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Old April 30th, 2017, 08:33 PM   #1
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The Bill of Rights and the People.

Many people here on DTT (jimmyb being one of the loudest) wants us to believe that the Bill of Rights did not (and does not) apply to the states.

Well, except for the 10th Amendment.

So I want a straight forward answer to a question I have asked that has yet to be answered.

If the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states then why do they exist at all? What possible purpose could they serve?

In the Declaration of Independence it is stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

Governments are instituted to secure the unalienable rights that we all are given by the mere fact of our existence.

But when the Bill of Rights were ratified and added to the Constitution jimmyb would have us believe that the rights being secured by those 10 Amendments were NOT being secured at all.

Sure the Federal Government couldn't violate your right to practice (or not practice) whatever religion you wanted but there was nothing to stop the state you resided in from doing so. The First Amendment only applied to the Federal Government, the individual state governments were not bound by it.

So if the state of NY made a law saying only Christianity would be recognized within the borders of NY there was nothing the Federal Government could do about it and *POOF* there went your freedom of religion. Pennsylvania didn't want you owning a gun, tah dah! You can't own a gun in Pennsylvania.

You have no rights (in this system) that a state government can't just come in and take away.

So, again, why even have a bill of rights?
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Old April 30th, 2017, 09:45 PM   #2
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Rather than a long post with historical primary evidence that will be ignored and countered with how someone feels history should be, here is a simpler way. Here is a very short list of why the Bills of Rights were never meant to apply to the states:

Read the preamble to the Bill of Rights: this pretty much sums it up why the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states.

Read Madison's intro to the Bill of Rights.

Read the argument by the anti-Federalists regarding why. Hint: it had something to do with King George.

Read the state’s ratifying conventions.

Read the state’s proposals for amendments.

Read the versions of the Bill of Right and debates and the rejection by Congress when Madison proposed applying rights of conscience to the states.

Understand that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments did not concern unenumerated rights, but were rules of construction limiting the interpretation of Article I to only the powers enumerated.

Understand American history and the mindset of the Founders and the sovereign states regarding any federal government. The states all had much longer and detailed bill of rights that protected their citizens. Read the long mail exchange between Madison and Jefferson while Jefferson was in Paris. Here is what you will find regarding the Bill of Rights only applying to the states:
Jefferson’s letter to Madison regarding the Bill of Rights dated July 31, 1788:
My idea then, is, that though proper exceptions to these general rules are desirable and probably practicable, yet if the exceptions cannot be agreed on, the establishment of the rules, in all cases, will do ill in very few. I hope, therefore, a bill of rights will be formed to guard the people against the federal government, as they are already guarded against their State governments, in most instances.
Not a single Framer or ratifier made a single statement regarding creating a Bill of Rights so the federal government could protect the citizens of their states from their state. Their concern was limited to the federal government
.

Read Barron v Baltimore (1833). Read United States v. Cruikshank (1876). Read Presser v. Illinois (1886). Read all the cases regarding the Bill of Rights and the states.

Madison wrote the Bill of Rights to be inserted into the body of the Constitution and put parts of the Declaration of Independence into the Preamble. This would have put the Bill of Rights under the purview of Article V’s amendment process. Both were soundly rejected. Madison then wrote a draft of the Bill of Rights that applied the rights of conscience to the states. This was also soundly rejected as federal overreach and defeated the purpose of the Bill of Rights restraining only the federal government. Madison also did not refer to the Bill of Rights as amendments in the body of the Constitution. He referred to them as “friendly alterations.”

Applying the Bill of Rights to the states was not a concept, much less debated. Of the thousands of pages regarding the Bill of Rights, not a single sentence was made regarding applying the Bill of Rights to the states. Of the thousands of pages, what was mentioned over and over was applying the Bill of Rights to the federal government.
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Old April 30th, 2017, 11:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyb View Post
Rather than a long post with historical primary evidence that will be ignored and countered with how someone feels history should be, here is a simpler way. Here is a very short list of why the Bills of Rights were never meant to apply to the states:

Read the preamble to the Bill of Rights: this pretty much sums it up why the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states.

Read Madison's intro to the Bill of Rights.

Read the argument by the anti-Federalists regarding why. Hint: it had something to do with King George.

Read the state’s ratifying conventions.

Read the state’s proposals for amendments.

Read the versions of the Bill of Right and debates and the rejection by Congress when Madison proposed applying rights of conscience to the states.

Understand that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments did not concern unenumerated rights, but were rules of construction limiting the interpretation of Article I to only the powers enumerated.

Understand American history and the mindset of the Founders and the sovereign states regarding any federal government. The states all had much longer and detailed bill of rights that protected their citizens. Read the long mail exchange between Madison and Jefferson while Jefferson was in Paris. Here is what you will find regarding the Bill of Rights only applying to the states:
Jefferson’s letter to Madison regarding the Bill of Rights dated July 31, 1788:
My idea then, is, that though proper exceptions to these general rules are desirable and probably practicable, yet if the exceptions cannot be agreed on, the establishment of the rules, in all cases, will do ill in very few. I hope, therefore, a bill of rights will be formed to guard the people against the federal government, as they are already guarded against their State governments, in most instances.
Not a single Framer or ratifier made a single statement regarding creating a Bill of Rights so the federal government could protect the citizens of their states from their state. Their concern was limited to the federal government
.

Read Barron v Baltimore (1833). Read United States v. Cruikshank (1876). Read Presser v. Illinois (1886). Read all the cases regarding the Bill of Rights and the states.

