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US Constitution

George Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and James Madison wrote the document that formed the model for the Constitution of the United States.

When judges hear cases or Congress debates legislative bills they seek advice from the original constitutional text, amendments, enacted laws, court cases, and so forth; this is basically common law.  Constitutional judges always say what did the founding fathers mean by the text of the constitution?

One of those founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to James Madison from Paris just after the French Revolution had broken out, Thomas Jefferson argued that any Constitution expires after 19 years and must be renewed:

“Between society and society, or generation and generation there is no municipal obligation, no umpire but the law of nature. We seem not to have perceived that, by the law of nature, one generation is to another as one independent nation to another… On similar ground it may be proved that no society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation… Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19. years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right.”

What he meant is that the US Constitution should lapse and become null and void in 1808. Taking Jefferson’s advice it’s been 12 generations since the ratification, so it’s time for a new constitutional convention.
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