## Political Numeracy: Mathematical Perspectives on Our Chaotic ConstitutionFrom the Impossibility of a perfectly democratic vote to the creation of a model that clarifies affirmative action debates, law professor and math enthusiast Michael Meyerson uses mathematics to open a fresh, exciting window onto American public life. In thoroughly accessible and entertaining terms, Meyerson applies mathematical concepts of infinity to the abortion debate; shows how the "prisoner's dilemma" from game theory relates to interstate commerce disputes; provides a surprising arithmetical justification of the Electoral College; and uses topology to understand the shape of American government and Godel's incompleteness theorem to shed new light on metaconstitutional problems, such as whether we need to appoint independent prosecutors to investigate presidential wrongdoing. With admirable clarity, Meyerson shows us how math, properly understood, is not about reducing life to numbers and black-and-white solutions but instead offers a mind-expanding perspective on the complexities of our world. |

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### Contents

Acknowledgments | 9 |

Preface | 11 |

The Ugliest Number in the Constitution | 15 |

Logic Healthy and III | 21 |

Majority Rules | 46 |

The Positive Value of Consensus | 69 |

The First Veto | 80 |

What Does Equality Equal? | 89 |

Infinity and the Constitution | 146 |

The Incomplete Constitution | 160 |

Constitutional Chaos | 183 |

The Mathematics of Limits | 207 |

The Limits of Mathematics | 215 |

Notes | 221 |

Permissions | 275 |

Index | 275 |