Madison wrote the Bill of Rights to be inserted into the body of the Constitution and put parts of the Declaration of Independence into the Preamble. This would have put the Bill of Rights under the purview of Article V’s amendment process. Both were soundly rejected. Madison then wrote a draft of the Bill of Rights that applied the rights of conscience to the states. This was also soundly rejected as federal overreach and defeated the purpose of the Bill of Rights restraining only the federal government. Madison also did not refer to the Bill of Rights as amendments in the body of the Constitution. He referred to them as “friendly alterations.”

Applying the Bill of Rights to the states was not a concept, much less debated. Of the thousands of pages regarding the Bill of Rights, not a single sentence was made regarding applying the Bill of Rights to the states. Of the thousands of pages, what was mentioned over and over was applying the Bill of Rights to the federal government.
If you're correct, it was a major mistake.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 02:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyb View Post
Rather than a long post with historical primary evidence that will be ignored and countered with how someone feels history should be, here is a simpler way. Here is a very short list of why the Bills of Rights were never meant to apply to the states:

Read the preamble to the Bill of Rights: this pretty much sums it up why the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states.

Read Madison's intro to the Bill of Rights.

Read the argument by the anti-Federalists regarding why. Hint: it had something to do with King George.

Read the state’s ratifying conventions.

Read the state’s proposals for amendments.

Read the versions of the Bill of Right and debates and the rejection by Congress when Madison proposed applying rights of conscience to the states.

Understand that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments did not concern unenumerated rights, but were rules of construction limiting the interpretation of Article I to only the powers enumerated.

Understand American history and the mindset of the Founders and the sovereign states regarding any federal government. The states all had much longer and detailed bill of rights that protected their citizens. Read the long mail exchange between Madison and Jefferson while Jefferson was in Paris. Here is what you will find regarding the Bill of Rights only applying to the states:
Jefferson’s letter to Madison regarding the Bill of Rights dated July 31, 1788:
My idea then, is, that though proper exceptions to these general rules are desirable and probably practicable, yet if the exceptions cannot be agreed on, the establishment of the rules, in all cases, will do ill in very few. I hope, therefore, a bill of rights will be formed to guard the people against the federal government, as they are already guarded against their State governments, in most instances.
Not a single Framer or ratifier made a single statement regarding creating a Bill of Rights so the federal government could protect the citizens of their states from their state. Their concern was limited to the federal government
.

Read Barron v Baltimore (1833). Read United States v. Cruikshank (1876). Read Presser v. Illinois (1886). Read all the cases regarding the Bill of Rights and the states.

Madison wrote the Bill of Rights to be inserted into the body of the Constitution and put parts of the Declaration of Independence into the Preamble. This would have put the Bill of Rights under the purview of Article V’s amendment process. Both were soundly rejected. Madison then wrote a draft of the Bill of Rights that applied the rights of conscience to the states. This was also soundly rejected as federal overreach and defeated the purpose of the Bill of Rights restraining only the federal government. Madison also did not refer to the Bill of Rights as amendments in the body of the Constitution. He referred to them as “friendly alterations.”

Applying the Bill of Rights to the states was not a concept, much less debated. Of the thousands of pages regarding the Bill of Rights, not a single sentence was made regarding applying the Bill of Rights to the states. Of the thousands of pages, what was mentioned over and over was applying the Bill of Rights to the federal government.
Not even close to answering the question.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 05:10 AM   #5
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Not even close to answering the question.
I answered the question in detail and gave several reasons why. History is not what you wish it was. It is what it is. You cannot wrap your head around the fact that the states were sovereign except for a few powers they gave up. You view founding era history as if the US was conquered by the Founders and they gave the states a few powers to appease them.

What is missing from your post is the evidence that the Bill of Rights was created to apply to the states. Produce it.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 05:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
If you're correct, it was a major mistake.
Why do you say that?
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Old May 1st, 2017, 05:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
If you're correct, it was a major mistake.
Read Plessey v Ferguson.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 06:01 AM   #8
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Why do you say that?
The opening lines of the DOI:
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
To start, the DOI is an "unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America." In other words, it's a policy declaration as well.

It's declared "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." To that list we can had the rights protected from government impingement by the Bill of Rights.

And, that government's prime duty is to defend unalienable rights. When government fails at it's primary charge, "it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Later in the DOI this Right of the people is further defined as a duty.

Now what sense would it make to allow state governments the right to abrogate unalienable rights? If this was the Founders intention, their paranoia of a too-powerful federal government clouded their judgement.

Their clouded judgement led to a large mistake if every unalienable right was subject to annulment by a state's legislature. Liberty would not be served by such a position.

I well understand your viewpoint, but I submit that people learn, evolve, so that even if the viewpoint you hold was the one held by the Founders, we can now see it was a mistake.

What point to fight and die for your country if a state legislature can take away your unalienable rights with a majority vote?
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Old May 1st, 2017, 06:02 AM   #9
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Read Plessey v Ferguson.
I reviewed it. What is your point?
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Old May 1st, 2017, 06:19 AM   #10
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I reviewed it. What is your point?
I have no idea but it is a famous Supreme Court decision. Law is anything but my expertise. Give me the green light and I will fire up the Blue Angel and be in Kansas in two days and on the third day be in Colorado. I got cabin fever and need something to do and meeting a very nice man and wife would be cool. The Blue Angel had to shift a lot of gears when going over the mountains of Tennessee but if I fill her up with Premium should scale the Rockies with no problem at all.
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