Constitutional Covers: On Constitutional Disobedience

March 17th, 2014

Continuing my tradition, I will review the latest constitutional law book with a Constitution on the cover. The latest installation is Louis Michael Seidman’s On Constitutional DisobedienceHere is the cover.


Jeremy Waldron pithily summarizes the cover in his review in the Harvard Law Review:

The dust jacket of Louis Michael Seidman’s new book consists of a sepia facsimile of the 1787 manuscript version of the Constitution of the United States, with a red cross-out scrawled all over it and the word “NOT” interpolated in red at the top somewhere near the end of the preamble. These visuals set up the book’s title, which appears in stark white on a black smear of crayon across the middle of the original text.

The word “NOT” is interpolated in the Preamble, between “Establish this” and “Constitution of the United States of America.” Though, if you’ll notice, the Red X leaves in tact most of Article I, including Article I section 8. So even in the anarchist government of Seidman,we can rest assured that Congress can punish pirates.

See my earlier reviews of books by Barnett, Chemerinsky, Balkin, Grieve, and Epps.

As an aside, I was somewhat disappointed I could not put a Constitution on the cover of Unprecedented. I requested some kind of graphic that merged the Supreme Court and the Constitution, but they said it was too busy.

Back in May 2012, I made these mock-ups which, thankfully, never went beyond this blog. Though the stormy clouds did survive.