A Textual and Historical Case Against a Global Constitution

78 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2006 Last revised: 8 Mar 2016

See all articles by Andrew Kent

Andrew Kent

Fordham University School of Law


The emerging conventional wisdom in the legal academy is that individual rights under the U.S. Constitution should be extended to noncitizens outside the United States. This claim - called globalism in my article - has been advanced with increasing vigor in recent years, most notably in response to legal positions taken by the Bush administration during the war on terror. Against a Global Constitution challenges the textual and historical grounds advanced to support the globalist conventional wisdom and demonstrates that they have remarkably little support. At the same time, the article adduces textual and historical evidence that noncitizens were among the intended beneficiaries of important provisions and structures in the Constitution. But in contrast to globalism's desire to deploy a judicially enforced Bill of Rights abroad, Against a Global Constitution shows that, as a textual and historical matter, noncitizens are to be protected through diplomacy, enforcement of international law by the U.S. government, and nonconstitutional policy choices of the political branches.

Keywords: extraterritorial, extraterritoriality, constitution, constitutional rights, enemy aliens, allegiance and protection, globalism, global constitution

Suggested Citation

Kent, Andrew, A Textual and Historical Case Against a Global Constitution. Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 95, p. 463, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=888602

Andrew Kent (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

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