In Print and Kindle Creating the Declaration Of Independence

Pennsylvania Mutiny Chases Congress to Princeton, NJ

Independence Hall

The Constitution provided for the creation of a “federal enclave” for the United States capital with these words: “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United […]

Constitution’s Ninth Amendment: Protecting Unenumerated Rights

Ninth Amendment

On September 17, 1787 the drafting of the American Constitution was complete.  The proposed document was not without its detractors and several delegates who participated refused to sign the document.[1]  A major objection was the lack of specific protections for individual freedoms.   The document provided that it would become effective with the ratification of nine […]

Eighth Amendment: Banning Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Eighth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights.  Along with the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments it recognizes procedural rights for persons accused of crimes.  The purpose of these procedural rights is to protect an individual’s inalienable natural right to liberty.  When originally ratified in 1791, the Bill of […]

The Seventh Amendment: Right to a Jury in Federal Civil Trials

TrialByJury Jefferson Quote

The Founding Fathers had a healthy fear of government power. They relied upon citizen juries to check that power. The suspension of jury trials was one of Declaration of Independence grievances against King George.  The Constitution’s 7th Amendment reflects colonial history and beliefs. John Adams described the place of the jury in the system of […]

21st Amendment Repeals 18th and Prohibition: Restriction on Liberty Fails

Al Capone

The only constitutional amendment ever repealed was the 18th which had ushered in Prohibition. The 18th Amendment was also the only amendment to restrict individual liberty rather than restrict government power.1 As the only such restriction, it was the only constitutional amendment at odds with the unalienable rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence and contrary to the natural […]

Constitution’s 18th Amendment: Prohibition Leads to National Police Force

Beer Barrels Seized

Amendments to the US Constitution have generally been of three types:  expansion of citizen protections from government interference with their lives, providing greater participation in the process of government or technical government organization. Only the Eighteenth Amendment acted as a restriction on freedom and it has been the only amendment repealed. The Bill of Rights set specific […]