One of the ill-concealed subtexts of my book Our Undemocratic Constitution is that my colleagues in the legal academy pay much too much attention to the rights-conferring parts of the Constitution (which are often exactly what Madison predicted they would be, “parchment barriers” that are all too permeable given the right degree of public panic and malleable judges) and too little attention to the “hard-wired” structural features that, I now believe, explain much more about the actualities of American politics than do the clauses that law professors fixate on.

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