The Constitution and Justice Ginsburg

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Does it reflect badly on the U.S. Constitution that other countries are not using it as a model? No, I argue at Bloomberg View.

Even friends of the Constitution can acknowledge that it will not work in all societies in all times. In the same passage in which he described it as “the most perfect constitution that ever existed,” Alexis de Tocqueville said of the “federal system” it created that “its benefits cannot be enjoyed by all nations.” Smaller nations, for example, may not have need of a federal structure. In an essay on the international influence of the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, Duke University law professor Donald Horowitz notes that many ethnically divided countries have avoided federalism for fear it would promote separatism.

The U.S. Constitution also presupposes cultural traits that are not found everywhere. . . .

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