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Cornell Law School




The American legal academy is decidedly nationalistic. Comparative law tends to be a minor part of the law school curriculum, and discussion of alternative legal systems almost never finds its way into mainstream courses like constitutional law. As a result, much that is distinctive about American constitutionalism, and the American legal system in general, is often taken for granted. The federal Constitution, for example, says much about governmental structure, power, and limitations, but virtually nothing about the obligations of citizens to one another or to the government.' This feature of the American Constitution starkly sets it apart from many of its foreign counterparts. On the international scene, the responsibilities of individual citizens are a major topic of constitutional conversation.

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