The popularity of the American constitution is apparently on a decline, as indicated by its influence over the drafting of new constitutions (over the last 70 years). At least, that’s what a forthcoming study in the New York University Law Review will argue:
The study, to be published in June in The New York University Law Review, bristles with data. Its authors coded and analyzed the provisions of 729 constitutions adopted by 188 countries from 1946 to 2006, and they considered 237 variables regarding various rights and ways to enforce them.
“Among the world’s democracies,” Professors Law and Versteeg concluded, “constitutional similarity to the United States has clearly gone into free fall. Over the 1960s and 1970s, democratic constitutions as a whole became more similar to the U.S. Constitution, only to reverse course in the 1980s and 1990s.
“The turn of the twenty-first century, however, saw the beginning of a steep plunge that continues through the most recent years for which we have data, to the point that the constitutions of the world’s democracies are, on average, less similar to the U.S. Constitution now than they were at the end of World War II.”
Yes, it would seem that the American Constitution is about a decade away from being denied its seat at the cool kids table; no longer will it be invited to the awesome Constitution parties that those South American constitutions are always throwing. And I heard a rumor that no one is going to show up to it’s birthday party this summer, either.
But what constitution shall replace that storied bit of paper scrawled on by the hands of slave-owning oligarchs?
Mr. Barak [a noted legal scholar and former President of the Israeli Supreme Court], for his part, identified a new constitutional superpower: “Canadian law,” he wrote, “serves as a source of inspiration for many countries around the world.” The new study also suggests that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, adopted in 1982, may now be more influential than its American counterpart.
The Canadian Charter is both more expansive and less absolute. It guarantees equal rights for women and disabled people, allows affirmative action and requires that those arrested be informed of their rights. On the other hand, it balances those rights against “such reasonable limits” as “can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”
Good Lord, Canada? Really? What kind of a sissy constitution guarantees women and criminals equal rights? What is the world coming to? Luckily, noted anthropomorphized horse rectum Antonin Scalia weighed in on this issue:
“The bill of rights of the former evil empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was much better than ours,” he said, adding: “We guarantee freedom of speech and of the press. Big deal. They guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, of street demonstrations and protests, and anyone who is caught trying to suppress criticism of the government will be called to account. Whoa, that is wonderful stuff!”
“Of course,” Justice Scalia continued, “it’s just words on paper, what our framers would have called a ‘parchment guarantee.’”
Goddamn right! Those other constitutions don’t have the balls to enforce their provisions! You want a constitution with balls? Then you want the American Constitution! What are you gonna do when Constitution-mania runs wild all over you?!