Wednesday, January 19, 2005

To Whom Does the Bill of Rights Apply?

The important point is that the Constitution doesn't apply to Americans, it doesn't apply to citizens, it doesn't even apply to "people." It applies to the federal government. The body of the Constitution tells the federal government what it is allowed to do, and in some places it explains how to do it (election procedures and such). The Bill of Rights tells the federal government what it is not allowed to do . . .

Make no law abridging freedom of speech, press, religion, or assembly,
Do not infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
Don't quarter soldiers in peacetime.
Don't conduct unreasonable searches and seizures.
Don't commit double jeopardy or force people to testify against themselves.
Don't deny an accused a speedy trial.
Don't deny an accused a trial by jury.
Do not impose excessive bail.
Just because certain rights of the people aren't mentioned in this Constitution doesn't mean you're allowed to usurp them.
Don't exercise any power not authorized in this Constitution.

by Harry Browne

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