"..the Bill of Rights does not come from the people
and is not subject to change by majorities.
It comes from the nature of things.
It declares the inalienable rights of man
not only against all government
but also against the people collectively."
Walter Lippmann
(1889-1974) American writer, journalist, and political commentator
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Reader comments about this quote:
Partly true but absolutely important in American democracy. Madison originally had 17 rights in his bill. The bill was massaged and modified by people (politicians) it did not drop from the sky. But we have enshrined it and it is a guiding star for our republic.
 -- Bruce, 'Bama     
    It is important to recognize the context within which the Constitution is written. It is written in first person plural as spoken by We The People. The Bill of Rights did not confer any rights -- it merely specifically prohibited Congress from making laws that would abridge certain rights. There were no rights that it created nor were there any rights that it didn't create because a couple of them did not pass. And we have more rights than those it specifically protects from Congressional regulation.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    WOW, that this would be understood by the populous and politician alike. The government uniting the several States was to do nothing unless the Constitution formally spoke of it and, authorized it. The 10 Amendments were an after thought just to assure latter governments did not forget at least that much.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    God forbids democracy, the Constitution precludes it and democratic process got Jesus crucified. Democracy is when two wolves and a sheep vote on what they will have for lunch. Democracy is a matter of convincing the majority that evil is good and that those who resist evil shall be ridiculed and punished. Refuse to help conceal banking fraud with tax returns and the majority as jurors will jail you and condone the confiscation of your home as called for in Marx's 4th plank, His first three gave us real estate, income and inheritance taxes. It is evil to help conceal banking fraud or any fraud, in fact, it is crime to know of a crime and not report it. "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil."--Exodus 23:2 To report an income of "dollars" when you received no substance measured in dollars (silver coins) violates Exodus 23:1
     -- Dave Wilber     
    Dave I think if you ask around you will find that your sin (and mine too) is what killed Jesus. Plus he wanted to die for you. Deocracy and politics has nothing to do with it.
     -- Bruce, 'Bama-Roll Tide     
    The problem with the bill of rights is that it implies that the Government is limited by them. When the constitution was written it gave to government certain limited powers and every thing else to the states and individuals. The bill of rights allows one to interpret the constitution in such a way as to believe that the government can do any thing not specifically denied it. Of course by now the left would have found a way to interpret the constitution any way they wanted with out the bill of rights anyway. The originators of the constitution had quite a debate over this point. It was like telling you that you are free and then listing what you are allowed to do. Doesn't seem much like freedom then. If you are given a list of things you can't do you can come to the conclusion that any thing not on the list is ok. The latter is what the bill of rights does for the government. We over value the bill of rights. When the constitution is properly interpreted there was not any reason for them. The rights in them were already ours for the government to give us a list implies that those rights were the governments to give. The constitution clearly says they were ours already. The addition of a list of rights contradicts the rest of the document's spirit and intent.
     -- warren, olathe     
    Interesting analysis Warren. I believe from some things I have read that such a list was a bit of a tradition going way back into monarchical Britain where the monarch was absolute and the people did not know anything about inalienable rights.
     -- Bruce, 'Bama     
    The constitution is not a document of permission, it is one of restriction. The same applies to properly written laws. Everything is a right until its not. Everything is legal until its not. If "rights" didn't occasionally collide, we wouldn't need laws OR constitutions.
     -- Tony, Chillicothe     
    I never thought about it but could the Constitution be amended to repeal one of the First Ten Amendments or Bill of Rights!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Dream on Waffler as you've fallen behind in constitutional power of our administrations. They can't repeal a right that they have sworn an oath to protect without committing treason though that fact hasn't stopped them so far and believe me they have thought about what you just thought about. Check with your masters and if they consider you worthy they will tell you this fact.
     -- Anon     
    Bruce, if Jesus came to die for anyone's "sin", he didn't seem to be aware of it. He was crucified because he was a threat to the religous and political leaders of Rome.
     -- jim k, austin     
    The laws and declarations of the "rights" of people are the making of mankind, just as is the concept we call "God". Jesus was a man killed by mankind for religious and political reasons... and news flash here, he has nothing to do with the document in question.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
    The Bill of Rights is NOT negotiable. Not now, not ever.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    A great quote showing the difference between the foundation of our Republic and differentiation from a Democracy. The Bill of Rights did not "create" any rights, it simply listed the rights that the individual held inalienably by right of existence. Yes, Congress can technically make a "law" saying that gravity doesn't actually exist, but this wouldn't preclude or magically stop gravity from working; on the same principle Congress can technically make a "law" overriding the Bill of Rights, but this does not naturally or magically stop the inherent and natural rights as they are listed.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
    Interesting! is atheism a concept? Reston, I don't know why you gave a thumbs down - the statement is very clear to the positive. Though I would like to read what lead up to the ...Bill of Rights.... By the way, Jesus was killed like thousands before and after him by religious far right and the mediocrity of Rome - though I do agree I think he was a good man.
     -- RBESRQ     
    Atheism is a concept. It is a philosophy of the survival of the fittest -.no intelligent design or other exterior influence. Self, single cell ? / man / etc. changes to meat the environment - the strongest / luckiest survive. Taken to any form beyond science or natural law's administration, becoming a basis to act, establishes a religion. If morals are desired by an Atheist, he borrows from other religions (all morals are religious in nature). Religion is: real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men. (Bouviers Law Dictionary) Secular government limits itself to the administration or law and justice. When the Atheist exudes a piety in practice for performances and duties to his fellow men he creates an amalgamation of religions. Secular government was to be separated from religion. When government exudes any piety in practice for performances and duties to/for his fellow man, the omnipotent ethos becomes a religious icon (i.e. god) and the government its priesthood. If an Atheist partiicipates in such religion (using it as a forceful tool to proselyte, convert, or compel the non-believers) the Atheist looses the purity of concept.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Very well said, Mike...
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
    Waffler, the simple answer to your question is yes. The result of the action you suggest would be antithetical to "the laws of nature and of nature's God" (Declaration of Independence) which is the jurisdictional premise that the Constitution is written upon. If such amended repeal occurs, it will be a criminal trespass and exercise in unconstitutional tyranny.

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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