• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • It's Not All About 'Rights'

    Just in time for today’s recognition of Bill of Rights Day, the anonymous scribe within The Heritage Foundation – self-identified only as ”A Conservative” — pushed the send button on a fifth electronic circular under the nameplate “New Common Sense.”

    The e-circular, which bears the headline “The Constitution Protects Us Too,” reads as follows:

    On Dec. 15, 1791, the first 10 amendments were added to the Constitution after being ratified by three-quarters of the states. Many Americans have taken to praising these amendments, collectively called the Bill of Rights, as providing the true protection of our liberty. But today, Bill of Rights Day, we should remember the Constitution itself is more important than any amendment.

    That’s what the Founders wished for us to do. Alexander Hamilton argued that adding a bill of rights to the Constitution would be dangerous, or at least unnecessary. Bills of rights, Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 84, are “stipulations between kings and their subjects…reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince.” 

    The Constitution, though, is not a bargain between subjects and kings. “We the people” vest each branch of government with specific powers. In Article I, Congress receives “powers herein granted” — not legislative power over everything and anything. Nowhere in the Constitution have “we the people” given Congress power to regulate speech or religion, or to police the states generally.

    Since the Constitution enumerates which powers belong to Congress, a bill of rights “would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted,” Hamilton wrote. His warnings came to fruition. Hardly anyone blinks an eye when Congress legislates on, say, which light bulbs we use in our homes.

    In the public mind today — 217 years after ratification of the Bill of Rights — some amendments eclipse protections inherent in the enumerated powers. Just because Congress doesn’t violate the Bill of Rights or other amendments, however, doesn’t mean lawmakers are acting constitutionally.  

    This Bill of Rights Day, let’s praise the Constitution too.           – A Conservative

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to It's Not All About 'Rights'

    1. Barb -mn says:

      Thank you!

      This is where the government FAILED US AND IMMIGRANTS. The constitution's words of WE THE PEOPLE is always for the people and to be seen as equal individuals American born and foreign born American citizens REGARDLESS OF RACE, CREED OR CULTURE. The only way to conduct civil equal law is to see people as people with no recognition to race, creed or culture. No exceptions to be made because of. All these are personal. And as we are all human American citizens, we all fit under the constitution and as it stands, a document fit for all times.

      No tax dollars allowed to "PANDER" to minorities that reflect peoples race, creed or culture based on America's principle of EQUAL RIGHTS. It's violation to the taxpayers and of what America stands for. For the government to PANDER is encouraging less expectations, For the government to PANDER shows weakness of the people. As humans we all have brains with the ability to reason. How dare the government admit less of any human life. For the government to PANDER is ILLEGAL COSTS in America of supposed EQUALITY and another reason this country is collapsing. Local governments have cut police forces and other areas vital and beneficial to all while money continues to be doled to bias programs relating to race, creed, culture. And where the money isn't traced. People live in America for their own personal reasons. Being pandered to shouldn't be one of them…

      The government leaders in my state has allowed amendment to conform the STATES constitution of peoples personal cultures brought into America causing unfair tax burden. This is personally benefiting ONLY the people of those cultures. Defined in the amendment: cultural opportunities? cultural resources? and cultural heritage? DEFIES EQUAL RIGHTS AND IS WRONG. and the money isn't traced. Our PUBLIC schools have programs singling out STUDENTS by their race, creed or culture. One PUBLIC school was found teaching the islamic muslim religion. More unfair tax burden. PUBLIC schools should be open to all with no intimidation. Teach the facts. If people want something more they can build a private school with their own money. The public school officials go so far to get people to pay more for public schools by threatening removal of sports to which the parents pay out of pocket expenses for their children to participate. It pays for itself, yet threatened.

      It's so easy for the government to make a claim of increasing taxes but then divert it anywhere they want with less or no money going to the actual claim.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×