Can someone please send me an essay about the Constitution as a living document?Do you have any examples for support?

5 Answers | Add Yours

dbello's profile pic

dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

The reason that the United States Constitution is referred to as a living document is because the Founders designed the document to remain relevant for future generations. The best examples to support the document as a living document are found in the Amendment Process and the 'proper and necessary clause'  found in Article I Section 8 Clause 18. These 'instructions'  allowed the document to 'live' as the nation grew, in other words the Constitution would move alongside future generations.

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

You will not be able to find an essay here, but I think that there might be some particular points that could help you here.  I would examine some of the writings and thoughts of Supreme Court Justices Holmes, Brandeis, and Warren.  These were thinkers that favored an activist view of both the court and that the Constitution should be flexible in accordance to its time period.  These thinkers believed in contingency as playing a vital role in understanding the Constitution and how it should be interpreted.  In reading some of these thinkers' ideas and decisions, I think that one could gain some insight into the belief of how the Constitution is living, a product of the interpretation of its times and how it might not be appropriate to see it as static, but rather as fluid and dynamic with a core that does not change.

missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Another approach would be to consider that the constitution has the power to make people act or live life to a greater fullness.

Because of our constitution, we have more human and civil rights than any other people group in the world. We are extremely blessed to live in this country. The constitution essentially breathes life into Americans by guaranteeing them LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Our constitution allows for conflict in our society because it allows diverse religions to co-exist, it allows Americans the right to carry a gun (under a serious set of laws), and it allows anyone to say what they feel. Americans, because of the constitution, are some of the most feeling and virtue-centered people in the world. They keep each other in check because the constitution guarantees protections. You may have seen the phrase, "Live, laugh, love." You are free to do all of that here and have your own opinions and no one can take that away because the constitution protects that.

The constitution's values continue to arise in the great debates of society's changing cultural norms. Everything new is compared to the constitution.

Another way that the constitution is living is through the process of amendments. Several statements have been added since it's original edition in 1787. It grows, like all living things.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

We cannot write essays for you on this site.  However, I will try to give you some ideas.

When we say that the Constitution is a living document, we mean that its meaning changes to fit the times that we live in.   (It can do this because it is written in a fairly vague way that is open to interpretation.) The values that people held in 1789 are surely not the same ones we hold today.  I'll give you two examples of this.

First, back in those days, physically punishing criminals was no big deal.  It was acceptable to whip them, put them in pillories, or execute them in public and humiliating ways.  Today, all of these would be seen as "cruel and unusual punishment" and courts would say they violate the 8th Amendment even though no one would have said that back then.

Second, we have the issue of gay rights.  Homosexuality was not approved of back in those days and the idea that the Constitution protects gays from discrimination would have been laughable.  Now, courts have said that gay people cannot be discriminated against.

Both of these examples show how the Constitution changes to fit the values of our changing society.

We’ve answered 318,957 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question