QUORA Question

Does the US Constitution Bill of Rights list all of the human rights bestowed by our Creator or are there others we discover as Society matures?

Answered by CH Diaz

A great question that very few understand the answer to and most of the Left will disagree with.

If you read the Federalist Papers and view the Constitution’s original text as our Forefathers intended the understanding would be, the Constitution does not give us rights, it restricts the federal government from interfering with our lives.

What so many People today don’t understand about our Constitution is that besides crafting the organizational framework for our government it was designed to only restrict the Federal Government and not the People.

So it is with the First Amendment. It only restricts the Federal government from doing anything with religion, freedom of speech, the press and assembly. Equally important is, as intended, the Constitution concedes the States and the People have the Right to do anything not reserved for the Federal government in the text of the Constitution.

The federal Government is given 18 enumerated rights in the text of our Constitution. Again, as intended.

As Thomas Jefferson stated:

“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”

If there was ever a “Prime Directive” it would have been:

Above all things our Forefathers wanted to limit the authority of the federal government.

They wanted all American citizens to remain free of ANY FEDERAL government control.

Instead of listing hundreds of rights, they conceded that ALL rights belong to the People and the States. THINK ABOUT THAT!

They wanted the Government “Of the People, By the People and For the People.”

To help get our Constitution ratified by a few nervous colonies, in Federalist 45 James Madison wrote:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

Our Forefathers did NOT want the federal government to have the authority to pass any laws on any subject without the authority to do so written in the text of the Constitution.

The problem was/is, they didn’t say it exactly that way in the Constitution, it was assumed, but the assumption was made clear in the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

What was previously assumed, was now written.

Laws that required American citizens to comply were intended to be introduced at the local, town, city and State level

I believe, in the minds of our Forefather’s it was the only way the People could remain free and determine their own destiny. In the final analysis it’s only the People who can create laws that could ban a religion at the local and State level.

This may be a bitter pill for some to accept, but when it comes to all other “rights” including speech or censorship the Constitution acknowledges the States and the People may do as they wish. If anyone believes the Bill of Rights was written as a free pass to immoral acts and pornography, think again. It truly is Power to the People and only the People, together can govern themselves.

Finally, the declaration “of the People, for the People and by the People,” can be understood.

The Tenth Amendment closes the loop with:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the CONSTITUTION, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, or to the people,”

I call it the The Big Broom Amendment

This amendment is the big daddy of all amendments. It basically affirms that if our Forefathers forgot to restrain the federal government in the text of the Constitution on any other matter, any unmentioned powers and rights belong to the States and the People. It was no longer assumed, it was written.

I will list some quotes that show support for the People to govern themselves.

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

— Patrick Henry

“The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

— Benjamin Franklin

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger upon an article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”

— James Madison

“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”

— Thomas Jefferson

“With respect to the words “general welfare,” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

— James Madison

“I join cordially in admiring and revering the Constitution of the United States, the result of the collected wisdom of our country. That wisdom has committed to us the important task of proving by example that a government, if organized in all its parts on the Representative principle unadulterated by the infusion of spurious elements, if founded, not in the fears & follies of man, but on his reason, on his sense of right, on the predominance of the social over his dissocial passions, may be so free as to restrain him in no moral right, and so firm as to protect him from every moral wrong.”

— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Amos Marsh, November 20, 1801

(That all means the Constitution does not give the federal government the authority to stop, “restrain”, any moral right from a citizen, but must protect him from every moral wrong.)

“On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

— Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

“Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.”

— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Wilson Nicholas, September 7, 1803

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions. It is to be remarked that the phrase out of which this doctrine is elaborated, is copied from the old articles of Confederation, where it was always understood as nothing more than a general caption to the specified powers, and it is a fact that it was preferred in the new instrument for that very reason as less liable than any other to misconstruction.”

-– James Madison, Letter to Edmund Pendleton (1792-01-21)

The debate over reinterpretation of the Constitution, a so-called Living or Dynamic Constitution, rages to this day, and probably always will.

As intended not even the Supreme Court could overrule the Rights given to us by our Creator,** because even that branch of the government must respect the Constitution, but we had to screw it up.

A more direct answer to your question is, the Constitution concedes and acknowledges that all “Rights” belong to the People and the Sates. That means, as you put it, “or are there others we discover as Society matures?” any new right that may pop up automatically is ceded to the People and the States. The Constitution does not give us rights, it restricts the federal government from interfering with our lives.

Liberals hate that.

**For the purposes of discussion, the use of the word “Creator” is meant to describe that man was created by God or by evolution. If you believe in God than he is your Creator. If you believe in Nature (or Evolution), than that is your Creator.