Classical liberalism suggests that the state and society can be viewed as an immense social contract. In a liberal democratic country such as America, the constitution is the fundamental part of that social contract; it is a contract between the state and the civil society. The American constitution is a guide to legislation and its interpretation. An essentially liberal contract, the constitution binds not only the government, but also the people. Through the constitution, the people collectively commit to certain institutional procedures for managing public affairs and resolving social conflicts. The constitution not only limits the arbitrary power of the government, it also prevents public administration from being poisoned by people's short-term tempers and passions. Through the constitution, the people collectively commit to certain checks against those capricious human sentiments.
A central liberal principle which the American constitution serves, is to limit and separate governmental power. The classically liberal distrust of majoritarian tyranny has continued into present-day American... [continues]
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