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Quotes of the day: Bill of Rights
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Published Sunday, December 14, 2014 @ 10:52 PM EST
Dec 14 2014

(In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights)

The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Proposed to assuage the fears of Anti-Federalists who had opposed Constitutional ratification, these amendments guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and reserve some powers to the states and the public. Originally the amendments applied only to the federal government, however, most were subsequently applied to the government of each state by way of the Fourteenth Amendment, through a process known as incorporation. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee.
-F. Lee Bailey

Democracy means that people can say what they want to. All the people. It means that they can vote as they wish. All the people. It means that they can worship God in any way they feel right, and that includes Christians and Jews and voodoo doctors as well. It means that everybody should have a job, if he's willing to work, and an education, and the right to bring up his children without fear of the future. And it means that the old shall be provided for, without shame to themselves or to their families. It means do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It also means the prayers of the pilgrim fathers in the wilderness, and the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation, and the dreams of an immigrant mother for her children. And that's what I believe in.
-Dalton Trumbo

I also wish that the Pledge of Allegiance were directed at the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as it is when the President takes his oath of office, rather than to the flag and the nation.
-Carl Sagan

I have often thought that the Bill of Rights should have stopped after the first five words: 'Congress shall make no laws...'
-Unattributed

I revere the Bill of Rights, but at the same time I believe that anyone who's using three or more of them at a time is hogging them too much.
-Sarah Vowell

It is my belief that there are 'absolutes' in our Bill of Rights, and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what the words meant and meant their prohibitions to be 'absolutes.'
-Hugo Black

Once you put ifs and buts in the Bill of Rights, nobody's civil liberties will be secure.
-I.F. Stone

Painful as it may be to hear it, there's nothing special about the people of this country that sets them apart from the other people of the world. It is the Bill of Rights, and only the Bill of Rights, that keeps us from becoming the world's biggest banana republic. The moment we forget that, the American Dream is over.
-Alexander Hope

Some may more quietly commemorate the suffering, struggle, and sacrifice that has triumphed over much of what was wrong with the original document, and observe the anniversary with hopes not realized and promises not fulfilled. I plan to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution as a living document, including the Bill of Rights and the other amendments protecting individual freedoms and human rights.
-Thurgood Marshall

The Bill of Rights does not come from the people and is not subject to change by majorities. It comes from the nature of things. It declares the inalienable rights of man not only against all government but also against the people collectively.
-Walter Lippmann

The First Amendment is truly the heart of the Bill of Rights. The Framers balanced its freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition against the needs of a powerful central government, and decided that in those freedoms lies this nation's only true security. They were not afraid for men to be free. We should not be.
-Hugo Black

The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to create rights. Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

The only guarantee of the Bill of Rights which continues to have any force and effect is the one prohibiting quartering troops on citizens in time of peace. (In 1951)
-H.L. Mencken

The right to be let alone is the underlying principle of the Constitution's Bill of Rights.
-Erwin N. Griswold

The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear breeds repression. Too often sinister threats to the bill of rights, to freedom of the mind, are concealed under the patriotic cloak, of anti-communism.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II

We have ceased to be a nation under law but instead a homeland where the withered Bill of Rights, like a dead trumpet vine, clings to our pseudo-Roman columns.
-Gore Vidal

We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is the Bill of Responsibilities.
-Bill Maher

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(December 15 is also the birthday of J. Paul Getty.)


Categories: Bill of Rights, Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic, U.S. Constitution


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