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What role does the Constitution play in US society today?

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cc1205 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 2, 2012 at 3:20 PM via web

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What role does the Constitution play in US society today?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 2, 2012 at 3:48 PM (Answer #1)

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The Constitution plays a number of roles in our society today.  Let us look at two of the most important.

First, the Constitution serves as the “rule book” for our government.  It specifies what government can and cannot do.  We have seen this very recently in the Supreme Court case over whether “Obamacare” was justifiable under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. 

Second, the Constitution serves as a set of ideals that our society should live by.  People on all sides of political debates try to use constitutional ideals to defend their side of an argument.  For example, the Tea Party uses the idea of limited government to promote a reduction in the size of government while gay rights activists use the idea of equal protection and personal freedom to push for their goals.

The Constitution, then, is used both as a legal document and as a set of ideals in our society today.

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