Government And Politics Essay

1356 Words6 Pages
‘Our Constitution works’ Gerald Ford Post – Watergate president. To what extent and why can a constitution written and devised in the 18th century still work in the 21st century? The constitution of the United States is a codified, single document which was written and completed in the 18th century, unlike the UK constitution which stands as un-codified as it is not written and bound into one single document. Unlike the UK constitution where the power is centralised, the US constitution contains the nation’s constitutional arrangement. It based on the principle of the federal division of powers, with some powers being vested in the federal government and other powers vested in state governments. Furthermore the US constitution also believes in the strict separation of powers or rather ‘separate institutions, sharing powers’. The Watergate scandal is a notorious plan which was carried out by President Nixon in 1972, and had a lasting impact on the way people view the effectiveness of the US constitution to this present day. Many critics argue that a constitution which was written so long ago cannot possible work in the 21st century. Firstly, as the constitution was written centuries ago it was left relatively vague, this may have been an intentional feature added by the founding fathers, as they may’ve considered the fact that the US would evolve and therefore the constitution would have had to satisfy and adapt to the future generations of the US. One of the powers given to the Supreme Court is to interpret the US constitution as they wish, which allows easy interpretation and shaping of the constitution for the judges. An example of the Supreme Court judges interpreting the constitution was shown in Roe v Wade in 1973 when the case was handling the controversial issue of abortion and the right to life and their decision referred to the constitution and what they
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