Tag: constitution

For Anya — Bill of Rights QuickRef

Since Anya is working on memorizing the Bill of Rights, I wanted a really quick list for her to review:

  1. Religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition government for redress
  2. Keep and bear arms
  3. No quartering soldiers
  4. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure (secure in person, house, papers)
  5. Right to due process, freedom from self incrimination, no double jeopardy
  6. Right to speedy trial, public trial, jury of peers
  7. Right to trial by jury in civil cases
  8. Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishment
  9. Other rights reserved for people
  10. Other rights reserved to states

On Originalism

Originalism can roll back a frightening amount of legislation — New Deal, civil rights, food safety, etc. There’s even a school of thought that says the 14th amendment doesn’t mean stuff like the bill of rights doesn’t limit state government. Just Congress. Which would mean a *state* is free to enact limits that abrogate our federally ensured rights. The illogic of the argument is, I assume, why originalists inconsistently apply their beliefs rulings. Think of the 11th Amendment interpretation that “by Citizens of another State” includes ‘citizens of *that* state’, for instance. Or the purported Second Amendment right to weaponry that hadn’t been imagined in the late 1700’s. Originalists make decisions contrary to the founders’ understanding of what they wrote.
And originalism seems to invalidate itself — was the understanding at the time the Constitution was adopted that most legislation requires a Constitutional amendment?