Jun 25, 2018 in Law

The Constitution

The American constitution has been in use for over 200 years. It has been referred to as a `living document’ because it has endured all this time. This is due to the fact that it is simple and flexible.  It is actually the oldest constitution on paper which is also still in force. Many other constitutions around the world have been derived from the American one. Initially, it was intended to serve only 13 states. Nevertheless, it is amazing to note that at the moment it now serves over 50 states with very minimal amendments done to it. The outstanding leaders who drafted the constitution represented a broad variety of interests, environments and positions in life. The constitution’s main aim was to come up with a government that represented the will of the people. This constitution is primarily concerned with defense and foreign affairs.  It also has a strong federal government with extensive powers to control inter-state relationships. In addition, it creates a common ground for the different interests of the people of America, and protects all the people without discrimination.

The drafters of the American constitution took into consideration the fact that a constitution should be a document that can serve many future generations. As such, they included a provision for its amendment when political, social or economic conditions demanded it to do so. The amendment process allows official changes to be done on it. This provision is enough to tackle the ever changing needs of the American society as well as the official mandate of changing the document. The fact that the American constitution can be interpreted with ease has also helped a lot in enabling it serve the different needs of each generation. The generation which was there at the time of its drafting is obviously different from the current one, and so, to avoid re-writing a new constitution at any one time, its provisions can be changed by judicial interpretation. The doctrine of judicial review was established by the Supreme Court. This gives the court the power to interpret acts of Congress and decided whether they are constitutional or not. It can also explain the meaning of different sections with regard to the changing political, economic, legal and social conditions.

Clause eighteen of section eight in article one of the American constitution, which is also known as the `elastic clause’, states that the Congress has the power to do what is proper and necessary to carry out its seventeen delegated powers. The authors of the American constitution created a two-way process for which the constitution could be revised. The Congress may commence an amendment by a two-thirds vote, but the amendments must be approved by three-fourths of the states before they come into effect. The congressional legislation also adapts to the changing conditions.

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