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Key Fact

John Yoo Asks, “Why Do We Need a Constitution?”
People are imperfect. So it’s entirely possible well-meaning people may make mistakes or badly intentioned people may get into the government and abuse it. What happens if, say, the president says, “I want to lock down the whole country for six weeks”? And what if states and cities say, “No we don’t think that's a good idea.” How does that get worked out? That's where the Constitution comes in, because it does set up different decision-making rules in terms of conflict. You wouldn’t need a constitution if everybody agreed on everything all the time. You wouldn't need a constitution if people were always wise and smart all the time. James Madison said, “If mankind were angels, there would be no need for government.” It’s because we’re not angels that you need a government.