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For a century, the Statists have steadfastly constructed a federal Leviathan, distorting and evading our constitutional system in pursuit of an all-powerful, ubiquitous central government. The result is an ongoing and growing assault on individual liberty, state sovereignty, and the social compact. Levin argues that if we cherish our American heritage, it is time to embrac For a century, the Statists have steadfastly constructed a federal Leviathan, distorting and evading our constitutional system in pursuit of an all-powerful, ubiquitous central government. The result is an ongoing and growing assault on individual liberty, state sovereignty, and the social compact. Levin argues that if we cherish our American heritage, it is time to embrace a constitutional revival. The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and the delegates to each state’s ratification convention foresaw a time when—despite their best efforts to forestall it—the Federal government might breach the Constitution’s limits and begin oppressing the people. Agencies such as the IRS and EPA and programs such as Obamacare demonstrate that the Framers’ fear was prescient. Therefore, the Framers provided two methods for amending the Constitution. The second was intended for our current circumstances—empowering the states to bypass Congress and call a convention for the purpose of amending the Constitution. Levin argues that we, the people, can avoid a perilous outcome by seeking recourse, using the method called for in the Constitution itself. The Framers adopted ten constitutional amendments, called the Bill of Rights, that would preserve individual rights and state authority. Levin lays forth eleven specific prescriptions for restoring our founding principles, ones that are consistent with the Framers’ design. His proposals—such as term limits for members of Congress and Supreme Court justices and limits on federal taxing and spending—are pure common sense, ideas shared by many. They draw on the wisdom of the Founding Fathers—including James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and numerous lesser-known but crucially important men—in their content and in the method for applying them to the current state of the nation. Now is the time for the American people to take the first step toward reclaiming what belongs to them. The task is daunting, but it is imperative if we are to be truly free.


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For a century, the Statists have steadfastly constructed a federal Leviathan, distorting and evading our constitutional system in pursuit of an all-powerful, ubiquitous central government. The result is an ongoing and growing assault on individual liberty, state sovereignty, and the social compact. Levin argues that if we cherish our American heritage, it is time to embrac For a century, the Statists have steadfastly constructed a federal Leviathan, distorting and evading our constitutional system in pursuit of an all-powerful, ubiquitous central government. The result is an ongoing and growing assault on individual liberty, state sovereignty, and the social compact. Levin argues that if we cherish our American heritage, it is time to embrace a constitutional revival. The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and the delegates to each state’s ratification convention foresaw a time when—despite their best efforts to forestall it—the Federal government might breach the Constitution’s limits and begin oppressing the people. Agencies such as the IRS and EPA and programs such as Obamacare demonstrate that the Framers’ fear was prescient. Therefore, the Framers provided two methods for amending the Constitution. The second was intended for our current circumstances—empowering the states to bypass Congress and call a convention for the purpose of amending the Constitution. Levin argues that we, the people, can avoid a perilous outcome by seeking recourse, using the method called for in the Constitution itself. The Framers adopted ten constitutional amendments, called the Bill of Rights, that would preserve individual rights and state authority. Levin lays forth eleven specific prescriptions for restoring our founding principles, ones that are consistent with the Framers’ design. His proposals—such as term limits for members of Congress and Supreme Court justices and limits on federal taxing and spending—are pure common sense, ideas shared by many. They draw on the wisdom of the Founding Fathers—including James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and numerous lesser-known but crucially important men—in their content and in the method for applying them to the current state of the nation. Now is the time for the American people to take the first step toward reclaiming what belongs to them. The task is daunting, but it is imperative if we are to be truly free.

30 review for The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic

  1. 4 out of 5

    William C. Montgomery

    This is an important book that could appeal to all Americans. This book should appeal to all Americans. But this book doesn't appeal to all Americans because it is too backward looking. Levin has written a wonderful book that will appeal to constitutional conservatives and libertarians like myself but is crucially missing any crossover appeal. That is a massive flaw. The problem that modern Republicans have is that they think they can win every political argument by appealing to the constitut This is an important book that could appeal to all Americans. This book should appeal to all Americans. But this book doesn't appeal to all Americans because it is too backward looking. Levin has written a wonderful book that will appeal to constitutional conservatives and libertarians like myself but is crucially missing any crossover appeal. That is a massive flaw. The problem that modern Republicans have is that they think they can win every political argument by appealing to the constitution. "Because James Madison said so," is woefully inadequate to persuade anyone educated by public school systems in the last fifty years. An ever-increasing percentage of our population dismisses the constitution as a racist document that is obsolete in the post-Civil War and post-Civil Rights world. So direct appeal to the document and its authors has little persuasive power. We need convincing contemporary arguments that appeal to modern-day voters. This book is a missed opportunity to convince liberal, conservative and non-ideological Americans alike that restoring primary governmental powers to the states is a great thing to do. This concept should be equally appealing to a liberal state legislator serving in, for example, the Oregon House of Representatives as it does to a state legislator serving in Utah because it re-empowers both of them. And on an individual level, every voter's ballot would count more because the governmental bodies that write laws that most impact their lives are closer to them. The only people who wouldn't like this are the control freaks and busy bodies who feel a compulsion to force everyone else in the world to live a certain way. Again, this is an important book that reminds us that the constitution contains a failsafe that allows the states to reign in the federal government. Furthermore, many of the amendments that Levin proposes would be wonderfully effective in breaking up the stranglehold that career politicians and bureaucrats have over this great nation. It is my fervent hope that the states take the initiative to restore their rightful role. Too bad Levin missed such a great opportunity to bring non-conservative minds into this movement.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

    For any one interested in law, our history, and what defines our unique American style of self-rule - which was never designed to be a dictatorship of the 51% popular vote. This book does not delve into the controversial topics of today or spout un-examined talking points or partisan rally cries. It deals with the legal history of our constitution and the original intentions and debates behind the Bill of Rights and other amendments. It is not a book of whining disagreement with any one politica For any one interested in law, our history, and what defines our unique American style of self-rule - which was never designed to be a dictatorship of the 51% popular vote. This book does not delve into the controversial topics of today or spout un-examined talking points or partisan rally cries. It deals with the legal history of our constitution and the original intentions and debates behind the Bill of Rights and other amendments. It is not a book of whining disagreement with any one political party, it is an masterpiece through-and-through about the legal limitations the Framers put in place to ensure individual freedom and prevent the over-sized/over-powered federal system we have today. Why is it that current state legislatures have no actual representation in the federal government? Is it really a good idea to have the same officials elected to the same positions over and over and over? Are voter ID requirements anywhere near as Orwellian as some claim? This book answers these questions not from arguing partisan policy but by comparing how the Constitution worked at its founding and how it has often been neglected (even when it was being "reviewed" by courts or administrations). The Constitution is indeed a "living document" and was designed for change and improvement - what worked and was understood 200 years ago will not always be the same in today's world, but where others simply dismiss the Constitution as limited, Mr. Levin shows it is still powerful and valid. It was a profoundly optimistic and inspiring read, even in its darkest revelations about our great nation's legal shortcomings. If nothing else, this book should help to rekindle interest and debate in our Constitution, it's original intentions and shortcomings and what can be done to bring it back to the public forum. Our laws and values are defined there (and in the federalist papers and state constitutions), not solely in the mandates of federal agencies and over-reaching courts.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Davet

