The most considerable of the remaining objections is that the plan of the convention contains no bill of rights. Among other answers given to this, it has been upon different occasions remarked that the constitutions of several of the States are in a similar predicament.
This consequently can be considered as no part of a declaration of rights, which under our constitutions must be intended as limitations of the power of the government itself.
It has been several times truly remarked that bills of rights are, in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgements of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince.
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.
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. The several bills of rights in Great Britain form its Constitution, and conversely the constitution of each State is its bill of rights.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right
ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right
SOCRATES: Then true opinion is as good a guide to correct action as knowledge; and that was the point which we omitted in our speculation about the nature of virtue, when we said that knowledge only is the guide of right
action; whereas there is also right opinion.
"You have no sort of right
to suppose such things," said Lebedeff's nephew in a tone of authority.
Can any man have a higher notion of the rule of right, and the eternal fitness of things?
"If vanity was a thing fit," says Square, "I might indulge some on the same occasion; for whence only he can have learnt his notions of right or wrong, I think is pretty apparent.
It lacked, in other words, what we now know of as the Bill of Rights
, the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution.
In fact, it will come with the denial of rights
to all those who cannot defend themselves."