What are the benefits of a written constitution?

1.  It preserves the expectations of states (e.g., protections for small states through equal suffrage in the Senate)

2.  It limits governmental power so as to protect individual liberties
-------protection of minorities from oppressive majorities (equal protection clause, guarantees of religious liberty and free speech)
-------protection of private property against legislatures controlled by debtors (contracts clause, takings clause)
-------protection of other basic rights (right to be free from cruel punishments or unreasonable searches, for example)

3.  It clarifies roles to reduce disputes between governmental players

4.  It has symbolic value as an expression of our commitment to democratic principles and individual dignity