Constitution

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    • 00:10

      ZACHARY ELKINS: What a constitution isis not a very simple thing.If you ask somebody on the street what a constitution is,they'll point to a written document.And most countries have somethingthat they call a constitution.And essentially, that written documentlays the foundation for governanceand usually lays out a set of rights.

    • 00:30

      ZACHARY ELKINS [continued]: And the other distinguishing characteristicof a constitution is that it's meantto last almost indefinitely.That is, it's entrenched in the sensethat it's very hard to amend.And the reason I say that it's a difficult thing to define,to some degree, is that some people thinkabout a constitution more broadly,

    • 00:50

      ZACHARY ELKINS [continued]: and they think about something that youmight think of more accurately as the constitutional order.And that might include not only the written constitution,but it could include major laws, ordinary legislation thathappened to be very important and set upvery important things.It might include customs and normsthat have come to be constitutionalized.

    • 01:12

      ZACHARY ELKINS [continued]: And it may also include interpretationsthat have been set down by the SupremeCourt or other legal body that in some wayare taken as constitutions.

Constitution

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Abstract

Professor Zachary Elkins explains a constitution as a written document that lays the foundation for governance. He highlights concepts that are often associated with constitutions but may come from distinct entities.

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Constitution

Professor Zachary Elkins explains a constitution as a written document that lays the foundation for governance. He highlights concepts that are often associated with constitutions but may come from distinct entities.

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