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Speechless by Bruce Barry

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26

TWOConstitutional Rights in Public and Private

IN A SPEECH IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES on June 9, 1789, proposing that a bill of rights be added to the Constitution, James Madison cautioned:

The prescriptions in favor of liberty, ought to be levelled against that quarter where the greatest danger lies, namely, that which possesses the highest prerogative of power: But this [is] not found in either the executive or legislative departments of government, but in the body of the people, operating by the majority against the minority.1

Madison had a point, as history has confirmed on so many tragic occasions. But the bill of rights that Madison offered, and the one we ended up with, restrains what government can do to individuals, not what ...

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