Monday, March 12, 2012

US Constitution Threatened By Partisan Politics?

In this editorial by J. Harvie Wilkinson III, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, he argues that US constitutional non-partisan prudence is necessary, rather than partisan constitutional agendas pursued by both Republicans and Democrats. Wilkinson III argues that all American interests need to be taken into account when looking at the US Constitution. This is a reasonable and obvious argument as any constitution should reflect the people of a country as a whole rather than special or minority interests. This editorial may reflect the struggle America faces as it tries to revive or even reinvent itself. Yet it may be argued that the US Constitution is significantly out of date, and needs a major overhaul. However, even with a major overhaul, the Constitution should reflect all Americans as a whole. So Wilkinson III's point still stands.

Cry the Beloved Constitution


  1. In what ways is the US constitution outdated in terms of democratic freedoms? Isn't that what amendments are there to prevent?

  2. Freedom is not the only basis for democracy. There is also fairness and equality.

    Freedom alone can lead to plutocracy or rule of the rich.

    In terms of the US Constitution, it is outdated in terms of current world issues. For example, there is no concrete emphasis on protecting the environment as an enshrined principle, nor is there emphasis on political equality.

    2009 Bolivian Constitution is an example of a new and progressive constitution. Here is the opening statement:

    In ancient times mountains were erected, moved rivers, lakes were formed. Our Amazon, our Chaco, the altiplano and our plains and valleys were covered with greenery and flowers. Populate this sacred Mother Earth with different faces, and we knew since the current plurality of all things and our diversity as human beings and cultures. So settle our people, and never understand racism until we suffer from the dismal days of the colony.

    The Bolivian people, of varied composition, from the depths of history, inspired by the struggles of the past, the Indian anti-colonial uprising in independence in people's liberation struggles in indigenous marches, social and trade union in Water Wars and October, in the struggles for land and territory, and the memory of our martyrs, we build a new state.

    A state based on respect and equality among all, with principles of sovereignty, dignity, complementarity, solidarity, harmony and equality in the distribution and redistribution of social product, which dominates the search for living well, with respect to the plurality economic, social, legal, political and cultural life of the inhabitants of this land in collective living with access to water, labor, education, health and housing for all.

    We in the past the colonial state and neo-liberal Republican.

    We assume the historical challenge of collectively build the state Social Law Unit Multinational Community, which integrates and articulates the purpose of moving towards a democratic Bolivia, productive, and inspiring bearer of peace, committed to developing comprehensive and self-determination of peoples.

    We, women and men, through the Constituent Assembly and the original power of the people, express our commitment to the unity and integrity of the country.

    Fulfilling the mandate of our people, the strength of our Mother Earth and thank God, refound Bolivia.

    Honor and glory to the martyrs of the constituent and liberating gesture, which have made possible this new story.


Thank you for sharing your perspective.