    August 10: preview review I heard the audio excepts today on Mark's show from the Liberty Amendments and was encouraged enough to buy a copy. I thought I would the be one of the first to indicate what I thought about the potential solution to the problem that the federal government is imposing on us. This is yet another way that the average countryman can start fighting the hundreds of unconstitutional laws and 80000 pages of regulations that are spitting out of the federal government every year. August 10: preview review I heard the audio excepts today on Mark's show from the Liberty Amendments and was encouraged enough to buy a copy. I thought I would the be one of the first to indicate what I thought about the potential solution to the problem that the federal government is imposing on us. This is yet another way that the average countryman can start fighting the hundreds of unconstitutional laws and 80000 pages of regulations that are spitting out of the federal government every year. I have read Tom Woods' Nullification book and Michael Bolden's tenth amendment center, where the states can Nullify unconstitutional laws like Obamacare, Indefinite detention, Real Id, drug laws, and the travel freedom act. Mark is presenting a 2nd method to control the federal leviathan by proposing many new amendments to the constitution that will protect us from the federal government. According to Article 5 of the constitution , these and other potential amendments will be proposed when 2/3 of the states vote to hold a convention to propose the amendments to the constitution.. After the convention 3/4 of the states have to approve each amendment prior to them becoming part of the constitution. He is hoping to start a new movement with this book to start the process. Our current solution of voting the bums out has not worked for hundreds of years. Your vote is only looked at when there is a tie. There has never been a tie. This is from Nozick tale of a slave here: Tale of Slave 1st chapter of the new book can be read here I know that our current president does not pay much attention to the constitution. If we don't pay attention to the constitution there is nothing to keep him from running for another term or declaring himself the supreme ruler of the United States.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bryn Dunham

    In "Liberty vs. Tyranny", Mark Levin wrote the definitive book on Conservatism. In "Ameritopia", he argued effectively how America has entered a post-constitutional era and that the never ending quest for an unattainable utopian society is not merely destructive but has been sought after by Statists since the dawn of civilization. Now, in "The Liberty Amendments", Levin once again delivers an excellent escape route to restoring America to the image envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution, In "Liberty vs. Tyranny", Mark Levin wrote the definitive book on Conservatism. In "Ameritopia", he argued effectively how America has entered a post-constitutional era and that the never ending quest for an unattainable utopian society is not merely destructive but has been sought after by Statists since the dawn of civilization. Now, in "The Liberty Amendments", Levin once again delivers an excellent escape route to restoring America to the image envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution, via new constitutional amendments. Levin admits that this is not an easy task and was not intended to be so by the Framers as such matters were not to be taken lightly. With each amendment, Levin not only offers the language of each amendment but also offers the justification for its ratification and historical relevance. Levin eloquently argues that since the Progressive Era, power has been substantially and significantly stripped from the states and transferred to a relatively small band of masterminds in the legislative, executive, judicial branches plus a "fourth branch" in an administrative branch of a national government, which was the opposite of what the Framers intended. By restoring the Republic via the Constitution, Levin once again argues with passion that liberty can be preserved from the destructive ends of "do-gooders" and masterminds found in Washington, D.C. "The Liberty Amendments" is an excellent book that offers the readers and leaders alike an escape route from the Statists who seem bent on our destruction in the name of the common good and good intentions. Read this book and place it among the other timeless books by Levin, whose works will not expire upon the next election cycle.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Snell

    In this book from Mark R. Levin, the author makes the proposal that the states call for a States Convention to offer amendments to the Constitution. He begins by debunking the prevailing theory that such a convention could lead to the wholesale destruction of our Constitution as we know it today - much as the Constitutional Convention that was called to amend the Articles of Confederation resulted in the replace of those articles with the Constitution. In the course of the book Mr. Levin suggest In this book from Mark R. Levin, the author makes the proposal that the states call for a States Convention to offer amendments to the Constitution. He begins by debunking the prevailing theory that such a convention could lead to the wholesale destruction of our Constitution as we know it today - much as the Constitutional Convention that was called to amend the Articles of Confederation resulted in the replace of those articles with the Constitution. In the course of the book Mr. Levin suggests eleven potential amendments which (in the aggregate) serve the purpose of restoring the Constitution to the principles of the Founding Fathers. He proposes term limits, a balanced budget, limits on sales taxes, opportunities for the states to amend the Constitution in the future, protections for private property and protection for the integrity of the vote. And in the end, he solicits suggestions for ways to improve these suggestions further. This is an excellent book and should be read by every serious scholar of the Constitution (and every citizen who cares about the future of the country).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jim Brown

    Republican, Democrat, Independent. Doesn't matter. Sooner or later the opposing party will be in office and you will not like what it is doing to America. Mark Levin has identified a solution to not being able to control the people in power and this book defines the solutions currently available to American citizens by identifying 12 Amendments to the U. S. Constitution that can be achieves by State Governments. I would add a 13th and that is that all members of Congress, the White House and the Republican, Democrat, Independent. Doesn't matter. Sooner or later the opposing party will be in office and you will not like what it is doing to America. Mark Levin has identified a solution to not being able to control the people in power and this book defines the solutions currently available to American citizens by identifying 12 Amendments to the U. S. Constitution that can be achieves by State Governments. I would add a 13th and that is that all members of Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court MUST abide and obey all laws and regulations passed by Congress and signed by the President. Time will tell but I think this may be the most important book written in our time.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    Very good book. Explains his point of view clearly and explains the current problems with the Federal government. A lot of people complain about the things that are wrong, but Levin does an excellent job at laying out clear solutions to the problems that many people see with the Federal government.

  8. 5 out of 5

    John

    Article V of the U.S. Constitution enables for Constitutional amendments to be proposed at special conventions called by two-thirds of the state legislatures. These amendments can then be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the state legislatures, thereby bypassing the need for input from the federal government. In theory, this would provide Americans with a method for passing strongly supported legislation that the federal government refuses to implement (usually at the behest of special intere Article V of the U.S. Constitution enables for Constitutional amendments to be proposed at special conventions called by two-thirds of the state legislatures. These amendments can then be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the state legislatures, thereby bypassing the need for input from the federal government. In theory, this would provide Americans with a method for passing strongly supported legislation that the federal government refuses to implement (usually at the behest of special interest groups or powerful donors). In practice, however, there is very little precedent for amending the Constitution in this manner, and to do so represents an uphill battle of the highest order. However, that doesn't make it impossible. THE LIBERTY AMENDMENTS is Mark Levin's attempt to generate momentum for such a convention. It's the same proposal being pushed by Senator Tom Coburn in his 2017 book SMASHING THE D.C. MONOPOLY, for which Levin provided the cover blurb. I wish both men all the luck in the world, but my pessimistic nature tells me they are grasping at straws here. I just don't see two-thirds of state legislatures standing in defiance of the federal government anytime soon. Then again, with Obamacare all set to implode as the (Republican-majority) senate stands idly by and watches impotently while it goes up in flames, perhaps there is cause for hope that someday a super-majority of states will stand up and wrest some of their power back. But even setting all that Article V stuff aside, THE LIBERTY AMENDMENTS is a useful exploration of how American governance has gotten off track. Much of it could be categorized as "conservative talking points," so don't go in expecting anything mind-blowing. However, I thought there were a couple surprises, such as Levin's criticism of the Seventeenth Amendment for decreeing that senators should be chosen through popular election rather than by the state legislatures. At first, Levin's stance on this issue seemed almost anti-democratic, but his explanation of why America was actually better-off under the previous system ultimately made a whole lot of sense. Other of his proposed amendments, such as federal spending caps and term limits for senators, are simply no-brainers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ron Housley

