Today is Bill of Rights Day. Unfortunately, it’s a holiday created by none other than FDR, who hardly held much respect for the document (especially Amendments 9 and 10). And this link from LewRockwell.com makes the case that there isn’t any room for celebration today at all:
The Bill of Rights should be mourned, not celebrated. It is defunct. Intended as the bulwark of the right of decentralized self-government, it now serves mainly as an excuse for the opposite: a roving judicial veto of state policies that federal judges dislike.
The most interesting part of this article, however? This bit:
The purpose of the first ten amendments was laid out clearly by their Preamble. “Preamble?” You might ask. “What preamble?” Although the main body of the Constitution is never published without its Preamble, one could study American history for a lifetime without ever encountering the Preamble to the Bill of Rights.
That Preamble says that Congress is recommending amendments to the states because a number of states in ratifying the Constitution “expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added.” Since the people were afraid of the new Federal Government, that is, the Bill of Rights was being added to hedge in the powers of the Federal Government more carefully.
I never knew there was a preamble to the Bill of Rights. But now that I do, I’m glad to admit that it gives significant ammunition to arguments for states’ rights and limited government. Check out the full preamble here.Published in