An analysis of the purpose of the bill of rights in the american constitution

Fessenden Highlights "[I]f the rebel States would make no denial of right to emancipated citizens no [fourteenth] amendment would be needed. But they will make denial," said Rep. Bingham points out that no State may deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection "not of its laws, but of the laws," i. Bingham says the Fourteenth Amendment secures the power to enforce the same identical condition that had been placed upon the State of Missouri in

An analysis of the purpose of the bill of rights in the american constitution

Judicial Interpretations of Commerce, C.

Constitutional Law Articles Ratified December 15, Amendment I Freedoms, Petitions, Assembly Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
United States Constitution - Wikipedia Originally published as 41 Baylor L.

The Meaning of "among the several States" 1. The original meaning of "among the states" independently limits the federal commerce power 3.

An analysis of the purpose of the bill of rights in the american constitution

Commerce "concerning more than one state" is too broad a construction of the original meaning of "among the several States. The Meaning of "To regulate" 1. The power to regulate does not generally include the power to prohibit 2.

Amendment I

The power "to regulate" might sometimes include the power "to prohibit. Supreme Court, in recent cases, has attempted to define limits on the Congress's power to regulate commerce among the several states.

While Justice Thomas has maintained that the original meaning of "commerce" was limited to the "trade and exchange" of goods and transportation for this purpose, some have argued that he is mistaken and that "commerce" originally included any "gainful activity.

In every appearance where the context suggests a specific usage, the narrow meaning is always employed. Moreover, originalist evidence of the meaning of "among the several States" and "To regulate" also supports a narrow reading of the Commerce Clause. In United States v Lopez 1for the first time in sixty years, the Supreme Court of the United States held a statute to be unconstitutional because it exceeded the powers of Congress under the Commerce Clause 2.

In his concurring opinion, Justice Thomas offered a critique of contemporary Commerce Clause doctrine--based on the original meaning of the clause--that went well beyond the majority opinion. According to Justice Thomas, "at the time the original Constitution was ratified, 'commerce' consisted of selling, buying, and bartering, as well as transporting for these purposes.

In cases such as United States v E. Knight Co 8the Court distinguished "commerce" from manufacturing or agriculture, and held that the regulation of either manufacturing or agriculture exceeded the powers of Congress under the clause 9.

Referring to "what legal historians with proper derision call 'law office history,'" Judge Richard Posner cited Justice Thomas's concurrence as an example of "highly debatable historical excursus by originalist judges. Justice Thomas's conception of the original meaning of the Commerce Clause has also been challenged in a lengthy article by Professors Grant Nelson and Robert Pushaw, Jr.

They examine "the original meaning, intent, and understanding" 12 of the Commerce Clause and reach the conclusion that commerce originally referred to any "gainful activity.

In their article, Nelson and Pushaw rely "heavily" 14 upon the two earlier works of scholarship that had challenged the Progressive Era Court's limited conception of commerce: Though recognizing the many well-documented deficiencies in Crosskey's work, they state their agreement "with those scholars who have found Crosskey's evidence persuasive in establishing the meaning of 'commerce,' but not his other claims such as the supposed creation of a national government with complete legislative authority.

While I agree with much in Nelson and Pushaw's nuanced article 26I will present evidence here that strongly indicates that they, Crosskey, and Hamilton and Adair are wrong with respect to the original meaning of the term "commerce" in the Commerce Clause.

Indeed, when I first read Hamilton and Adair and Crosskey, alongside Nelson and Pushaw's endorsement of their work, I too was persuaded that "commerce" meant any "gainful activity"--until I had a chance to survey the records of the Constitutional Convention and the ratification debates for myself.

When I did, I found to my surprise that the term "commerce" was consistently used in the narrow sense and that there is no surviving example of it being used in either source in any broader sense. The same holds true for the use of the word "commerce" in The Federalist Papers.

Upon discovering this, I returned to The Power to Govern and noticed for the first time that Hamilton and Adair omitted any reference to the use of the term "commerce" in the Philadelphia or ratification conventions, though they offered evidence from these sources for other claims I was not surprised that Crosskey had omitted this evidence since he explicitly signaled his intention to ignore evidence from the drafting process.

Unfortunately, Nelson and Pushaw do not fill this gap. After discussing the evidence concerning the meaning of "commerce," I will present evidence on the meaning of the terms "among the states" and "To regulate. Before attempting any of this, it is necessary to distinguish "original meaning" from "original intent" as methods of originalist interpretation.

This distinction will assist in understanding why the evidence of meaning I present here is significant and why it is not undermined fatally by the contrary evidence relied upon by Nelson and Pushaw, Hamilton and Adair, and Crosskey.

And it is also important to distinguish interpretation from construction so as to avoid asking too much of the former, or confusing the former with the latter. Original Meaning and Interpretation A. Intent As I have explained elsewhere 30"original meaning" refers to the meaning a reasonable speaker of English would have attached to the words, phrases, sentences, etc.The Embarrassing Second Amendment Sanford Levinson University of Texas at Austin School of Law Reprinted from the Yale Law Journal, Volume 99, pp.

One of the best known pieces of American popular art in this century is the New Yorker cover by Saul Steinberg presenting a map of the United States as seen by a New Yorker, As most readers can no doubt recall, Manhattan dominates .

The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States.

The Bill of Rights as a Constitution

The Constitution, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress; the executive, consisting of the.

The Constitution of the United States of America. On this site, constitutional experts interact with each other to explore the Constitution’s history and what it means today. Civil Rights Movement bibliography. Freedom Movement Bibliography. See also: Books Written by Freedom Movement Veterans.

Bill of Rights and later Amendments to the United States Constitution

Civil Rights Movement bibliography. Freedom Movement Bibliography. See also: Books Written by Freedom Movement Veterans. Footnotes. 1.


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