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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the historical and jurisprudential dimensions of the U.S. Constitution in relation to the constitutions of other countries in order to understand its place in the context of a “globalizing” constitutionalism. It first looks at the debate over comparative constitutional law and how it relates to the controversy involving the Supreme Court over the use of foreign cases in its own jurisprudence. It then considers the role the Constitution has played as a model, especially its enduring contribution to constitutionalism and constitution-making processes around the world. It also discusses the ways in which many constitution-makers looked for alternative models premised on the fundamental elements of the American constitutional system in terms of judicial review, federalism, and separation of powers. It argues that the U.S. Constitution and the jurisprudence that has flowed from it has often served as an anti-model, rather than as an explicit model.

Keywords: U.S. Constitution, constitutions, constitutionalism, comparative constitutional law, Supreme Court, jurisprudence, constitution-making, judicial review, federalism, separation of powers

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