One can hardly deny that natural rights arguments of a Lockean strain were a key part of that fateful period from 1760-1776.
The New York Times runs a piece claiming that the US Constitution is losing influence, based on an article co-authored by my former colleague David Law. I haven’t read the Law piece, but the Times article is obviously one that is infused with politics. One doesn’t have to read too closely, especially if you know the people being quoted, to realize that the critics of the Constitution in the article are liberals. The defenders of the Constitution are on the right — I think only Justice Scalia.
I am not sure that this suggestion of a partisan divide is entirely accurate. But if the Times is looking to make a political point for the election year, it is making a mistake. The suggestion, if accepted, that conservatives favor the Constitution, but liberals oppose it, would in my view be the kiss of death for liberals. Americans embrace their Constitution, and it is already a problem for liberals that the Tea Party has associated itself with the Constitution.