It is often said that the United States and Great Britain are two nations separated by a common language. It could also be said that we are two nations separated by a common belief in constitutional democracy. To a citizen of Great Britain, the English constitution refers to a combination of customs, ancient documents such as Magna Carta, and parliamentary legislation; it is generally considered to be unwritten and, possibly as a result, is subject to the same process of change and revision as any ordinary law. To a citizen of the United States, the Constitution refers to a specific document, drafted in 1787, ratified by the several states, and in effect since 1789. It proclaims itself to be the supreme law of the land (Article VI, Paragraph 2) and resides outside the ordinary legislative processes, both state and federal. It can only be...


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