The Declining Influence of the U.S. Constitution

Joel S. Hirschhorn writes at Common Dreams:

Among Americans there remains strong pride about the US Constitution, even though there is widespread support for creating reform amendments to it. Globally, however, what should surprise Americans is a significant loss of respect for it. Other nations, especially those creating new democracies, see better constitutions elsewhere.  This is not opinion. It is fact.  And it is important to understand this historic shift.

new university study sends a disturbing message to all Americans that want to hang on to the fiction that the US constitution is not only the world’s best one, but does not need to be improved.  Do not mentally block this finding: “The U.S. Constitution appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere,” according to the study by David S. Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia.

What exists today is far different than what was proudly proclaimed in 1987, on the Constitution’s bicentennial, by Time magazine which calculated that “of the 170 countries that exist today, more than 160 have written charters modeled directly or indirectly on the U.S. version.”

Why has the US Constitution lost standing abroad even though Americans cling to their belief that it is sacred and the world’s best constitution? …

Read more here.

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  • Daniel Schell

    Why would anyone else respect our constitution if lawmakers don’t respect their own?