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The Bill Of Rights Essay

3665 words - 15 pages

“The founders who crafted our Constitution and Bill of Rights were careful to draft a constitution of limited powers- one that would protect Americans’ liberties at all times”. Al Franken was a strong believer in a powerful government that at the same time protects the citizens natural rights. However, some citizens have decided to test the law, thus creating a variety of new precedents. The Constitution is a body of work that sets precedents and establishes the powers and duties of a government; it also created a Supreme Court that establishes and enforces the law. Back in the 1700s, the citizens living in the colonies did not agree with Britain’s form of government. With that in mind,. the Founding Fathers made sure that the Constitution was a social contract; something that makes sure the citizens and the government are on the same page to guarantee that no individual rights are infringed upon. When the Constitution was written, many of the federalists feared that the citizen’s rights were being taken away; therefore, the Bill of Rights was established to secure rights for the people and guard the abuse of power. The Bill of Rights however, only covers the first ten amendments; the next seventeen were created to enhance parts of the constitution. Over the last two hundred years, the supreme court has heard many cases regarding a variety of subjects. Perhaps the most controversial aspects of the twenty-seven amendments are the second amendment’s right to bear arms, exhibited in the District of Columbia v. Heller and United States v. Miller; the Fourth Amendment’s protection from illegal searches and seizures, displayed by the cases Mapp v. Ohio and Weeks v. United States; finally, the Fourteenth Amendments affirmative action policy, demonstrated by the University of California v. Bakke.
Although the second amendment is simple in meaning, many citizens over the years have had trouble interpreting it completely. After asking two adults the question, “What does the second amendment mean to you?” The abridged answer between the two of them was “A citizen has the right to own a weapon for self-defense purposes”(Brian and Jennifer Souto). However, the founding fathers did not exactly intend for it to mean that. During the Revolutionary War, the “army” of the U.S was made from a militia of angry farmers who fought with their own muskets, with the intentions to secede from Britain. With that in mind, the actual definition states that a citizen can own a weapon in use with a well-regulated militia, for the security of the state, and the right to bear arms shall not be infringed upon. However, the interpretation of this amendment was changed after the District of Columbia v. Heller case set a new precedent, which stated that citizens may possess a weapon for any legal purpose. The Second Amendment is the one of the few provisions that prohibits infringement; which means that no person, or the government, has the right to violate this. ...

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