    The Liberty Amendments ©2012 Mark Levin A short book report by Ron Housley “The Liberty Amendments” wound up in my Amazon cart after I succumbed to the cable news blitz plus personal nudging from several friends. Also, as I wrote in my book report on Levin’s prior book, “Ameritopia,” this author does have some penchant for scholarship. All of that was a sufficient hook for me. Levin’s thesis is that the country’s lurch into statism can be reversed if we hold state conventions to amend the Constitut The Liberty Amendments ©2012 Mark Levin A short book report by Ron Housley “The Liberty Amendments” wound up in my Amazon cart after I succumbed to the cable news blitz plus personal nudging from several friends. Also, as I wrote in my book report on Levin’s prior book, “Ameritopia,” this author does have some penchant for scholarship. All of that was a sufficient hook for me. Levin’s thesis is that the country’s lurch into statism can be reversed if we hold state conventions to amend the Constitution. I came to the book sympathetic to its assumptions and goals, but thoroughly pessimistic that any such movement toward state conventions would ever happen. After all, I reasoned, the conservatives couldn’t even figure out how to oppose Obamacare; how in the world are they going to succeed at the much more daunting goal of launching state conventions to propose Constitutional amendments? LEVIN'S BASIC ORIENTATION Like with Calvin Coolidge, Levin’s heart is in the right place. But also like Coolidge, Levin shies away from the all-important MORAL case for liberty. Further, he uses the term, “liberty,” over and over; but nowhere does he explicitly tell us that the central essence of liberty is protection against the use of physical force by others, particularly by government. LEVIN'S BASIC ARGUMENT Levin, like many of us, is deeply troubled by the decline of the West; by the decline of Western values; by the decline of the United States. And he is offering us a way to fix it, to reverse the decline. But what he gives us is an attempt to modify the rules, in the hope that better ideas will follow. To me, it’s like putting the cart before the horse. If ideas determine history, then it is ideas that one must change. Proper ideas aren’t going to evolve merely by tweaking the legal structure (by passing amendments). Besides, the dominant philosophy in our culture wouldn’t support a movement aimed at developing amendments which are ideologically opposed to that culture’s philosophy. Take Levin’s proposal for Term Limits, for example. Notice that California instituted term limits, and what has been the result: more taxes, more regulations, less liberty. And as an extra penalty, the California legislature lost some of its most articulate pro-liberty voices when term limits went into effect. So, given the culture’s current dominant philosophy, wouldn’t any new amendments themselves then become corrupted by the same policies and decisions which have perverted the law for over a century? Levin hovers in an area of critical relevance when he points out the importance of protecting private property. He is only a few steps away from telling us that each American has a right to his own life; a right to use and dispose of his own property as he judges appropriate for him; a right to prosper even if he doesn’t want to sacrifice for a needy neighbor; a right to live for his own sake. I waited nervously for Levin to cross into that discussion; alas, he never did. Hence, the opportunity to make the MORAL case is postponed for yet again. THE 17TH AMENDMENT Levin did have a compelling few pages about the direct election of Senators, the 17th Amendment! Here is his argument. First, realize that the 17th Amendment is just one more manifestation of the rise of Progressivism in America, a tactic to further concentrate power in a centralized government. For those who have not been able to grasp the argument here, just look at how Obamacare was foisted on America by an elite minority. Over 50% of the population in over 50% of the states were against Obamacare, yet 60% of the Senators voted FOR it. Prior to the 17th amendment, those Senators were tied to the states that they represented. So, with the majority of Americans against the permanent lurch to the Left, the majority of Senators would have been similarly against it. But under the 17th amendment, the Senators who voted for Obamacare did not feel connected with the convictions of their own state’s voters. These Senators, instead, were beholden to “lobbyists, campaign funders, national political consultants and national advocacy organizations” (p. 46). We are certain that the majority of states were against Obamacare —when we see that 27 states filed federal litigation to overturn the law. If the Senators from those states were chosen by the state legislatures, our country may have had a reprieve from the nationalization of health care. But don’t count on any groundswell to repeal the 17th amendment. Because Republicans inside the beltway are no longer beholden to the states they represent. With the 17th amendment we lost an important “check and balance” that the Founding Fathers had implemented into the Constitution to prevent concentration of power into the hands of the few. Now, the federal government becomes ever more powerful, undeterred by voting, even when the citizens object. THE IDEA OF NEW AMENDMENTS History has shown that we certainly can’t count on conservatives to stand up on principle. Once conservatives appear on the field of ideas, they are pathetic. But Levin’s amendments idea is a gimmicky way to give conservatives some voice. Since conservatives are proven incompetents when it comes to principled thinking, maybe they could focus on the mechanics of supporting some of these amendments. The conservatives, over all, have not been good on the battlefield of ideas. They are crushed by demagoguery; and they are thoroughly caught up in the altruism which tells them that it is good to force the citizens to sacrifice themselves. The reason that the conservatives lose on this battlefield is because the liberals are “more consistent” in their own advocacy of sacrifice. The more consistent adversary always wins. IN SUMMARY Would the fact that the majority of Americans support statism change if Levin’s amendments were implemented tomorrow? Would passing these amendments change anybody’s mind? Any effort to propose or support these amendments takes time away from advocating underlying ideas that have to come first. But as for the amendments themselves, the world would have to change dramatically to get to the point where these would pass, after which point you wouldn’t need them anyway. So I give Levin high marks for the effort. I sympathize with his fear of mushrooming statism. And I maintain a certain fervor in behalf of holding on to the fragments of liberty that we can still touch. At least Levin’s book brings attention to the problem that we all face as our government continues to grow out of control. His book may help us to focus on the good fight.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This book is a good primer on many of the issues conservatives seem to value today. I’m reading this as a liberal and was surprised to find such a reasonable and balanced explanation of these topics. Personally, I find this method much more convincing and deserving of further consideration that the alarmist and blustery tactics used by those prominent in conservative media. The book was strongest using historical context, but I found the modern examples lacking. This was perhaps done by design t This book is a good primer on many of the issues conservatives seem to value today. I’m reading this as a liberal and was surprised to find such a reasonable and balanced explanation of these topics. Personally, I find this method much more convincing and deserving of further consideration that the alarmist and blustery tactics used by those prominent in conservative media. The book was strongest using historical context, but I found the modern examples lacking. This was perhaps done by design to appeal to the widest audience possible. The heat on some modern debates is still a bit too strong to win over anyone not already predisposed to the positions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Crown

