Bill Of Rights Speech Analysis

Decent Essays
To his most vehement critics, the aforementioned opinions demonstrate “contempt for American institutions” and too little respect for the Constitution, yet Brennan never acted without historical justification. In the eyes of the justice, progressive positions on civil rights, as well as abortion and the death penalty, were entirely consistent with the Founding Fathers’ clear championing of personal dignity and freedom expressed in the Bill of Rights and the later adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. As such, if the court failed to uphold these rights by taking an originalist approach to the Constitution, they would, paradoxically, delineate from the very spirit of the document. Although Brennan earned a reputation for being amicable and open to compromise on the court bench, an impassioned speech given at Georgetown University in 1985 revealed his true thoughts concerning his colleagues who favoured judicial restraint: “It is arrogant to pretend that from our vantage we can gauge accurately the intent of the Framers on application of principle to specific, contemporary…show more content…
In this instance, Brennan was invoking the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, whose quotation that “laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind” is inscribed upon his memorial in Washington,
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