Magna Carta’s unusual legacy in the United States is a matter of political history. But it also has to do with the difference between written and unwritten laws, and between promises and rights. At the Constitutional Convention, Magna Carta was barely mentioned, and only in passing. Invoked in a struggle against the King as a means of protesting his power as arbitrary, Magna Carta seemed irrelevant once independence had been declared: the United States had no king in need of restraining.
Jill Lepore, “The Rule of History”, The New Yorker (20 April 2015), 86.