    This book is rated at 4.13? That is ridiculous. This book is a neoconservative nightmare meant to guide the USA into a dystopian future, where we are all enslaved to the corporate structure of "laissez-faire" capitalism for the little man, but obscene socialism for the corporation. Liberty here means both "libertarian" and a freedom only for the rich, slave-owning, white man, much like the Founding Fathers. The "libertarian" cognitive dissonance we see today by the GOP, who simultaneously advoca This book is rated at 4.13? That is ridiculous. This book is a neoconservative nightmare meant to guide the USA into a dystopian future, where we are all enslaved to the corporate structure of "laissez-faire" capitalism for the little man, but obscene socialism for the corporation. Liberty here means both "libertarian" and a freedom only for the rich, slave-owning, white man, much like the Founding Fathers. The "libertarian" cognitive dissonance we see today by the GOP, who simultaneously advocate for corporate bailouts and manufacturing while cutting healthcare, was present at the birth of the United States of America. The Founding Fathers, lionized and glorified for being "ideologically" against slavery, were simultaneously committed to property rights. Notice here, the narrow definition of "liberty." I am free but my slaves cannot be free because they are "property," nothing more. This is why being "ideologically against certain values" does not actually resolving the cognitive dissonances leads to nothing more than gaslighting. "The Founding Fathers were against slavery!" we are taught, yet the facts remain that they kept slaves and used loopholes to hold onto their slaves — which again, they saw as property. No one can utilize American freedom other those very narrowly defined in this hogwash "book." This of course, is the old guard white male: the slave/capital owner. A general overview of the ideas for amendments can be found on Wikipedia: • Impose Congressional term limits • Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, returning the election of Senators to state legislatures • Impose term limits for Supreme Court Justices and restrict judicial review • Require a balanced budget and limit federal spending and taxation. (This seems like a good idea until you realize Levin is talking about pensions, retirements, and healthcare. Basically, you should die if you're not rich.) • Define a deadline to file taxes (one day before the next federal election) • Subject federal departments and bureaucratic regulations to periodic reauthorization and review. (Again, this seems like a good idea on paper until you realize he means we should defund everything because laissez-faire capitalism demands that we "cut red tape." Thus who should decide whether or not a federal department should be reauthorized if the goal is to cut regulation? It is a hypocritical and paradoxical point devoid of any logic or empathy except loyalty to the Money-God.) • Create a more specific definition of the Commerce Clause • Limit eminent domain powers • Allow states to more easily amend the Constitution by bypassing Congress. (Again, this seems like a good idea on paper until you realize he means bypassing congress for slavery laws and minimum wage laws.) • Create a process where two-thirds of the states can nullify federal laws. Like above, he is advocates for "state's rights" which is Newspeak for slavery. • Require photo ID to vote and limit early voting. (This one should need no explanation. This is a voter suppression tactic meant to limit minorities from voting and thus elect the GOP.) The repeal of the 17th amendment would benefit Republicans, which isn't a surprise since Levin wants the sort of tyrannical GOP leadership we've seen from Reaganomics (disaster), Bush I and II (war-mongerers), Nixon (a criminal), and Trump (do I really need to specify?); thanks GOP, you've done well sending the USA to the Middle Ages, like Saudi Arabia; no wonder Republicans get along so well with the people who ordered an assassination on a U.S. resident and journalist and far-right religious figures. Repealing the 17th Amendment and ending Senate elections, on the assumption that any State Legislature will send 2 members of the same political party that controls it, would change the 116th United States Congress composition of 53 Republican, 2 Independent and 45 Democratic members to 62 Republican and 38 Democratic members. There's nothing else to say, really, read Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America to better understand why this book is the Kochs' utopia, and hell for the rest of us. 0 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lance

    I am by no means a fan of Mark Levin, and in fact this book is the only thing written by him that I have read. While I don't agree with everything he proposed in his book, I do agree that we need to have a larger conversation about the principles upon which we will base our society. We need more voices, not less, engaging in dialogue about facts. And Levin does a good job of laying out facts. Our government is filled with corrupt, self-serving politicians who have warped the system slowly but sur I am by no means a fan of Mark Levin, and in fact this book is the only thing written by him that I have read. While I don't agree with everything he proposed in his book, I do agree that we need to have a larger conversation about the principles upon which we will base our society. We need more voices, not less, engaging in dialogue about facts. And Levin does a good job of laying out facts. Our government is filled with corrupt, self-serving politicians who have warped the system slowly but surely to their advantage. Levin proposes several constitutional amendments designed to turn the system back towards its original intent: operation within restrained limits so that the liberty of the people is preserved. I like a number of ideas Levin proposes, though I disagree on a number of points. Perhaps the biggest disagreement I have is with the whole approach of fixing the system through constitutional amendments. That approach assumes that the government or whoever is in power respects the rule of law. That approach won't work with those who think that their agenda and its need of implementation supersede the rule of law. If those in power will do what they want to do anyway, then adjusting the supreme law of the land which they don't respect won't suddenly solve the crisis. You can pass all the constitutional amendments you want to preserve private property rights, for example, but if a government which cares not for the law still wants to take your land, guess what happens. Now, if those in government will actually submit to the law, then amending the Constitution can offer some promise. The bigger problem, though, is not a broken system but rather a broken people. The system is working much as the Founders designed it to work. Those who are elected to represent the people are by and large representative of the people who elected them. So if our government officials are corrupt, it is because we as a society are corrupt. If our government officials are immoral, it is because we as a society are immoral. If our government officials are unethical, it is because we as a society are unethical. Clearly every barrel will have one or two bad apples. And those outliers don't define the distribution. But when we see such abuses of power as we have witnessed on every level of government by those who think it's okay to trample on the Constitution because the people just don't know what's best for them, we see a reflection of what happens on a smaller scale in the lives of individuals --- people who cheat their employers or cheat on their spouses, people who lie because it appears to give them advantage, people who drive with no respect or consideration for others on the road, people who step over others in order to get ahead in their careers or to get that hot deal on Black Friday. The people we complain about in government simply reflect who we are as a larger society. The fix is to back to the home and reinforce family values. One such value is respect. We don't have to agree with everyone in order to live peaceably with them. But to live in peace we need to respect our neighbors. That value is best learned as children by observing parents practice that value and then practicing it ourselves later as adults. So it is with every other virtuous value promoted in home and family. That fix is for the long-term. Political solutions play better to the short-term, and Levin puts his chips on that number. Where some systemic changes are proposed, I don't think Levin goes far enough. For example, he suggests giving power to the states to nullify acts of Congress. The Founders were right to restrict the power of the federal government through a system of checks and balances among three branches. What I think they missed was the fourth branch of government. They thought it was the media, who would keep corruption in check through public criticism. But the state legislatures themselves can play the role of restraining the federal government much better. They should be able to nullify acts of Congress, but they should also be able to overturn Supreme Court rulings and impeach members of the executive branch. The people, as represented by their state legislatures, should be able to constrain the government. Instead what we have seen is government which imposes itself in every aspect of the lives of the people, constraining their liberty. It's all upside down. Levin and I are agreed on one point. We need to engage a dialogue about that next best step, and that dialogue is best held in a convention of states, which has the constitutional authority to institute the type of changes that Levin proposes in his book. Though the powers that be may not all respect the supreme law of the land, that doesn't mean that we the people should also cast it aside. We need to do what lies within our legal power to seek after liberty. I don't agree with all of Levin's points, and I have questions about his approach, but I do recommend his book, if for no other reason than to provide a basis upon which to start a conversation about the society and the legacy that we want to pass on to future generations.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Myron Alexander

