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patriot45
07-01-2009, 10:01 AM
Ah, Walter Williams takes us to school again! Every damn politician should be made to read the constitution and the Bill of Rights, then be given a test!


How true! (http://townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2009/07/01/why_a_bill_of_rights)


Why did the founders of our nation give us the Bill of Rights? The answer is easy. They knew Congress could not be trusted with our God-given rights. Think about it. Why in the world would they have written the First Amendment prohibiting Congress from enacting any law that abridges freedom of speech and the press? The answer is that in the absence of such a limitation Congress would abridge free speech and free press. That same distrust of Congress explains the other amendments found in our Bill of Rights protecting rights such as our rights to property, fair trial and to bear arms. The Bill of Rights should serve as a constant reminder of the deep distrust that our founders had of government. They knew that some government was necessary but they rightfully saw government as the enemy of the people and they sought to limit government and provide us with protections.

After the 1787 Constitutional Convention, there were intense ratification debates about the proposed Constitution. Both James Madison and Alexander Hamilton expressed grave reservations about Thomas Jefferson's, George Mason's and others' insistence that the Constitution be amended by the Bill of Rights. Those reservations weren't the result of a lack of concern for liberty. To the contrary, they were concerned about the loss of liberties.

Alexander Hamilton expressed his reservation in Federalist Paper No. 84, "(B)ills of rights ... are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous." Hamilton asks, "For why declare that things shall not be done (by Congress) which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given (to Congress) by which restrictions may be imposed?" Hamilton's argument was that Congress can only do what the Constitution specifically gave it authority to do. Powers not granted belong to the people and the states. Another way of examining Hamilton's concern: Why have an amendment prohibiting Congress from infringing on our right to picnic on our back porch when the Constitution gives Congress no authority to infringe upon that right in the first place?

Alexander Hamilton added that a Bill of Rights would "contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more (powers) than were granted. ... (it) would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power." Going back to our picnic example, those who would usurp our God-given liberties might enact a law banning our right to have a picnic. They'd justify their actions by claiming that nowhere in the Constitution is there a guaranteed right to have a picnic.

To mollify Alexander Hamilton's and James Madison's fears about how a Bill of Rights might be used as a pretext to infringe on human rights, the Ninth Amendment was added that reads: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." In essence, the Ninth Amendment says it's impossible to list all of our God-given or natural rights. Just because a right is not listed doesn't mean it can be infringed upon or disparaged by the U.S. Congress. The Tenth Amendment is a reinforcement of the Ninth saying, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." That means if a power is not delegated to Congress, it belongs to the states of the people.

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments mean absolutely nothing today as Americans have developed a level of naive trust for Congress, the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court that would have astonished the founders, a trust that will lead to our undoing as a great nation.

FeebMaster
07-01-2009, 10:45 AM
In this case I'd have to agree with Hamilton.

Hell, I've heard the good old "That's not in the Constitution/Bill of Rights" on this site.

megimoo
07-01-2009, 10:47 AM
Eldridge
Ah, Walter Williams takes us to school again! Every damn politician should be made to read the constitution and the Bill of Rights, then be given a test!


How true! (http://townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2009/07/01/why_a_bill_of_rights)
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The total number to ever attend the Convention is irrelevant here (though some of those who left did so because they disagreed with it). Only three present *on the day of the signing* refused to sign:
George Mason of Virginia
Edmund Randolph of Virginia
Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts
http://www.constitutioncenter.org/explor...

In case you're interested in ALL who were delegates but did not sign the document, here is a table listing these sixteen men, with some info about each:
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GEORGE MASON
“That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural Rights… among which are the Enjoyment of Life and Liberty, with the Means of acquiring and possessing Property, and pursueing and obtaining Happiness and Safety.”

-- George Mason. Virginia Declaration of Rights, May, 1776..
...................................
In 1787, Mason was chosen to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where he was one of the most vocal debaters. Distressed over the amount of power being given to the federal government and the Convention’s unwillingness to abolish the slave trade, Mason refused to sign the Constitution. One of three dissenters, Mason’s refusal to support the new Constitution made him unpopular and destroyed his friendship with Washington, who later referred to Mason as his former friend.

Mason’s defense of individual liberties reverberated throughout the colonies, however, and a public outcry ensued. As a result, at the first session of the First Congress, Madison took up the cause and introduced a bill of rights that echoed Mason’s Declaration of Rights. The resultant first 10 amendments to the Constitution, also called the Bill of Rights, pleased Mason, who said, “I have received much Satisfaction from the Amendments to the federal Constitution, which have lately passed…” Invited to become one of Virginia’s senators in the First US Senate, Mason declined and finally was able to retire to Gunston Hall, where he remained until his death on October 7, 1792.
http://www.gunstonhall.org/georgemason/
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Edmund J. Randolph State: Virginia
Age at Convention: 34
Date of Birth: August 10, 1753
Date of Death: September 2, 1813

Schooling: Attended College of William and Mary
Four days after the opening of the federal convention in Philadelphia, on May 29, 1787, Edmund Randolph presented the Virginia Plan for creating a new government. This plan proposed a strong central government composed of three branches, legislative, executive, and judicial, and enabled the legislative to veto state laws and use force against states that failed to fulfill their duties. After many debates and revisions, including striking the section permitting force against a state, the Virginia Plan became in large part the basis of the Constitution.

