United States Constitution and Prime Minister Essay

Submitted By lop98
Words: 1177
Pages: 5

Discuss the importance and possible failings of the US constitution

The US Constitution acts as the supreme law of the United States of America; it originally contained seven articles and is a codified document. The constitution is entrenched and its first three articles establish the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the executive, consisting of the President the legislature, consisting of the bicameral Congress and the judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Despite there being many advantages to it such as its protection of citizens rights, many people believe there are inherent failings with the document many of which centre around how inflexible it is, making constitution change fairly difficult.
Firstly the US constitution is a very purposeful document in America having undergone thirty-three amendments, with the first ten of these comprising the Bill of Rights. The fact it is so fundamental to outlining national and federal law makes it so significant within the US and is essentially the basis of what would forms the country. Not only does it outline law the constitution is so significant because it establishes people’s rights as citizens, providing a complete list of all the things they can do, and the rights they possess entrenched into a single document. A great example of this establishment of legal rights is shown through the constitution is via the seventh amendment, which codifies the right to a jury trial in certain civil cases, and inhibits courts from overturning a jury's findings of fact. This safeguards the rights of citizens to a fair and free democratic privilege to an impartial trial in court and the opportunity to be proven right or wrong, which is clearly stated in the constitution and hence must be adhered to. It is this notion of a ‘must’ that leads certain individuals to be favour of this codified constitution, rights like the seventh amendment are easily established and hence a mandate is much easier to follow. Cases such as Bank of Columbia v. Okely emphasise equality of rights, whereby the fairness of a jury provided the correct judgement, allowing the authority of the constitution to be enacted. Many other countries who adopt un-codified constitutions such as the UK would not see this kind of constitutional sovereignty; statutes and case law have much more precedence making the establishment of rights much vaguer and harder to enforce lawfully.
Furthermore the US constitution also carries great importance due to the fact it protects civil liberties and strengthens the relationship between branches of government such as the executive and the legislature. With regards to protecting rights the amendments tied in with the Bill of Rights allow a clear set of legal regulations to be set out which are followed and understood by all citizens. For instance Amendment 14 ( Citizenship rights) This amendment, ratified in 1868, gives the right to citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. It also gives citizens the right to equal protection of the national and state laws, the right to be free of any law that deprives a person of life, liberty or property without due process. One these rights are entrenched and established constitutionally like in the US, they become far stronger and hence the nation collective rights are preserved by the power of the document. Adding to this the US constitution also inhibits the power of parliamentary sovereignty and therefore elective dictatorship. This means that there is less of an imbalance between branches of government and congress meaning functions such as policy making and representation become much fairer. Interpretation is far more neutral, presidential power is controlled and therefore the political landscape starts to seem much more sincere.
However the relatively importance of the US constitution is certainly marred by the many problems that are associated with