Us Constitution: a Living Document

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Christy Jorgensen
September 7, 2010
“The United States Constitution: A Living Document”
The United States Constitution is the fundamental framework for our country and the most important document in its history. It establishes the form of the national government and defines the rights and liberties of the American people. The Constitution has survived and stayed current for over 220 years because it was written in such a way that gave it the ability to adapt to changing times while adhering to basic principles. This capacity to adapt makes the Constitution a living document. The Framers of the Constitution knew they could not possibly plan for every circumstance or situation. The Constitution is vague and full of phrases that lack clear definition. This has allowed for Americans to interpret these rights and liberties as our society changes. Our founding fathers probably never dreamed of tests of their moral compasses, such as same-sex marriages. This has become a hot button topic in the last decade because the Constitution ultimately says nothing about same-sex marriages. This leaves the states and voters with the power to decide the issue. Several states have legalized gay marriage since 2003. The Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, did define marriage “as a union between a man and a woman” for Federal purposes only. In 2010 this act was deemed unconstitutional because it violates the 14th Amendment. There is support from conservatives for an amendment to the Constitution that would prohibit same-sex marriages. Gay-rights advocates suggest that the battle needs to be taken to the Federal courts and that total victory will come when gays and lesbians posses a nationally protected right to marry. They contend the 14th Amendment suggests a constitutional right to marry for all persons. The 14th Amendment also sparks another current political issue, illegal immigration. The wording of the 14th Amendment where it states “all persons born…in the United States are...
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