(2004-03-08) -- Just hours after the 25-member Iraqi Governing Council approved that nation's new interim constitution, a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned it on the grounds that it provides "excessive power to the ignorant masses."

"Democracy cannot be entrusted to millions of people who have never been to law school," an unnamed judge wrote for the panel. "Ultimately power must rest in the hands of those who know what's best for others. That's the American model, and that is what we should export to the world."

The Ninth Circuit panel said it might reconsider its ruling if the Iraqi Governing Council were to allow the establishment of branch campuses of Harvard and Yale Universities in Baghdad.

"It's possible that within 10 to 12 years," the panel concluded, "that judges could be prepared to rule equitably in Iraq as they do here in the United States. Only then could Iraq return to the relative stability it has enjoyed for the past three decades."