The Cornerstone Of American Law

The Cornerstone Of American Law



The Cornerstone of​ American Law
There are just a​ few truly great documents that represent the​ foundation stones upon which the​ American system of​ government was built .​
One is​ the​ Declaration of​ Independence .​
Another is​ the​ Bill of​ Rights .​
But when it​ comes to​ the​ legal girding that we​ always go back to​ in​ order to​ test if​ a​ law in​ this land can stand or​ fall,​ it​ is​ the​ Constitution of​ the​ United States of​ America that is​ that backbone that defines right and wrong for us.
Indeed you might even say that the​ sole reason we​ have a​ Supreme Court is​ to​ have a​ living body that is​ here to​ decide on,​ interpret and enforce constitutional law .​
And what is​ the​ worse accusation anyone can make about any act that is​ in​ question from a​ government agency? That’s unconstitutional is​ that accusation .​
That is​ how powerful this document is​ in​ American life,​ legal definitions and culture.
The historical context of​ the​ signing of​ the​ Constitution was the​ Constitutional Convention on​ September 17,​ 1787 in​ Philadelphia .​
That city witnessed many such historic events which enshrine its place in​ the​ history of​ the​ country to​ be sure .​
the​ framers of​ that Constitution would have to​ be considered without question the​ most intelligent and well educated men certainly of​ their time and maybe of​ any time .​
That document was so well crafted that it​ has lasted as​ a​ legal standard for over 200 years with no signs that its power will diminish for hundreds of​ years more .​
But in​ that context,​ the​ Constitution is​ the​ oldest document of​ its kind in​ existence in​ the​ world and the​ original is​ carefully protected but on​ display in​ Washington DC.
The Constitution reflected the​ best of​ some of​ the​ oldest legal documents of​ similar intent that went back hundreds of​ years into history .​
As such the​ Constitution includes ideas drawn from the​ Magna Carta,​ the​ French political philosopher Montesquieu,​ the​ Code of​ Hammurabi,​ the​ law of​ the​ Old Testament,​ ancient Greek political ideology from such writers as​ Polybius as​ well as​ Common Law from England .​
So while the​ core ideas of​ the​ Constitution draw from some of​ the​ greatest systems of​ government and ideologies from history,​ the​ outcome is​ a​ unique format for governing a​ people that was so untried that it​ was considered to​ be the​ Great American Experiment.
The Constitution is​ divided into seven articles each of​ which discusses one of​ the​ divisions of​ government .​
Articles one through three discuss the​ three branches of​ government including the​ legislative,​ the​ executive and the​ judicial .​
Article four goes into depth about the​ rights and powers reserved to​ the​ states .​
It is​ clear to​ see that the​ framers knew the​ importance of​ leaving much of​ the​ power of​ governing at​ the​ local and state level and that those rights needed to​ be preserved at​ the​ foundational document of​ the​ society,​ the​ Constitution.
Other articles discuss the​ ratification process and federal power .​
But the​ wisdom of​ the​ framers of​ the​ Constitution lie in​ article five which outlines a​ process of​ amendments which leaves room for additional work to​ be done to​ keep the​ Constitution up to​ date to​ changes that need to​ be made .​
As such the​ Constitution has remained a​ living document for all of​ these years and will continue to​ be seen in​ that light for many decades and centuries to​ come.




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