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Lecture 20

GOV 312L Lecture 20: Gov 312L - Guest Speaker Thomas on Bill of Rights – 2.3
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Department
Government
Course Code
GOV 312L
Professor
Christina Bambrick

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Gov 312L - Guest Speaker Thomas on Bill of Rights – 2.3 Why is the Bill of Rights so obvious? • If anyone was asked how does constitution protect our rights? o Standard answer: there is BOR and judiciary enforces it ▪ Everyone thinks BOR = Constitution ▪ BOR= our rights • We forget about the other rights in the constitution o Framers of the constitution probably didn’t see it this way o BOR has shaped our understanding of rights Three pitfalls 1. Rather than limiting powers, BOR actually expands powers 2. BOR is redundant, rights are already implicitly given 3. BOR obscures other important rights in constitution and puts them in a hierarchy Pitfall 1: Rather than limiting powers, BOR actually expands powers • Main arg of Hamilton and Federalist 84 • Three principles o 1. To place a limit on the exercise of govt power is to admit that the govt has the power who exercise is being limited o 2. If you are under a monarchy, then unless a power is denied to the king in writing, assume king has it o 3. If you are under a govt of enumerated powers like the one the const. would set up, then unless a power is granted in writing, assume that the govt doesn’t • In monarchy, BOR is safe o First principle ties with second principle o We already knew he had them, so it’s okay to write them down o King has all powers, you ask him for some, so he’ll give it to you • In enumerated gov, not safe to have BOR o First principle ties with third principle o Case 1: Writing BOR clarifies power of enumerated govt o Case 2: Powers whose exercise is limited by the BOR is those who did not have enumerated rights ▪ This is the case US fits into ▪ Gives govt more power (everythi
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