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There is little doubt that the framers borrowed ideas - or at least inspiration - from state constitutions that were written earlier, but scholars agree that the U.S. Constitution is among the most unique legal documents ever written.

“The [Constitution’s] fundamental framework - the concept that dividing power is the way to balance it, and that no branch of government has ultimate authority, and that fundamentally this is a republic that rules at the pleasure of the people and that we the people are both starting and managing this engine - had never been done before,” Mr. Eisner said.