ongoing issue within American constitutionalism.
In that work, Smith analyzes more than 1000 judicial opinions on citizenship, exploring the liberal, republican, and racist/ascriptive strands in American constitutionalism.
Whether the idea of constitutionalism can survive the lessons of critical theory is a very good question.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.