The Confederate one, that is. Unpersons hero Scott Horton points it out as a rather striking document, and one that the Republican Party continues to hew to as its example of the role of the government:
That constitution is largely a word-for-word reiteration of the U.S. Constitution as then in force, with three significant deviations. It denied Congress the power to legislate “for the general welfare,” it stressed the property rights of its citizens, particularly property rights in slaves, and it forbade spending money on improvement of interstate commerce with a narrow exception for navigation of public waters. It moved the Second Amendment into the body of the Constitution, together with the rest of the Bill of Rights. The Kelo case would clearly have been decided just as Sessions supposes under the Confederate Constitution, because it elevated the citizen’s rights in private property and precluded the legislature from taking steps to promote the “general welfare.” The same is possibly also true of the other two cases, because of the Confederate Constitution’s weak central-government premises.
Many commentators have posited that we are still rehashing the battles of the 1960s, but we have still not laid to rest the ghosts of the 1860s. As Ta-Nehisi Coates shrugs in response the Confederate History Month hullabaloo, the GOP has so eagerly accepted the mantle of the Confederacy that it hardly seems like news to point it out. Lincoln’s proposition that the nation will either live through all time or die by suicide seems as true today as it was in 1838.
Other differences only further make this Confederate/GOP connection stronger. Here’s the U.S. Constitution Preamble:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Here’s the Confederate Preamble:
We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.
Hmm… invocation of religious justification for actions — check; invocation of “states’ rights” as justification for actions — check; deemphasis of national unity — check.
Also notable, there was an entirely new clause for Congressional appropriations:
Congress shall appropriate no money from the Treasury except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses, taken by yeas and nays, unless it be asked and estimated for by some one of the heads of departments and submitted to Congress by the President; or for the purpose of paying its own expenses and contingencies; or for the payment of claims against the Confederate States, the justice of which shall have been judicially declared by a tribunal for the investigation of claims against the Government, which it is hereby made the duty of Congress to establish.
Hey, the Confederacy was trying to force fiscal austerity through obstructionism long before 1929!
The Confederacy never went away; it just got better clothes.