Which side makes a better case?
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  • 7 months ago

    I would like to ask the pro side a quick question. My interpretation of Barron v. Baltimore did not deny citizens their rights in the bill of rights but rather just said that the bill of rights was basically a contract between the federal government and the people and not an agreement between the state government and the people. I do not think this gave the states immunity and allowed them to ignore the bill of rights but simply said they did not have to follow certain obligations of the bill or rights like the violation of the Fifth Amendment in this case since the social contract regarding these amendments is between the people and the federal government.

    • 7 months ago

      @chandlebrowning This is a link to the decision.
      http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendV_due_processs26.html

      It is pretty powerful and fairly direct on the matter.

      "The constitution was ordained and established by the people of the United States for themselves, for their own government, and not for the government of the individual states. Each state established a constitution for itself, and, in that constitution, provided such limitations and restrictions on the powers of its particular government as its judgment dictated. The people of the United States framed such a government for the United States as they supposed best adapted to their situation and best calculated to promote their interests. The powers they conferred on this government were to be exercised by itself; and the limitations on power, if expressed in general terms, are naturally, and, we think, necessarily applicable to the government created by the instrument. They are limitations of power granted in the instrument itself; not of distinct governments, framed by different persons and for different purposes."

      "In compliance with a sentiment thus generally expressed, to quiet fears thus extensively entertained, amendments were proposed by the required majority in congress and adopted by the states. These amendments contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to the state governments. This court cannot so apply them."

      That last sentence is really the key conclusion in the case. It is a fith ammendment case, but the decision makes it clear they interpret all the bill of rights the same, it only is a restriction on the federal government.

  • 7 months ago

    What are your thoughts on Federalist paper number 39 written by James Madison (which we normally use to interpret the constitution) that refers to the national government as a body built of compromise and that the extent of the constitutions powers is up to the national government and not the state powers?

  • 7 months ago

    Cool debate and discussion @burnsstephen16 Looking forward to more in the future.