In my Public Choice lecture on Constitutions, I challenged Buchanan’s real (not merely hypothetical) “veil of ignorance” view. My claim:

There may be some constitutional rules where a veil
of ignorance applies…  But most constitutional rules are about permanently locking
in existing political advantages

I then present supportive evidence from the U.S. Constitution. 

While walking down Carow Hall today, though, I noticed a copy of the Magna Carta on the wall, and reflected that I’ve never read it.  Then a challenge came to mind: Whose view of constitutions will predict better “out of sample” on the Magna Carta – Buchanan’s, or mine?

So here’s my proposal.  Let’s have a “book club” on the Magna Carta.  We’ll read it together, then race the “veil of ignorance” theory against the “political advantage lock-in theory.”  This translation has 37 paragraphs, so I suggest that for Monday, we read the preamble and grafs 1-9.  Then I’ll blog my assessment, and you can tell me whether my coding is fair.