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Constitutional Faith$
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Sanford Levinson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152400

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152400.001.0001

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Constitutional “Attachment”: Identifying the Content of One’s Commitment

Constitutional “Attachment”: Identifying the Content of One’s Commitment

(p.122) Chapter Four Constitutional “Attachment”: Identifying the Content of One’s Commitment
Constitutional Faith

Sanford Levinson

Princeton University Press

Chapter 3 considered the merits of loyalty oaths in general. It left unexamined an assumption of the debate about requiring such oaths—that they have some genuine content. This chapter examines that assumption: What exactly is one affirming when pledging loyalty to the Constitution or announcing one’s “constitutional faith”? It is possible that the national covenant is without content, or at least is unspecifiable? The chapter includes an intensive examination of one particular case requiring what might be termed as a “meta-analysis” of the Constitution. The subject matter of the case involves the meaning of the “attachment” to the Constitution required in order to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Keywords:   constitutional faith, civil religion, U.S. Constitution, loyalty

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