Some people believe the United States Constitution is a “living document” that adapts to the times. Some believe it means today exactly what it meant when it was written. Why is this an important distinction (ie. Why does it matter?)? Which of the 2 statements (living document that adapts or means what it meant in 1787) would you pick as true and why?

Question(s): Answer all 5 below for full credit.

1. Some people believe the United States Constitution is a “living document” that adapts to the times.  Some believe it means today exactly what it meant when it was written.  Why is this an important distinction (ie. Why does it matter?)?  Which of the 2 statements (living document that adapts or means what it meant in 1787) would you pick as true and why? 

2. While the U.S Constitution is considered a milestone in the protection of individual rights, it is by no means perfect. How can the U.S. Constitution be changed?  Be sure to outline both the amendment process and judicial review (the courts ability to interpret the Constitution).  

3. Assume next that the Constitution does need to be changed.  How do you think change should happen – through court decisions (judicial review) or by amendments? Explain why you picked court decisions or amendments (or possibly both).

4. Where specifically is the Constitution lacking (meaning what changes need to be made)?  Give at least 2 examples of where it is lacking and what you would delete or add to the Constitution and why.  

5. What are some of the strengths that have allowed the Constitution to survive the test of time?  Basically, why is the U.S. Constitution still around where other countries constitutions have failed.

Use the ideas you learned about in Chapters 1, 2, and 3 to answer the questions above.  Be sure to put all ideas/thoughts in your own words.  

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