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NYT: 'We the People' Loses Appeal Around the World

Author: Adam Liptak
February 6, 2012


Adam Liptak of the New York Times writes that the U.S. Constitution no longer acts as the model for modern states. He cites the consitution's conservative interpretation and relatively few secured rights in making it a poor model in light of newer constitutions that reflect modern values and contexts.

The Constitution has seen better days.

Sure, it is the nation's founding document and sacred text. And it is the oldest written national constitution still in force anywhere in the world. But its influence is waning.

In 1987, on the Constitution's bicentennial, Time magazine calculated that "of the 170 countries that exist today, more than 160 have written charters modeled directly or indirectly on the U.S. version."

A quarter-century later, the picture looks very different. "The U.S. Constitution appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere," according to a new study by David S. Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia.

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