The inspired Constitution: 5 principles that animate our country’s governing document
In his April 4 address at the general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Dallin H. Oaks spoke of his belief that “the United States Constitution contains at least five divinely inspired principles”: popular sovereignty, the separation of powers, federalism, individual rights, and the rule of law.
In a five-part series, Justin Collings, a professor of law and associate dean at Brigham Young University Law School, addresses each of those principles in turn and explores how this divinely inspired document has morphed over time — for better or for worse. From the temptation of executive overreach to the tension between state autonomy and federal control, Collings lends his expert voice to help readers understand more deeply the framework of the compact that has governed the country for nearly 250 years.
For more sharp commentary on the subject, we invite readers to explore excerpts from the July/August issue of Deseret Magazine which was dedicated to examining the U.S. Constitution and the country’s founding principles:
September 04, 2021 10:04 PM
The rule of law depends as much on citizen virtue as on constitutional structure. And our collective civic virtue is currently under strain.
If Americans generally abandon their allegiance to the paramount freedoms of the First Amendment, there will be little the Supreme Court can do to save us from ourselves.
The dividing line is fiercely contested and always has been. But wherever one draws the line, it makes more sense to talk about “federalism” than “states’ rights.”
Separation of powers is arguably the defining feature of the U.S. Constitution — the beating heart of our constitutional design.
The answer is in the U.S. Constitution’s inspired balance between popular rule and centralized power.