    Mark Levin provides an excellent platform for laying out a plan to save the USA. The USA is currently on course to become a has-been country which is very bad for the entire world. The world has depended on it to provide political stability which allows for economic and technological growth. Love it or hate it, this is the reality. Without the USA as it was, before the stateists ruined it, the world will begin to recede into a new dark age. It is already happening. We need the USA to return to i Mark Levin provides an excellent platform for laying out a plan to save the USA. The USA is currently on course to become a has-been country which is very bad for the entire world. The world has depended on it to provide political stability which allows for economic and technological growth. Love it or hate it, this is the reality. Without the USA as it was, before the stateists ruined it, the world will begin to recede into a new dark age. It is already happening. We need the USA to return to its constitutional roots; its people to revive the American Dream and strive to be that place on a hill; a place where others that suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous tyranny can look up and, with hope, shrug off the yoke and stand tall as all humans should. From this review, you may think I am an American right wing "nutjob" but I am not American. I live in a country where people are having the yoke of tyranny slowly placed upon their necks. The freedom of the press has already been curtailed. Government hides its corruption under "The Protection Of Information Act" which makes it a severe crime to publish "confidential" government documents. Only their greed and general incompetence has prevented the institution of total tyranny but they grow confident and are no longer afraid of backlash from the middle class. They now brazenly drain the economy of life-blood as they build "Elysiums" for themselves. Our political system is one election away from becoming irrelevant. I live in Africa, and this is normal for Africa. It is too late for this continent, don't let it be too late for yours.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    Published by Simon and Schuster Audio in August of 2013. Narrated by Jason Culp. Opening and closing chapters read by Mark R. Levin. Duration: 6 hours, 54 minutes. For the past several years Conservative commentator Mark R. Levin has been laying out his arguments that demonstrate the government is over-reaching its Constitutional limitations in a series of books. He has discussed the Supreme Court in Men in Black , the roots of statist politics in Liberty and Tyranny and pointed out the ongo Published by Simon and Schuster Audio in August of 2013. Narrated by Jason Culp. Opening and closing chapters read by Mark R. Levin. Duration: 6 hours, 54 minutes. For the past several years Conservative commentator Mark R. Levin has been laying out his arguments that demonstrate the government is over-reaching its Constitutional limitations in a series of books. He has discussed the Supreme Court in Men in Black , the roots of statist politics in Liberty and Tyranny and pointed out the ongoing actions of statists in Ameritopia . Now, in The Liberty Amendments , Levin details how he would address the problem using a series of Constitutional amendments. Since it is unlikely that the current crop of Senators and Representatives would vote to amend the Constitution and limit their power, Levin urges the states to initiate the process by calling for a national convention. His proposed amendments include: -Term limits for Congress (12 years); -Repeal the 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators) and let states legislatures choose them (the way most states did it before the 17th Amendement); -12 year term limits for members of the Supreme Court... Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2013/... Read all of my reviews of books by Mark Levin at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/searc...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    The systematic centralization of governmental power and violation of the Constitution has been happening since FDR and Mark Levin blows it all out into the open with The Liberty Amendments. This isn't a 'soap box' book. This is well thought out with direct references to support his views. The Constitution isn't broken. It has just been twisted and allowed to be corrupted by the very people who will do anything to maintain their power over the states and individuals. Mark Levin makes a compelling The systematic centralization of governmental power and violation of the Constitution has been happening since FDR and Mark Levin blows it all out into the open with The Liberty Amendments. This isn't a 'soap box' book. This is well thought out with direct references to support his views. The Constitution isn't broken. It has just been twisted and allowed to be corrupted by the very people who will do anything to maintain their power over the states and individuals. Mark Levin makes a compelling argument and plea for citizens to retake America through legal and credible means. The genius of the Framer's in providing, what Levin calls, a "backstop" for American citizens to pass Constitutional Amendments via Constitutional Convention called by States not Congress, is a testament to the brilliant men who formed our country. This isn't left wing or right wing. This is about restoring the proper distribution of power across the three branches of government, restoring the intended power of state rights, and protecting citizens from a handful of individuals who serve their own power interests rather than the country. This should be required reading for high school government classes but doubt it will be an 'approved' text. A dumb populace is easier to control. Thanks Mark Levin for providing a road map. All we need now is the courage to take action.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Beccihall

    We all know greatness when we see it, and Mr. Levin's "Liberty Admendments" sets a new standard. He has done an exceptional job supporting his views, and the Amendments, with historical and modern-day facts. He, wisely, omits the "social issues" of our time because America's troubles are systemic. As such, I didn't have to block out any agenda-driven noise; I got to read a smart, respectful and fresh depiction of an approach to solving our 21st century tyranny problem. ALERT! Give this book an HO We all know greatness when we see it, and Mr. Levin's "Liberty Admendments" sets a new standard. He has done an exceptional job supporting his views, and the Amendments, with historical and modern-day facts. He, wisely, omits the "social issues" of our time because America's troubles are systemic. As such, I didn't have to block out any agenda-driven noise; I got to read a smart, respectful and fresh depiction of an approach to solving our 21st century tyranny problem. ALERT! Give this book an HONEST read before concluding your status quo is acceptable! Be an American, first. Throw out the labels. Don't listen to the nay-sayers. Use common sense. I promise you will be enlightened! Thank you, Mr. Levin, for sharing this with all of US! (p.s. Amendment Convention? BRING IT!)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paul Kurtz

    I agreed with Levin's point of view and thought the amendments he proposed were excellent. However, I think there is a fundamental flaw in the book. I see no way that there will be enough state legislatures willing to petition congress for a constitutional convention to amend the constitution. Politicians use local and state offices as stepping stones to higher offices. They are just as corrupt as the U.S. congressmen and senators who Levin says will be unwilling to amend the constitution becaus I agreed with Levin's point of view and thought the amendments he proposed were excellent. However, I think there is a fundamental flaw in the book. I see no way that there will be enough state legislatures willing to petition congress for a constitutional convention to amend the constitution. Politicians use local and state offices as stepping stones to higher offices. They are just as corrupt as the U.S. congressmen and senators who Levin says will be unwilling to amend the constitution because they are statists who are getting fat off the present state of corruption. State politicians will be unwilling to amend the constitution for the same reason. They hope to one day get their turn at being corrupt statists.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lynette

