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Thread: Ever wonder how Ginsberg views the Constitution

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    Ever wonder how Ginsberg views the Constitution

    Interesting article on a Supreme Court Justice and their views of the US and other Constitutions:

    http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/...tution_so_much
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  2. #2
    I think you'd get the a similar answer from Kennedy or even Roberts or Scalia.

    Our constitution is one of the oldest, if not the oldest of surviving constitutions. Many other countries have written constructions or Basic Laws more recently, so there are many more models out there. Each construction has advantages and disadvantages, ours like many others has peculiar accommodations that were required to "Get the deal done". ours contains a legislative body that gives States equal representation without regard to population and the Bill of Rights had to be added to close the deal. So initially, no individual rights were included, but it took the first ten amendments to get all states to approve; so from effective date forward, we had them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KleinTxHusker View Post
    I think you'd get the a similar answer from Kennedy or even Roberts or Scalia.

    Our constitution is one of the oldest, if not the oldest of surviving constitutions. Many other countries have written constructions or Basic Laws more recently, so there are many more models out there. Each construction has advantages and disadvantages, ours like many others has peculiar accommodations that were required to "Get the deal done". ours contains a legislative body that gives States equal representation without regard to population and the Bill of Rights had to be added to close the deal. So initially, no individual rights were included, but it took the first ten amendments to get all states to approve; so from effective date forward, we had them.
    As South Africa has a pretty progressive Constitution, the fact that Ginsberg would favor it over the US Constitution doesn't surprise me too much. I have been reading through it and there are provisions in that one as well that are most likely in there to get the job done too.
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    [QUOTE=KleinTxHusker;925582]I think you'd get the a similar answer from Kennedy or even Roberts or Scalia.

    Kennedy maybe. I think Roberts and Scalia have more respect for the Constitution.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by One Man Jury View Post
    I think you'd get the a similar answer from Kennedy or even Roberts or Scalia.

    Kennedy maybe. I think Roberts and Scalia have more respect for the Constitution.
    The question isn't respect for the US Constitution, the question was what is the best model if you are writing one today... I saw an article along these lines a few months back in the NY Times, only it was asked of several law professors. IIRC, Canada's was a popular choice. Maybe Norway, too... Oil Exporting Democracies...

    I think you can look to other nations for strengths and weaknesses. France seems to give a fair amount of power and longevity to their PM, unlike - say Italy. Of course it was their fifth attempt vs. our one and it was written to benefit Gen. DeGaulle...

    I think more of a parliamentary approach would be better for the US, but that doesn't mean you have to have a weak executive. I also think we have a peculiar need to maintain strong geographical and regional protections (via the Senate and Electoral College).

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by KleinTxHusker View Post
    The question isn't respect for the US Constitution, the question was what is the best model if you are writing one today... I saw an article along these lines a few months back in the NY Times, only it was asked of several law professors. IIRC, Canada's was a popular choice. Maybe Norway, too... Oil Exporting Democracies...

    I think you can look to other nations for strengths and weaknesses. France seems to give a fair amount of power and longevity to their PM, unlike - say Italy. Of course it was their fifth attempt vs. our one and it was written to benefit Gen. DeGaulle...

    I think more of a parliamentary approach would be better for the US, but that doesn't mean you have to have a weak executive. I also think we have a peculiar need to maintain strong geographical and regional protections (via the Senate and Electoral College).
    Would love to see Congress argue the way the British Parliament does! Hell, in this climate, that may devolve into fist fights among members, or even pistols at 10 paces, like the days of the Founding...

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Man Jury View Post
    Kennedy maybe. I think Roberts and Scalia have more respect for the Constitution.


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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Red Rick View Post
    Would love to see Congress argue the way the British Parliament does! Hell, in this climate, that may devolve into fist fights among members, or even pistols at 10 paces, like the days of the Founding...
    Hmmm.. founding fathers? In the 1840's & 50's? More like Grandsons of the Founding Fathers...

    I for one think that dueling should be brought back... it would serve the keep the rhetoric down... or would it? Some pretty nasty comments did get made even with dueling available to redress baseless (and even base) insults... (my favorite line from Gone with the Wind... "I apologize for my shortcomings...")

  9. #9
    I think the concern is that those who are meant to interpret the US Constitution and verify if current laws fall within its purview are looking to extra-national sources for guidance and support.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Red Rick View Post
    I think the concern is that those who are meant to interpret the US Constitution and verify if current laws fall within its purview are looking to extra-national sources for guidance and support.
    She didn't say or imply that she did anything like that in her interpretation of the US Constitution. She was asked what Constitution she would recommend as a model for a country that was drafting a new Constitution. I would prefer that she would have said the US Constitution, but the fact that she recommended South Africa's does not mean that she looks to the South African constitution for guidance and support in interpreting our own.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ChitownHusker View Post
    She didn't say or imply that she did anything like that in her interpretation of the US Constitution. She was asked what Constitution she would recommend as a model for a country that was drafting a new Constitution. I would prefer that she would have said the US Constitution, but the fact that she recommended South Africa's does not mean that she looks to the South African constitution for guidance and support in interpreting our own.
    http://www.examiner.com/article/supr...ernational-law

    Interesting read... seems to opine the opposite of your claim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Red Rick View Post
    I think the concern is that those who are meant to interpret the US Constitution and verify if current laws fall within its purview are looking to extra-national sources for guidance and support.
    When justices of the sup ct "legislate" from the bench, they rarely rarely look beyond the borders of the US for guidance, even if they are making stuff up as they go along, as inRoe v Wade. Question came up in law school, "Do judges make law?". Prof. Snowmen @ UNL answered, "Sure they do. You need to ask, 'How do I get them to do that for my client?'"
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