The Bill of Rights: Americas Last Defense Against the Federal Suffocation of Civil Liberties?

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     Is our Bill of Rights necessary? Does it put a limit on our government, or on our liberty? Do these ten amendments hold the same meaning today as they did two-hundred and fourteen years ago? Are they now or have they ever been relevant? These questions were debated by our nation’s founding fathers in the eighteenth century and continue to be debated by the historians, academics, and political scientists today. Over the course of the last two centuries, its meaning has been twisted and stretched by the interpretation and misinterpretation of our legislature and, most of all, by the Supreme Court wielding its power of judicial review. It is my belief that these rights were and are absolutely essential to…show more content…
The opposing viewpoint, as found in the anti-federalist letters written by “Brutus”, was that a greater threat could be found in not protecting these rights. He claimed that, if left unchecked by a bill or rights, the federal government would eventually assume much greater power due to legislation by the Congress utilizing the implied powers clause. Anti-federalists feared that this would eventually result in direct consequences on the liberties of individuals. Given the advantage of seeing this country after two centuries under the current Constitution, I believe that this was and is an even greater threat than that feared by the federalists. Despite two years of heated debate between federalists and anti-federalists, the Constitution was adopted in 1789 without the bill of rights; however, the terms of ratification issued by several states, including Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, required an unwritten understanding that the ratified Constitution would quickly be amended to include such a bill. James Madison, once a champion of the federalist cause, was the first to propose a bill of rights to the Congress. Of the twelve amendments he proposed, the Congress accepted and incorporated ten into the Constitution. Since admission into the Constitution, the role of those amendments has changed drastically. During the years following its ratification, the Bill

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