PEOPLE Contention and Continuity

Amendments . . . shall be valid to all Intends and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution ARTICLE V PEOPLE Contention and Continuity From the U.S. and abroad, views on the charter's merits and shortco

Since the Constitution was drafted, Americans have been engaged in an ongoing, often heated debate about its meaning and value. Both in the U.S. and abroad, students of democracy have puzzled over the document's contradictory roles as the chief focus of contention and the enduring symbol of cultural and political unity. To sample present opinion, TIME asked notables in the U.S. and other countries to assess the Constitution's merits and shortcomings and to suggest ways that it could be changed. Their replies: