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Switch to Forum Live View Global influence of US Constitution declining
3 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2012 - 11:58PM #1
solfeggio
Posts: 9,467
A new study by professors at the University of Virginia and Washington University in St. Louis, which will appear in the New York University Law Review, has shown that the US Constitution is 'increasingly out of sync with global practises.'

news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/23438.aspx

www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/us/we-the-peo...

Is America in danger of becoming something of a legal backwater?  That thought was expressed by a justice of the High Court of Australia in a 2001 interview.  Is it possible that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, adopted in 1982, is now more influential than its American counterpart?

Is the U.S. Constitution out of step with the rest of the world?  Why has it so rarely ever been revised? 

Of course, what does any of this matter when you have a president and Congress who swear an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and then spend the rest of the time ignoring the rights of the common people that were spelt out in that same document?     

    
    

  

   
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 12:31AM #2
mountain_man
Posts: 40,209

Mar 3, 2012 -- 11:58PM, solfeggio wrote:

A new study by professors at the University of Virginia and Washington University in St. Louis, which will appear in the New York University Law Review, has shown that the US Constitution is 'increasingly out of sync with global practises.' 


I don't see why our constitution should have any global influence. If other countries don't like our "practices" then they have every right to do things differently.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 1:36AM #3
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Mar 4, 2012 -- 12:31AM, mountain_man wrote:


Mar 3, 2012 -- 11:58PM, solfeggio wrote:

A new study by professors at the University of Virginia and Washington University in St. Louis, which will appear in the New York University Law Review, has shown that the US Constitution is 'increasingly out of sync with global practises.' 


I don't see why our constitution should have any global influence. If other countries don't like our "practices" then they have every right to do things differently.




I concur...............................




 

discuss catholicism
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 1:51AM #4
rangerken
Posts: 16,408

Mar 4, 2012 -- 1:36AM, jane2 wrote:


Mar 4, 2012 -- 12:31AM, mountain_man wrote:


Mar 3, 2012 -- 11:58PM, solfeggio wrote:

A new study by professors at the University of Virginia and Washington University in St. Louis, which will appear in the New York University Law Review, has shown that the US Constitution is 'increasingly out of sync with global practises.' 


I don't see why our constitution should have any global influence. If other countries don't like our "practices" then they have every right to do things differently.




I concur...............................




 





I also concur. Our constitution works for us. Other countries have things that work for them. As far as global practices, not only don't I care whether or not we're in synch with them, I seriously doubt that more than a very small minority of Americans would care either.


However, since you brought this up, Solf, just what do you think we are 'out of synch' with?


While you're doing that, Solf, keep in mind that we have, by intent, a government of limited power, that is structured so that it can NOT act quickly...that's on purpose! Also, our Bill of rights does NOT grant rights! What it does is specify rights we already have, just by being human beings (that endowed by our creator bit found in our declaration of Independence...etc) that our government may not take away! If you take the position that government can grant rights, that means you believe that all 'right's come from government. That is a very basic point of disagreement between those who think that way and the basis of our constitution and country. We totally reject the very idea that government 'grants' rights. On the contrary, 'we' grant specific authority to government, and only that... and in my opinion we've given it too much and need to take a lot back.


Finally, and perhaps most important, our constitution is designed to support individualism and NOT the collective! Many of those 'rights' that the linked articles mention that other constitutions guarantee represent some govenment giving things to people. That means that government is able to take things away from others in order to give them, etc... we always have big debates about that sort of thing... redistribution and all that. And finally, Solf, there's that bit about us being able to keep and bear arms that we are definitely NOT about to give up. Many politicians have learned that trying to change that is political suicide.


Anyway, again Solf, our constitution works for us...and we are a bit 'different'... and that is a very GOOD thing indeed.


Ken

Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 2:34AM #5
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

Mar 4, 2012 -- 1:51AM, rangerken wrote:


Our constitution works for us.



I am not convinced.


E.g., the US prisons are overcrowded, private contractors are hired. People get executed because some prosecutors, judges and lawyers don't do their job properly. And there are a lot of other things that may or may not be able to trace down to constitutional deficiencies.


Here is what the NYT article says:


There are lots of possible reasons. The United States Constitution is terse and old, and it guarantees relatively few rights. The commitment of some members of the Supreme Court to interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning in the 18th century may send the signal that it is of little current use to, say, a new African nation. And the Constitution’s waning influence may be part of a general decline in American power and prestige.


In an interview, Professor Law identified a central reason for the trend: the availability of newer, sexier and more powerful operating systems in the constitutional marketplace. “Nobody wants to copy Windows 3.1,” he said ...


The rights guaranteed by the American Constitution are parsimonious by international standards, and they are frozen in amber. As Sanford Levinson wrote in 2006 in “Our Undemocratic Constitution,” “the U.S. Constitution is the most difficult to amend of any constitution currently existing in the world today.” (Yugoslavia used to hold that title, but Yugoslavia did not work out.)


Yeah, Yugoslavia... when I take the fierceness of political debate, the regional distribution of party preference, and the availability of guns into account, the parallels to 1991 Yugoslavia get even stronger. But then, America is way too rich to risk its wealth in another civil war.


It is very weird to see a people in the 21st century try living by a document forged in the 18th, basically.

tl;dr
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 2:52AM #6
rangerken
Posts: 16,408

Chari, it coesn't matter whether or not you are convinced...just as it doesn't matter if I am convinced that the Dutch or German constitutions are OK...picking on two you have familiarity with. It only mastters that we Americans are convinced. I read the article carefully. I do not agree with the author.


Ken

Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 4:18AM #7
shmuelgoldstein
Posts: 2,478

Mar 3, 2012 -- 11:58PM, solfeggio wrote:

A new study by professors at the University of Virginia and Washington University in St. Louis, which will appear in the New York University Law Review, has shown that the US Constitution is 'increasingly out of sync with global practises.' ...



So what?

Mar 3, 2012 -- 11:58PM, solfeggio wrote:


Is the U.S. Constitution out of step with the rest of the world?



Ummm . . . . who cares what the rest of the world thinks or does? If it's good for America, that's good enough.


Mar 3, 2012 -- 11:58PM, solfeggio wrote:

  Why has it so rarely ever been revised? 



Good question.


Answer: First of all, it doesn't need to be revised much. It works, and if it works, don't fix it.
Second of all, it was written so that it would be difficult to revise it, because that helps stablility. To change the US constitution, a very big consensus is required. The people *really* have to be together on the proposed change to actually do it.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 6:06AM #8
arielg
Posts: 9,116

Ummm . . . . who cares what the rest of the world thinks or does? If it's good for America, that's good enough.


 


All constitutions are supposed to be based on universal values. To say that it should work only fpr America shows a provincialism that may be one of the reasons why it is at odds with present day understandings.


 A good constitution should be easy to revise  in a rapidly changing world. It is just a guideline, after all.


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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 6:52AM #9
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

Mar 4, 2012 -- 2:52AM, rangerken wrote:


Chari, it coesn't matter whether or not you are convinced...just as it doesn't matter if I am convinced that the Dutch or German constitutions are OK...picking on two you have familiarity with. It only mastters (sic!) that we Americans are convinced.



I disagree. Even that doesn't matter, Ken.


When a ship sinks, it won't help when the people on board are convinced it is insubmersible.

tl;dr
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 7:54AM #10
Marcion
Posts: 2,883

The US constitution was never intended to be a global document.


If it works for us is another question, If we allow imbeciles like Dubya and Obama to ignore the constitution then the fault is ours.

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