    This was one of the most provocative books I had read in a long time. I only thought I understood the constitution and how "we the people" are really not getting a deal from our three houses of government. The congress, senate, president and supreme court all need an overall. It takes we the people to get out and vote and demand what the founders of the this great nation intended. My family have fought, bled and died for the United States of America, before it was the United States of America. I This was one of the most provocative books I had read in a long time. I only thought I understood the constitution and how "we the people" are really not getting a deal from our three houses of government. The congress, senate, president and supreme court all need an overall. It takes we the people to get out and vote and demand what the founders of the this great nation intended. My family have fought, bled and died for the United States of America, before it was the United States of America. I am proud to be an American. I just want my libery and freedon restored as outlined in this book. Mark Levin has invoked the heart of America in this book as he has done in others he has written. Well written and spells out what America has been and can be again. Thank you for this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    For the last couple years I have said to anyone who would listen; "the best way to fix our government is to repeal the 17th Amendment". It is nice to see that someone else agrees with me at least in part. Levin's "Liberty Amendments" is not so artfully crafted as "Liberty and Tyranny" but it never was meant to be. It is well thought out and very carefully researched and seems best served to start a conversation. In the epilogue Levin states "Rational debate stimulates improvement by tapping into For the last couple years I have said to anyone who would listen; "the best way to fix our government is to repeal the 17th Amendment". It is nice to see that someone else agrees with me at least in part. Levin's "Liberty Amendments" is not so artfully crafted as "Liberty and Tyranny" but it never was meant to be. It is well thought out and very carefully researched and seems best served to start a conversation. In the epilogue Levin states "Rational debate stimulates improvement by tapping into the experience, knowledge, and judgment of others." While I don't agree completely with all the amendments suggested by Levin and I think there were a couple important areas that were left untouched; it is a very interesting way to open the discussion. Let the debate begin!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    The author purposes eleven amendments to the US Constitution which he feels would return America to being a Republic. These amendments cover taxes to term limits to nullifying federal laws and actions. He does not really address thee Bill of Rights which include the Ninth and Tenth Amendments which clearly define limits of federal authority. The book does make for a thoughtful read, especially in an era with Congress abdicating power to the president, a Supreme Court that legislates from the ben The author purposes eleven amendments to the US Constitution which he feels would return America to being a Republic. These amendments cover taxes to term limits to nullifying federal laws and actions. He does not really address thee Bill of Rights which include the Ninth and Tenth Amendments which clearly define limits of federal authority. The book does make for a thoughtful read, especially in an era with Congress abdicating power to the president, a Supreme Court that legislates from the bench, and a president who unilaterally dictates law. This was a free advance review copy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    Excellent book on how to get our country back to the way our founding fathers wanted it to be. It is engrossing, although t times a bit hard to read and understand especially if you are not well versed in the Constitution and the law. Hopefully, many will read it and see how far afield we have come to what the law of our land was established for. For those that want our country back, this is a must read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    David Robins

    It is, at least, a fairly _good_ rearrangement of the deck chairs, although fails to realize that the progressisivism target is merely a symptom, and that slavery is not to be "fixed" but abolished. It's also funny to see him calling out others as statist; rather a pot-kettle-black to a voluntaryist. As an incremental improvement, it would work, but liberty will not be voted in; it never has been. It is, at least, a fairly _good_ rearrangement of the deck chairs, although fails to realize that the progressisivism target is merely a symptom, and that slavery is not to be "fixed" but abolished. It's also funny to see him calling out others as statist; rather a pot-kettle-black to a voluntaryist. As an incremental improvement, it would work, but liberty will not be voted in; it never has been.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sylvester

    Mark Levin demonstrated his knowledge of American history in The Liberty Amendments. He proposed a few new amendments to strength the constitution such as introducing term limits for senators, supreme court justices; more efficient budget to curb debt ceiling, restoring the rights to the people from tyrants. A very insightful and well annotated book, though I think it would make most progressives fall asleep as big words are lost on them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Vanness

    High School & College students should have it required reading. An analysis of the validity of Levin's reasoning for extra credit would be nice. My introductive required reading was a world history volumn of six or eight hundred pages that was quite old. Needless to say I enjoyed it. High School & College students should have it required reading. An analysis of the validity of Levin's reasoning for extra credit would be nice. My introductive required reading was a world history volumn of six or eight hundred pages that was quite old. Needless to say I enjoyed it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This man needs to run for public office. Preferably the Senate. Or Presidency. Great, great read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lily Brown

    I recently read the book The Liberty Amendments by Mark Levin. The Liberty Amendments describes a set of amendments Levin proposes be added to Constitution of the United States of America. Most of the amendments he proposes cover issues like states’ rights, personal liberty, and reduction of the federal government. Levin is biased like every author, but carefully researches material that is accurate and presents in a way that lets the reader decide if the amendment is valid. Even with the recogn I recently read the book The Liberty Amendments by Mark Levin. The Liberty Amendments describes a set of amendments Levin proposes be added to Constitution of the United States of America. Most of the amendments he proposes cover issues like states’ rights, personal liberty, and reduction of the federal government. Levin is biased like every author, but carefully researches material that is accurate and presents in a way that lets the reader decide if the amendment is valid. Even with the recognition of his bias, Levin lacks in his crossover thinking and validation of the modern governmental climate. I began reading this book with a different mindset than I came out with, and Levin’s sources and uncovering of research not always widely known helped me come to conclusions that I hadn’t thought of before. This book is steeped in ideas of returning government power to the states and the local legislator. Levin depends heavily on the original writings in the Constitution and the ideas that dominated the making of the original document. This includes states’ rights, predominantly. The original colonies were fearful of large government because of their historical conflict with England. Without just representation in the body that governed them, the Framers created a constitution that allowed for the most transparent and limited government, one that never again would take advantage of those who occupied the nation. Levin proposes a return to this mindset, as he evaluated that American today is the opposite of what was first established. With these ideas driving the book, Levin caters his amendments to a specific audience: the “Silent Majority” and the quieted voter. Levin writes to appeal to the average American who feels their voice isn’t being heard and their government is controlling them, rather than the other way around. This American is one who desires their government be handed back to them and their vote to actually count. This American wants the issues in their backyard resolved and cares less about issues thousands of miles away. This American wishes to cut the politics out of Washington and return to the political service of politicians. What this book lacks is an evaluation of the other side of the coin, and the viewpoint of the other half. While Levin addresses the possible negatives of the proposed amendments, he lacks in his truthful and honest assessment of what the other side of the ticket may think. His amendments offer little compromise, which would make it nearly impossible to be accepted by the entirety of Americans. Levin proposes changes to the Constitution that are radical, in frank words, and they offer little flexibility. All in all, his amendments lack practicality and thoroughness for the realistic American social and political climate. In conclusion, Levin offers an informative, well researched, politically acute proposition of amendments that appeal to a largely conservative audience. This mindfulness is effective, yet it misses an opportunity to be realistic in showing how a limited government might help your country better itself. With this lacking, the book still presents eye opening solutions to problems that are widespread and concern many Americans. Levin is concise and well written, with a vision of both sides of an argument, but a lacking of realistic carrying out.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Bredesen

