Do you agree that “the Constitution is a living document and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world?” Why or why not?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I do believe that the Constitution should be seen in this way because the Constitution is a document that was written in 1787 and yet has to be applied to the world of 2011.  These worlds are so different that we have to allow the document to evolve if it is to remain relevant.

Perhaps the clearest example of how the Constitution needs to be able evolve is the 8th Amendment.  When the Constitution was written, public execution was commonplace and there would have been few people who had a problem with flogging people for committing crimes.  Today, our standards have changed and those sorts of punishments would be seen as barbaric.  This sort of "evolving standard of decency" is why the Constitution needs to be able to evolve with the times.


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