Our Constitutional Commons

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"Perhaps it goes without saying, but the United States Constitution is remarkable. It is the oldest constitution in continuous use, and due to its success, it has influenced many subsequent drafters of national and subnational constitutions worldwide. As many constitutional scholars have described, the difficulties the drafters of the Constitution faced often seemed insurmountable, and yet they succeeded. From the country's founding up until today, the document has played a crucial role in many of the nations most important policy debates, resolving some of the most contentious political conflicts in a way that has provided for continued governmental stability and continuity. While much has been written about the U.S. Constitution, very little, if anything at all, has been said about the ways in which the Constitution shares attributes with the commons. This article examines the Constitution through the lenses developed by scholars for assessing both commons resources and constructed cultural commons communities. These lenses provide a unique perspective on the operation of the U.S. Constitution—and particularly on its strengths and potential weaknesses—while the synergy and interaction between the two lenses provide an important and more holistic understanding of the institutional design of the Constitution."
constitution, commons, constitutional law