Though Randolph introduced the highly centralized Virginia Plan, he fluctuated between the Federalist and Antifederalist points of view. He sat on the Committee of Detail that prepared a draft of the Constitution, but by the time the document was adopted, Randolph declined to sign. He felt it was not sufficiently republican, and he was especially wary of creating a one-man executive. He preferred a three-man council since he regarded "a unity in the Executive" to be the "foetus of monarchy." In a Letter… on the Federal Constitution, dated October 10, 1787, Randolph explained at length his objections to the Constitution. The old Articles of Confederation were inadequate, he agreed, but the proposed new plan of union contained too many flaws. Randolph was a strong advocate of the process of amendment. He feared that if the Constitution were submitted for ratification without leaving the states the opportunity to amend it, the document might be rejected and thus close off any hope of another plan of union. However, he hoped that amendments would be permitted and second convention called to incorporate the changes.
http://teachingamericanhistory.org/convention/delegates/randolph.html

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Elbridge Gerry
Born: 17 July 1744
Birthplace: Marblehead, Massachusetts
Died: 23 November 1814
Best Known As: James Madison's vice president, 1812-1814
At the Constitutional Convention (1787) Gerry favored congressional payment of the national debt and assumption of state debts. He expressed fears of excessive democracy and opposed popular election of Congress. But, equally fearful of aristocracy, he demanded annual elections, an enumeration of the powers of the national government, and, especially, a Bill of Rights. He refused to sign the Constitution and spoke vigorously against ratification in Massachusetts on the ground that without a safeguard such as a Bill of Rights, Federal government would eventually subvert republicanism. What Gerry sought was a workable balance between governmental power and popular liberty.
.........................................

http://www.history.army.mil/books/RevWar...

Molon Labe
07-01-2009, 11:10 AM
In this case I'd have to agree with Hamilton.

Hell, I've heard the good old "That's not in the Constitution/Bill of Rights" on this site.

agreed.
And the 9th amendment has been ignored so much that few even undestand it's breadth and intent that we have so much more that is not listed in terms of freedom.

I read this on a site:


Of all the amendments in the Bill of Rights, none is stranger or harder to interpret than the Ninth

Bull!

The constitution was written on an 11th grade reading level. No need for interpretation.
The articles are there to tell us what government "can" do and the bill of rights tell us what they "cannot" do to the people. The 9th being the broadest stroke.
Sorry Obama....the constitution is not based on positive law

wilbur
07-01-2009, 11:46 AM
Agreed...

Far too many people, all across the spectrum, rely on the "There is no right to X" (presumably b/c X is not listed in the Bill of Rights) argument, when its convenient for their agenda.

patriot45
07-01-2009, 11:52 AM
Agreed...

Far too many people, all across the spectrum, rely on the "There is no right to X" (presumably b/c X is not listed in the Bill of Rights) argument, when its convenient for their agenda.

They kinda knew they couldn't list em all, the idea was to limit the Federal Government and empower the states and the people. They are wiping thier butts with both anyway!



In essence, the Ninth Amendment says it's impossible to list all of our God-given or natural rights. Just because a right is not listed doesn't mean it can be infringed upon or disparaged by the U.S. Congress.

megimoo
07-01-2009, 12:02 PM
They kinda knew they couldn't list em all, the idea was to limit the Federal Government and empower the states and the people. They are wiping thier butts with both anyway!Over time man corrupts all things : Me !

NJCardFan
07-01-2009, 12:15 PM
The problem is that the Bill of Rights has been bastardized by both sides but more so by liberals. For instance, liberals fell all over themselves about their 1st amendment rights when trashing the Bush administration yet when talk radio is negative about Obama, it's hate speech and to one chucklehead, terrorism. And while I agree that the 9th amendment is being trampled on, more so, the 10th amendment is being crapped on. There is a reason why the Founders put the 10th amendment in there. This is because someone living in Maine cannot make policy for those living in Georgia. Sadly, this is no longer the case.

Full-Auto
07-01-2009, 12:44 PM
In this case I'd have to agree with Hamilton.

Hell, I've heard the good old "That's not in the Constitution/Bill of Rights" on this site.

Do you honestly think that if the Bill of Rights weren't there we would still have firearms? Freedom of speech? Of course we wouldn't. Hamilton had no idea to which the extent corruption would embed itself into our government. If it weren't for the 2nd Amendment, our right to own firearms would have been taken from us LONG ago.

...and the argument "it's not prohibited in the Constitution" would still be used.

FeebMaster
07-01-2009, 01:33 PM
Do you honestly think that if the Bill of Rights weren't there we would still have firearms? Freedom of speech? Of course we wouldn't. Hamilton had no idea to which the extent corruption would embed itself into our government. If it weren't for the 2nd Amendment, our right to own firearms would have been taken from us LONG ago.

...and the argument "it's not prohibited in the Constitution" would still be used.

Certainly you'd still have firearms. You'd have the firearms the government deemed it acceptable for you to own. You'd have the right to free speech as well. You'd be free to speak when and where the government decreed it acceptable for you to do so. No different from today, really.

That the Bill of Rights lists a few rights is the least of the Constitution's flaws. No government can be contained by a Constitution, especially if that government gets the final say in what the words actually mean.

Constitutionally Speaking
07-01-2009, 02:26 PM
In this case I'd have to agree with Hamilton.

Hell, I've heard the good old "That's not in the Constitution/Bill of Rights" on this site.


As usual Feebs, you are right. I just wish you would vote.

Constitutionally Speaking
07-01-2009, 02:35 PM
The Bill of rights was designed to limit the government and prevent what we see happening today.

The 9th and 10th amendments were intended to prevent the Federal government from doing ANYTHING not SPECIFICALLY permitted by the Constitution itself.


95% of what the government spends our money on is an unconstitutional usurpation of rights that correctly belong to the states or to individual men.

FeebMaster
07-01-2009, 07:24 PM
As usual Feebs, you are right. I just wish you would vote.

I wish you wouldn't.