Bill of Rights Quotes

Hard to believe Hamilton wasn’t immediately killed after stating this (quote below). I wonder if this played into the duel with Aaron Burr who fatally shot Hamilton. History outweighs fiction on so many

“I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than
were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?”
— Alexander Hamilton

Others counter:

“I suspect that the framers of the Bill of Rights have long since rolled over in their graves.”
— Jay Parini

“The Bill of Rights isn’t about us, it’s about them. It isn’t a list of things we’re permitted to do, it’s a list of things they aren’t allowed even to consider.”
— L. Neil Smith

“The Bill of Rights is a born rebel. It reeks with sedition. In every clause it shakes its fist in the face of constituted authority. It is the one guaranty of human freedom to the American people.”
— Frank I. Cobb

“The belief in potential human virtue underlies the whole idea of the Bill of Rights; the document is a very tough guardian of that belief.”
— Roger Rosenblatt

8 thoughts on “Bill of Rights Quotes

  1. That last quote brings up that old question: “Are humans inherently good?” With all the wrong in the world, this is likely doubtful. But maybe we are good, until we’ve been messed with. Who knows. I do know we are inherently FREE.


  2. What did Alexander Hamilton do for us, the U.S. of A, besides badmouth it?
    A musical?
    Sounds about right.

    1. I don’t know exactly what that musical puts forth, but ever since it came out I’ve held a dream of wanting to see it to scrutinize for infringement/treason. I envisioned myself disrupting the performance, standing enraged, yelling out the names of traitors and then passing out copies of The Bill of Rights. I wonder if such an opportunity will present itself. 🙂


  3. I found another Hamilton quote that shows another example of him being a Federalist. Keep the power at all costs:

    “The truth is, after all the declamations we have heard, that the Constitution is itself, in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS.”
    — Alexander Hamilton

    More speak in defense of our 10 Articles:

    “The Bill of Rights was not written to protect governments from trouble. It was written precisely to give the people the constitutional means to cause trouble for governments they no longer trusted.”
    — Henry Steele Commager

    “I cannot agree with those who think of the Bill of Rights as an 18th century straitjacket, unsuited for this age… The evils it guards against are not only old, they are with us now, they exist today.”
    — Hugo Black

    “Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote. Those rights are spelled out in the Bill of Rights…”
    — James Bovard

    “A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is worthless.”
    — A. Scalia

    “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


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