The Vitality of the American Sovereign
In this book review, I examine Christian Fritz's "American Sovereigns: The People and America's Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War." I dispute Fritz's claim that Americans today have essentially ceded their sovereign prerogatives to government officials. Contrary to Fritz's suggestion, ordinary Americans do still sometimes intervene directly in day-to-day governmental affairs in ways that are unauthorized by their elected leaders, and they do alter their constitutional landscape by means other than those formally authorized by Article V. Americans have determined that their long-term interests are often best served by manifesting their sovereign desires through extended interactions with government officials and institutions--interactions that permit the sovereign people to retain ultimate control over their government and their Constitution, but that permit government institutions to retain the credibility and power that they need in order to do the people's work.
Todd E. Pettys. "The Vitality of the American Sovereign" Michigan Law Review 108.6 (2010): 939-955.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/todd_pettys/11