    With regards to the balanced budget amendment (BBA) in the book I think that a rigid BBA is bad meaning that government can't run debts, because during times of recession and depression it is natural that government would have to spend more in order to meet the needs of its citizens, so I would have one that allows for debts to increase to say let's say 30% of GDP. How I came to that number? The debt to GDP ratio during the great depression increased 27%, and I just rounded up to 30%. It's a rou With regards to the balanced budget amendment (BBA) in the book I think that a rigid BBA is bad meaning that government can't run debts, because during times of recession and depression it is natural that government would have to spend more in order to meet the needs of its citizens, so I would have one that allows for debts to increase to say let's say 30% of GDP. How I came to that number? The debt to GDP ratio during the great depression increased 27%, and I just rounded up to 30%. It's a rough number; it could be different. This would be in many ways like the BBA that Indiana has that reads: "No law shall authorize any debt to be contracted, on behalf of the State, except in the following cases: to meet casual deficits in the revenue; to pay the interest on the State Debt; to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities be threatened, provide for the public defense." I would also only apply this rate of 30% of which government can go into debt to domestic spending and not military spending. During times of recessions it is not needed to increases military spending, but social welfare programs, but I will add for an exemption to the BBA as it relates to military spending in times of war. And I to be honest I do not know why he has a mandatory 5% cut in spending, but he says in the next section that expenditures have to meet revenues. What if the cut creates surplus or still leaves debt? I would say if the debt surpassed something like 30% of GDP across the board cuts would take place in order to meet that mark of a minimum of 30% debt to GDP. Likewise, I wouldn't have a simple way in which you can bypass the amendment with a 3/5 vote. I think that would nullify the purpose of the amendment and exemptions to this amendment shouldn't be general, but be for specific reasons. Like I would allow for debts of 30% of GDP or some other amount and I would allow for unlimited debts to compiled in times of war if it was declared by congress as Article 1 Section 8 says. This would also be a great way to make sure that the President appeals to congress to declare war. Lastly, I wouldn't cap spending to a certain amount, because I think that that is presently a very open debate and shouldn't be dogmatically answered, but what I would do is make spending increases subject to a supermajority, while taxes would be subject to a majority as they are now. I think that history has taught us that it is easier to cut taxes than cut spending and visa versa therefore to naturally balance the desire to tax with the desire to spend I would have that provision in there. I would also like to add, because at times we have can a surplus namely under Anred Jackson and state's tend to run lower debt than the federal government a part that says that any budget surpluses would be sent back to the people that paid them; this would not account for a expenditures that are put aside for future potential spending our a "rainy day fund." So it would look like: Section 1: Congress shall adopt a preliminary fiscal year budget not later then the first Monday in May for the following fiscal year, and submit said budget to the President for consideration. Section 2: Shall congress fail to adopt a final year budget prior to the start of each fiscal year, which shall commence on October 1 of each year, and shall the President fail to sign said budget into law, an automatic, across-the-board, reduction in expenditures from the prior year's fiscal budget shall be imposed for the fiscal year in which a budget has not been adopted to an extent that it is necessary to keep the debt no larger than 30% of GDP for domestic spending as a percentage of the budget in proportion with revenues, while military expenditures are to be no larger than tax expenditures as a percent of the budget in proportion with revenues. Section 3: Total receipts shall not include those derived from borrowing. Total outlaws shall include all outlays or the United States government those for the repayments of debt principal. Section 4: Congress may provide for a suspension of Section 2 of this Amendment in times of war provided that it is declared by congress according to Article 1 Section 8, but only for military spending; domestic spending is still subject to being no larger than 30% of GDP. Section 5: All spending increases are to subject to a supermajority. Section 6: All budget surpluses either military or domestic are to be sent back to the people that paid them. This does not account for expenditures set aside for future potential spending or a "rainy day fund." Section 7: This Amendment shall take effect in the fourth fiscal year after its ratification. I think that with regards to the court it needs to be independent and any way that you go about it an override would strip it of its independence to some degree. I think the argument for term limits could be made along the times that it keeps them from being puffed up with price. Also he just lists a bunch of bad decisions, and they are not perfect, and also I would have to look into why they made those decisions, but it seems that his thoughts almost nullify the authority of the SC and brings it to "priesthood of all citizens." Likewise I would argue whether the amendment process is enough to reverse a bad decision. He simply says well they would simply distort the constitution again. My point is that what it the purpose of the SC then. His trust is pretty much at zero. With regards to the commerce clause it goes back to the original point. Wouldn't it be better to let the SC interpret what it means, but secondly it might be good narrow it, but the difference it "redefining" and making it something different. With regards to the amendment protecting private property I think that it is a great idea. The founders never had excessive regulations that could devalue your property. The question is to what extent should it reimbursed. the 7th amendment has $20 for jury trials, which equals about $540 in 2013, but I think that this number could be determines by looking at things like lawyer, judge ect. fees and seeing where it would not longer make sense to seek reimbursement. With regards to the amendment to protect the vote he doesn't go in enough detail to argue that voter fraud is a big deal, but I think that he does make a good point on the topic of us not having a way to see if someone is a citizen or non-citizen. Rand Paul proposed the idea of having a list of people that come here on visas and have it sent to the voting booth. I also had some other ideas like Rand Paul's amendment saying a just law applies equally to government officials as well as citizens (congress exempting them from both Obamacare and Social Security in the past) This could be a good idea with regards bringing back what our Republic should have originally been (are kings above the law?). I also have liked a lot of Milton Friedman's economic bill of rights in his book "Free to Choose." A free trade amendment along side the original commerce clause would be good. I also think that an anti-monopoly amendment is very, very important. It could take the lines of the 2nd amendment: "the rights of the people to trade goods and services in an environment free from monopolistic behavior; all government expenditures, and regulations ought to be non-monopolistic in nature." This would be in relation to the idea of "too big too fail" and making sure that markets have what they ought to have: minimal barriers to entry. Lastly, I think that at times there can be a sediment that the courts job is to filter out bad laws, and that congress doesn't have an obligation to seek to uphold it. I might add a 3rd provision between "yea" and "nay" for normal votes and it would be "nay because I think that it is unconstitutional." If there were enough of these and "yeas" it would continue to go through and if signed by the president it would be sent to the SC. If rules constitutional it would become law. Besides that I think that this book was good. The one things that I might take criticism with is that at times it seems that all you have to do is quote the founding fathers to make your point. I appreciate that, but to a point.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Miles Fowler

