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That constitution is best which…

Posted in American, Politics, Press by Alex L. on February 7, 2012

Detail of the U.S. ConstitutionAn upcoming study in the New York University Law Review finds that the U.S. Constitution is losing favor as a model for new constitutions around the world, reports the New York Times. Since the 1960s and 1970s, when the American document witnessed its height of popularity, foreign governments have turned to more progressive constitutions such as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for inspiration.

The N.Y. Times article suggests three reasons for the decline in popularity worldwide of our Constitution: (1) America’s decreasing influence and reputation, (2) conservative judges’  insistence that the original intent of the Founding Fathers be considered in rulings, and (3) the absence of rights that are featured in other nations’ constitutions (e.g. rights to travel, food, education, and healthcare).

Should these be causes for concern for Americans?

Addressing the first reason, I think the greatest blows to American reputation happen when the U.S. initiates wars of questionable cause. American involvement in Vietnam and Iraq (2003-2011) soured America’s image around the world during a time when we needed support for broader conflicts (Cold War and the War on Terror, respectively). We should become more wary of beginning a war. (more…)

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