Justice Hugo L. Black Quote

“The first ten amendments were proposed and adopted largely because of fear that Government might unduly interfere with prized individual liberties. The people wanted and demanded a Bill of Rights written into their Constitution. The amendments embodying the Bill of Rights were intended to curb all branches of the Federal Government in the fields touched by the amendments—Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.”

~ Justice Hugo L. Black

Adamson v. California, 332 U.S. 46, 71 (Dissent) (1947).

Ratings and Comments


jim k, Austin, Tx

In other words, the first ten amendents were designed to protect citizens from their own government.

Mike, Norwalk

Not shooting the - speaking outside both sides of his mouth - messenger; absolutely correct. Many founders thought the ten amendments were misleading because, if the government could do nothing the constitution did not specifically allow, the ten amendments would be later construed to limit the rights of the individual sovereign(s). Today, the occupying statist theocracy that infests this land regularly and unduly interferes with prized individual liberties without any real regard to the constitution or the ten amendments.

E Archer, NYC

It should be remembered that the Constitution is the rule book for the government, not the people. The amendments that quickly followed were to add specific prohibitions to the government -- that "Congress make no law ..." to disarm the people or to regulate speech or religion (among other 'rights' asserted by the people). These prohibitions on government power are the security of the people ONLY if the people in government follow the rules -- if they don't, what are the people to do? That's why the US republican form of government was designed to keep power in check.

All political power originates with the individual for the security of the individual. Government is formed as an AGREEMENT with other individuals, responsible in their own rights, for the purposes of a COMMON defense. Our rights are the foundation of the agreement, not the price for it.

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