We the People

We the People_cover

Erwin Chemerinsky
We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century
(Picador, September 2018)


From “one of the shining lights of legal academia” (New York Times), We the People is a progressive guide to recognizing the power and promise of the Preamble and the Constitution to protect and defend our individual human rights and liberties against the conservative assault on our founding text.

University of California Berkeley Dean and respected legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky expertly exposes how conservatives are using the Constitution to advance their own agenda that favors business over consumers and employers, and government power over individual rights.

But exposure is not enough. Progressives have spent too much of the last forty-five years trying to preserve the legacy of the Warren Court’s most important rulings and reacting to the Republican-dominated Supreme Courts by criticizing their erosion of rights—but have not yet developed a progressive vision for the Constitution itself. Yet, if we just look to the promise of the Preamble—liberty and justice for all—and take seriously its vision, a progressive reading of the Constitution can lead us forward as we continue our fight ensuring democratic rule, effective government, justice, liberty, and equality.

Includes the Complete Constitution and Amendments of the United States of America.


Praise for Erwin Chemerinsky

“A catalyst for fundamentally changing the nation’s most important and . . . least democratic institution . . . A scholar with intellectual power, passion and pluck.”Los Angeles Review of Books

“One of the shining lights of legal academia.”The New York Times

Praise for Free Speech on Campus

“At a time when freedom of speech on college campuses is under serious attack, Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman offer a concise and powerful defense of academic freedom that every college administrator should read.”―Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, The University of Chicago

“As free speech conflicts on college campuses seem to arise with ever greater frequency, the need for a top to bottom analysis of how to think about the topic has become all the more urgent. With this book, we finally have it, a subtle yet passionate―and easily readable―overview that should guide all students as well as the rest of us.”―Floyd Abrams, author of The Soul of the First Amendment

Praise for The Conservative Assault on the Constitution

“Our Constitution depends on the courts to keep it alive; we all depend on Erwin Chemerinsky to remind us why that is so important. This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about preserving our constitutional birthright.”―Susan N. Herman, President, Amerian Civil Liberties Union

“Erwin Chemerinsky knows the Constitution as a legal scholar and the Supreme Court as a lawyer who represents clients there. It’s a rare and powerful combination that makes him uniquely qualified to write this disturbing and persuasive book about the impact of the current Supreme Court’s approach to constitutional interpretation.”―Linda Greenhouse, lecturer, Yale Law School; former New York Times Supreme Court correspondent


Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding dean, distinguished professor of law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, University of California, Irvine, School of Law. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and elsewhere. His books include The Conservative Assault on the Consitution (Simon & Schuster, 2010) and The Case Against the Supreme Court (Viking, 2014), among many others. In January 2017, National Jurist magazine again named him the most influential person in legal education in the U.S.