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The Constitutional Divide
The Private and Public Sectors in American Law

William P. Kreml

An original reinterpretation of U.S. Constitutional development

William P. Kreml contends that the sectoral divide—the division between the public and private sectors and not the divisions among America's political institutions as traditionally understood—makes up the historically and ideologically most significant separation within American law. In light of this division, he reinterprets American Constitutional development, tracing the evolution of the private and public sectors through the Magna Carta, Edward I, Coke, Blackstone, and others and assessing the impact of the English sectoral divide on the U.S. Constitution.

Kreml writes that the evolution of the ideological argument between the English common law and English state law had a direct impact on the development of the private and public jurisdictions within the pre-Constitutional American states as well as on the Constitutional argument between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The same ideological differentiation, Kreml maintains, underpinned the highly distinctive ideological perspectives of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Finally, Kreml traces the sectoral divide through U.S. legal history, arguing, for example, that Roe v. Wade is not a privacy case as is commonly believed and that the open housing case of Shelley v. Kraemer is not a public-sector-enhancing case but rather a ratification of private common law principles used to further a public purpose. Kreml employs a sectoral analysis to what he believes is the Burger Court's incorrect decision in the campaign finance case of Buckley v. Valeo, and he offers an original reinterpretation of the judicial activism of the Warren Court and the differentiation between early Constitutional and Warren-era forms of political majoritarianism.

William P. Kreml is a distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of South Carolina. The creator of an original political philosophy known as psychological relativism, Kreml is the author of seven books on law, political economy, psychology and politics, and political theory.

"Kreml provides a fine reinterpretation of the Warren Court and differences between early Constitutional and Warren-era forms of political decision-making."
The Bookwatch

"Kreml's well-reasoned and original work constructs a fourfold framework for US constitutional development: the ideological interests involved, the institutional conflicts, the evolution of key legal and political concepts (particularly the contract), and the dividing line between the public and private sectors."—R. A. Strickland, Appalachian State University



book jacket for The Constitutional Divide


6 x 9
224 pages
ISBN 978-1-57003-111-3
hardcover, $34.95s


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