    1CThe Liberty Amendments 1D is first and foremost a highly thoughtful working through of proposed amendments to the United States Constitution by talk-show host and former government attorney Mark Levin. It is also an exploration of what has gone wrong in the development of federal power over the past two centuries and of a little-known remedy built into the Constitution itself. But more about that later. Most of the book is devoted to ten amendments that Levin has written himself, but which wo 1CThe Liberty Amendments 1D is first and foremost a highly thoughtful working through of proposed amendments to the United States Constitution by talk-show host and former government attorney Mark Levin. It is also an exploration of what has gone wrong in the development of federal power over the past two centuries and of a little-known remedy built into the Constitution itself. But more about that later. Most of the book is devoted to ten amendments that Levin has written himself, but which would not likely be proposed or approved by a sitting Congress because these amendments tend to limit federal power and, in several cases, directly counter the authority of the Congress and other branches of the federal government by granting power to the state governments to check the federal government. These amendments are well thought out in that they do not give states cart blanch to go back and change laws written years before. So that while these measures allow the states, through their legislatures, to undo acts of Congress and even decisions of the Supreme Court (they also allow Congress to undo High Court decisions) these countermeasures would have to be launched within a specified number of months after the legislation or decision and would require super-majority votes of either two-thirds or three-fourths. Levin 19s amendments would not make it possible to exercise these checks of federal power frivolously, but if there were enough widespread opposition to any federal measure or decision, it could be neutered fairly quickly. These amendments would rebalance the power exercised in U.S. civic life, taking supreme powers previously enjoyed by the branches of the federal government and putting them under the power of the states where they could be overruled whenever they prove to be sufficiently unpopular. In some cases, Levin 19s proposed amendments are a reaction to the undermining of intent of the original U.S. Constitution, which has crept toward ever more federal control over state sovereignty over the centuries and especially during the past century. Where the intended purposes of government and relations between the state and federal governments have been changed over time in ways that Levin deems impossible to return to their original condition, he has opted to limit federal power in ways that only indirectly address the imbalance. For example, the power of the judiciary under the Constitution, which allowed it to review laws, has been used from early on to give the Supreme Court wider and wider powers of interpretation to the point where 1Cjudicial review 1D implies an almost unlimited authority to rewrite laws and expand and even radically alter the meanings of constitutional provisions to the point where their Framers would find them unrecognizable. Levin despairs that the philosophy behind such abuses is too entrenched to defeat it by reiterating the proper understanding of the Constitution 19s original intent or by reforming the curriculum of our law schools. He therefore attacks the problem by proposing term limits for the Court. This kind of indirect approach, evident in some of his proposals, reminds me of the song about the old lady who swallowed the spider to catch the fly. One problem is deemed insoluble by attacking it directly; so, instead, another measure will be introduced in order to counteract the problem. However, this is not said as a fatal criticism of his proposal, because he is probably right that this would be a more effective way of combating an error than would be a lengthy review of every past Court decision in order to overturn those that misinterpreted the letter of the law or misapplied precedents that were already contradictory to the law. Term limits would solve the problem with much less mess, even though, as Levin recognizes, it would work only if more judicious men and women were appointed to take the places of the retiring justices. What is exciting about the best of these amendments is that they create specific legal steps by which the states, usually through their legislatures, can check and counter acts by the federal government. They provide exactly the measures that the Anti-Federalist delegates to the state ratifying conventions in 1788 rightly pointed out were missing from the Constitution, and which they asked for, but never got, from the original Constitution and its Federalist advocates: lawful measures that would allow states to stand up to the 1Cgeneral 1D or federal government. Even Hamilton and Madison, in the 1CFederalist Papers, 1D both appealed to armed insurrection as the most specifiable resort to which the states could turn under the Constitution, if they did not like what the federal government was doing to them! The idea that set Levin to thinking about new amendments that might be proposed even though the Congress itself would never approve them, is that of the 1Cconvention of states, 1D which is mentioned in Article V of the U.S. Constitution as one of two ways that the document might be amended. It actually does what most of Levin 19s amendments do: allows the state legislatures to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution whether Congress likes them or not. Throughout U.S. history, the only amendments that have been successfully added to the Constitution have been proposed by Congress and passed by a supermajority of both houses, then ratified by three-fourths of the states. There have been several times when the other method allowed by Article V, the Convention of the States, has been attempted but it has not come to pass. This process is described approvingly in 1CThe Federalist Papers 1D by both James Madison (Paper #43) and Alexander Hamilton (Paper #85). Advocates of this approach have included President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Senator Everett Dirksen, and Levin cites Professor Robert G. Natelson as a leading advocate whose published legal writings led Levin himself from skepticism to enthusiasm. Levin deals with objections that the Convention of the States might become a runaway Constitutional Convention that would rewrite the Constitution entirely. This notion is quite a popular objection, but it requires a degree of paranoia bred of ignorance of the fact that the language of Article V makes the Convention of the States a process hemmed in by a narrow legal mandate to write amendments only and to submit them for ratification to the other states, requiring three fourths of them to vote for any new amendments just as is the case under the method where Congress submits new amendments to the states. It is interesting to note that in one of his amendments, Levin suggests that the process of the Convention of the States itself be changed so that there would not need to be a national convention of the states. Under Levin 19s proposal, each state could meet separately and propose amendments. The only problem with this, for which Levin specifies a solution, is that each state, without the consultation of the other states, would be likely to come up with completely different and incompatible amendments; so Levin includes a provision that each amendment voted upon by all of the states must be worded exactly the same in order to become an amendment to the Constitution. When I first heard Levin talk about his idea, I thought was brilliant. Having read his book now, I find that 1Cbrilliant 1D is not strong enough a word. It seems to me that Levin 19s proposed amendments are what James Madison might have come up with had he had the benefit of looking back on two and a quarter centuries of American constitutional history. If not Madison, then certainly Thomas Jefferson would have approved.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Warren

    This is my favorite Mark Levin book I’ve read so far. Like many of his books, it’s well researched and includes quotes from historical documents that are interesting and give insight to what the framers intended. I don’t agree with all of his amendments but it’s unlikely they would be proposed by any legislator without revision anyway. It is unusual to find a book like this that makes such concrete proposals and I suppose that is why he wrote it, to answer the question he likely gets often as a This is my favorite Mark Levin book I’ve read so far. Like many of his books, it’s well researched and includes quotes from historical documents that are interesting and give insight to what the framers intended. I don’t agree with all of his amendments but it’s unlikely they would be proposed by any legislator without revision anyway. It is unusual to find a book like this that makes such concrete proposals and I suppose that is why he wrote it, to answer the question he likely gets often as a constitutional scholar and political commentator, “What then, would you suggest we do?” It’s also worth noting, I believe, that conservatives like Levin do not object to writing new laws or constitutional amendments. Often portrayed as luddites, no the idea isn’t to resist all change. But to preserve the system of government which is itself designed to provide checks on power and preserve individual rights. The founders provided a means to enact amendment without legislating from the bench and the amendment process is supposed to be difficult. The gridlock is a feature, not a flaw.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brent Soderstrum

    I was a tad disappointed in this book. I am a big Mark Levin fan. I listen to his podcast and watch him when he is on FOX. I like, and agree, with his proposed amendments to the Constitution. The presentation of his ideas is a little dry, however. Levin states that there are 10 amendments that need to be added to the Constitution. He states that the amendments should go through the states, instead of the federal government as the previous amendments have. Amendments include term limits for Congre I was a tad disappointed in this book. I am a big Mark Levin fan. I listen to his podcast and watch him when he is on FOX. I like, and agree, with his proposed amendments to the Constitution. The presentation of his ideas is a little dry, however. Levin states that there are 10 amendments that need to be added to the Constitution. He states that the amendments should go through the states, instead of the federal government as the previous amendments have. Amendments include term limits for Congress; having the Senate selected by the state legislatures; limiting federal spending; limiting bureaucracy; and allowing states to check Congress. The only one I struggled with was putting term limits on the Supreme Court and giving the states the ability to override the Supreme Court. I thought his amendment for voting was directly on point with the mess that happened with the 2020 election. This idea should be implemented immediately.

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