Today there is far too much talk about “Rights”, both real and imagined, and not nearly enough talk about law, duty, responsibility, and the reasonable limits both of government and of self-government.
This essay was authored by Bruce P. Frohnen for Nomocracy in Politics. Professor Frohnen is a Nomocracy in Politics Contributor.
The title of this essay may seem unnecessarily obvious. After all, the Bill of Rights consists of ten amendments added to the longer, more inclusive, and more fundamental Constitution. Yet, anyone observing public debates in America over the constitutional implications of various public policy issues—from policing, to healthcare, to education—might be forgiven for believing that our Constitution consists of a Bill of Rights, to which are added a few, vague guidelines concerning which public servants are invested with what particular powers. This impression would be doubly powerful for any law school student, who typically would see in the course catalog two Constitutional Law classes, the first on the structure of government and the second, every bit as complex and valued as the first, solely devoted to “Constitutional Rights.” And…
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