The Corner

Beating a Dead Constitution

Derb, I getcha. But it is worth remembering our previous discussion of the

virtue of “dead constitutions” <a


archive.asp#010″>here (Jonah’s column) and <a


archive.asp#010593″>here (me in The Corner). Sarcasm to one

side, the way you keep a dead constitution from coming to life is by

preventing any suggestion that the very persons it is supposed to constrain–

the judiciary, executive and (the most dangerous branch) the legislature–

cannot change its meaning either on their own or in cahoots with each other.

That is the suggestion pregnant in the Lewis and Woolsey’s proposal to allow

the new Iraqi parliament to adopt changes to the 1925 constitution by omnibus

amendment. That is a very bad way to get a constitutional order started. I

hope that, if their idea is taken seriously, this part of it won’t be.


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