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The US Constitution: Does It Stand the Test of Time?
A LIVING CONSTITUTION
The U.S. Constitution: Does it stand the test of time?
In 1835, less than half a century after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, Alexis de TocqueviUe observed in his famous book, Democracy in America, "...The social state of America is a very strange phenomenon. Men there are nearer equality in wealth and mental endowments ... than in any other country of the world or in any other age or recorded history."1 Indeed, by Tocqueville's time, America had already begun to live up to the legacy that the Founding Fathers had ardently expressed in the Constitution: that America be the exemplar of freedom and equality. Today, America continues to grow and prosper from these ideals of democratic governance. And in so doing, the Constitution lives on as it regulates and adapts to new generations and new ideas.
Much of the Constitution's flexibility can be attributed to the elastic clause (Article I, Section 8), which gives Congress the power to make all laws that are "necessary and proper" to carry out the laws explicitly listed in the Constitution. …
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