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  • The Constitution: Model, Resource, or Outlier?

    The United States Constitution is the oldest written constitution still in use.

    A little more than 225 years ago, there was a meeting of the greatest political minds that had ever been assembled. Each American colony sent its brightest citizens to revise the failing Articles of Confederation.

    The Framers of the Constitution were well read in history, political philosophy, and law. They had deep disagreements on the role and structure of government. Meeting in secret, the Framers were able to debate and freely discuss these issues, which allowed them to make compromises that would have labeled them as “flip-floppers” if made in the public forum.

    As a result of those compromises, the U.S. Constitution provides for a limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism. This was a grand experiment in government.

    The U.S. Constitution has been such a success that other nations are continually moving toward written constitutions.

    When asked whether Egypt should model its constitution after that of the U.S., Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012.”

    This prompts some questions. Is the U.S. Constitution a model, a resource, or an outlier? What effect has the U.S. Constitution had on recently adopted constitutions of other nations?

    Join us this Thursday at noon for the continuation of our seven-part Preserve the Constitution lecture series. Our keynote speaker will be the Honorable Dr. István Stumpf, Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Hungary. Our panelists will include Jeremy Rabkin of the George Mason University College of Law; Ron Rotunda, Doy and Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the Chapman University School of Law; and Emilia Versteeg, associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Law.

    The event will be hosted by Edwin Meese III, chairman of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation and former Attorney General of the United States under President Ronald Reagan.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to The Constitution: Model, Resource, or Outlier?

    1. Bobbie says:

      The Constitution is a model for all mankind. Anyone who suggests otherwise is extremely suspicious. Obama was quick to say it's a white man's document to enslave everyone else? I don't see this anywhere!! If that were true he is degrading people who came here on their own free will…

      What he chooses to misunderstand is the government role to provide for the general welfare. He is working it to reflect obligations on some while favoring the welfare of others. General welfare has nothing to do with ones OWN WELFARE and no one should be accountable to anyone's welfare but their own!

      This destructive government isn't serving the general welfare when they take away from the welfare of others to have sanctuary cities, ignorance of the law, circumventing laws, abetting the unlawful, legislating mandates on behavior, food consumption, bedtimes, invading peoples' personal beliefs all in favor of someone's welfare that is not a reflection of the general welfare which is restrained to law enforcement, safety and protections. Everything else is freedom and liberty that this government is abusing everyday.

    2. thomas simpson says:

      So precious a concept as freedom and it was captured in the United States Constitution, only to be lost on those who wish to race ahead blindly and ignore all those who like Nathan Hale who understood what it was to have freedom and be willing to die for it. His words: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Who today is willing to maintain what we have? not, it appears, is Justice Ginsburg.

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