The Constitution of the United States is often called a “living document,” meaning that it is open for interpretation. The Constitution of the United States can be interpreted differently as the times andcircumstances change. In creating the Constitution, our Founding Fathers wanted the Constitution to be able to be flexible and open to what changes might need to be placed. They believed that their job was to set down the basic principles. This would allow future generations to make what changes needed for the United States in that particular day and age. Since the Constitution was created it has gone through many changes through amendments allowing for the rights of the people to be further added and explained. However, there are a few areas that the Founding Fathers probably never envisioned being challenges to their Constitution. A couple of challenges to the Constitution in today ‘s world include the right of a woman to have an abortion and the institution of marriage.
One challenge to the Constitution today is whether a woman has a right to have an abortion. There is a question about whether or not the unborn fetus is a person and if it has rights. Since the decision of Roe v. Wade in 1973 by the Supreme Court that a woman’s right to an abortion falls within the right to privacy and is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.
The decision gave women the right to an abortion during her entire pregnancy. It also defined the different levels for states to regulate abortion in the second and third trimesters. Today, abortion and the fetus’ rights are still being argued. Abortion was not an issue when the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and somehow they probably did not envision
there being a fight for women to kill their unborn fetus. The Supreme Court will be hearing and making interpretations on what the Constitution says in regards to deciding whether abortion is a right of the pregnant woman or if the unborn fetus has a right to life.
Another challenge facing the Constitution today is the institution of marriage. This challenge has just begun in the courts. Homosexuals want to have same-sex marriages legalized so that they can be seen in the eyes of the government as married. However, there is great support for theDefense of Marriage Act which clearly states that the foundation of Americansociety is based on the concept of the “family”. “Family” is defined as the marriage between a man and a woman. Children are to have one mother and one father not two mothers or two fathers. However, there is also a large contention of homosexuals and their partners wanting the same rights as married couples. The Founding Fathers did not see that in the future the Constitution would be challenged to define marriage and family.
In conclusion, the Founding Fathers laid the groundwork for the following generations to add to the Constitution their experiences. The interpretation of the Constitution and its Amendments change with passing years andevents. Today’s interpretation of the Constitution will not be tomorrow’s interpretation.
Courtney from Study Moose
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