Does the US Constitution still work?

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  • Does the US Constitution Still Work?
    • Yes
      • Federalism has proved to be an excellent compromise between strong national government and state government diversity
        • California took the lead for the rest of the nation to follow in terms of environmental legislation
        • Massachusetts was the first state to allow same sex marriage
      • Has proved very adaptable to the changes in American society
        • Accommodate the emancipation of slaves 13th and 15th amendment
        • Women 19th Amendment
        • Marbury V Madison in 1803 started judicial review, different interpretations of the meaning without actually changing
      • The amendment process has usually prevented ill-conceived amendments
      • Rights and liberties of Americans have been protected
        • War on Terror considered as a pretext to overriding fundamental rights but Boumediene V Bush (2008) and Hamdan V Rumsfeld (2006) show that even in exceptional times, it still protects rights
      • SC power of judicial review has made the Constitution even more adaptable to change through 'interpretive amendment'
    • No
      • Amendment process too difficult, making it near impossible to remove parts which are no longer applicable or add parts which a majority desires
      • Judicial Review gives the SC too much power to 'amend' the meaning of the Constitution
      • It's too negative, giving too much power to those who oppose change and causing gridlock
        • Near shutdown of the federal government when the Republicans in the House disagreed with Obama over budget issues
      • Some parts make no sense in today's society
        • After many shootings, Columbine school massacre 1999 and Tucson shootings 2011, calls to restrict guns have been foundered on the 2nd Amendment
        • What is the point in retaining electors who might just go rogue and change the result of an election? The Electoral College
          • Set up in the 18th century when wise men chose the president
      • Some parts don't work as the Framers would have envisaged
        • War-making power
        • Confirmation process of SC justices


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