Constitutional Amendements

Constitutional Amendements

A Bill of Rights was not part of the Constitution of 1787. Its omission was hotly debated.

Some Founding Fathers, most famously Alexander Hamilton, argued that it was not necessary to include a bill of rights in the Constitution.

"the constitution is itself in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS. The several bills of rights, in Great-Britain, form its constitution, and conversely the constitution of each state is its bill of rights. And the proposed constitution, if adopted, will be the bill of rights of the union.”  
-Federalist No. 84

Yet the Constitution was quickly amended, with ten amendments (which later came to be known as the Bill of Rights) added in 1791. Seventeen additional amendments have been added since then.  

What is the relationship between the Structural Constitution and the Bill of Rights? How do different Amendments affect the scope of power of the federal government? We explore in this series.

Play the next video in the series?

Watch Now

1 of 3: What Role Does the Bill of Rights Play? [No. 86]

Why does the Constitution have a Bill of Rights? What purpose do they serve? Professor Randy Barnett discusses how the Anti-federalists insisted on a Bill of Rights, which the Federalists agreed to in return for ratification of the Constitution. T ... Why does the Constitution have a Bill of Rights? What purpose do they serve?

Professor Randy Barnett discusses how the Anti-federalists insisted on a Bill of Rights, which the Federalists agreed to in return for ratification of the Constitution. The Bill of Rights are a protection for the citizens if the structure of the Constitution itself fails to protect their rights adequately.

Professor Randy E. Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and contracts, and is Director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution.

* * * * *

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Subscribe to the series’ playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGGClVWs9fs&list=PLWwcngsYgoUVuiVj2TkrPolK5t6jD4PKa

Other Videos in this Series

About this Module

Total run time:

6m

Course:

Constitutional Law: Structure

Total videos:

3

Difficulty:

First Year

Tags:

  • Constitution
  • First Amendment
  • Founding Era & History