The U.S. Constitution: Living Document? Hoary Artifact?

From the NYT — David Law and Mila Versteeg are about to publish (in June) a new study describing to what extent countries model their constitutions on theU.S.s one. Not so much, they have leaked early. In the 1960s and 70s, democratic countries increasingly modeled the U.S. a trend that started downward in the 80s and 90s and then collapsed at tyhe turn of the century.

Part of the reason is America’s waning influence and respect, but part of the reason, too, is that the thing is just so danged old and is very, very stingy in establishing rights. Current, more popular models are the South African Constitution (1996), the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982), and the European Convention on Human Rights (1950).

On average, by the way, countries change their constitutions avery 19 years or so. Ours is OLD, and very hard to change. I for one, would like to see a new constitutional convention, if it could be arranged that politicians were not in charge.

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