Tag: Bill of Rights

What is the Most Important Right?

 

I know I’ve put this in a comment or two somewhere, but it seemed like the perfect topic to bring up in a longer form for this month’s Constitutional theme: What is the most important right in the Bill of Rights? To remind us, the Bill of Rights comprises (short form courtesy of Cornell Law School):

1 Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.
2 Right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain a well regulated militia.
3 No quartering of soldiers.
4 Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.
5 Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy.
6 Rights of accused persons, e.g., right to a speedy and public trial.
7 Right of trial by jury in civil cases.
8 Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments.
9 Other rights of the people.
10 Powers reserved to the states.

It’s a purely theoretical exercise because, of course, they are all important. But the First and Second Amendments get a lot of attention, and their position might suggest that the Founders themselves considered them of top importance. I would be willing to bet if you asked a sampling of Americans to name the most important right in the Bill of Rights, many would likely answer “Freedom of Speech” or one of the other Article One rights. Assuming, that is, that they have heard of the Bill of Rights, which is no longer a given.

I’ll be teaching an online course: The History of the Second Amendment

 

Hullo, everyone. I’m just popping in to let you all know about an online course I’m teaching early next year called The History of the Second Amendment. It’s with a new startup called Chapter, which noticed that pretty much every course they were offering was either progressive or progressive-adjacent, decided that it didn’t want to become an echo chamber, and so asked me to teach one, too. I suggested the history of the right to keep and bear arms as a topic, they agreed, and here were are.

Chapter describes its system as “like a book club, but way more fun.” Each week, I’ll provide a reading list (which could be articles, reviews, videos, podcasts, or primary source documents), along with insights and tips on each one. There will be a community forum in which you can discuss each topic, as well as a rolling Q&A in which I will answer questions — both on their website and, if the topic warrants it, by video. Because people are busy, everything will be “asynchronous” — that is, you can take part whenever you’re free, rather than at times that are set by me. The course will last four weeks, it will cost $40 (actually: $35 for Ricochet members), and it will run the gamut.

Week One will be on pre-Revolutionary America. We’ll explore how the right to keep and bear arms came over with the colonists from Britain, before making its way into the heart of American law.

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Trump supporters who contest the 2020 election lose their 5th, 4th, and 1st Amendment rights, Constitutional liberty interests, and writ of habeus corpus  in Washington DC Courts, where the guy with the viking horns is being held without bail because he might “push false claim of election fraud” if released.   Preview Open

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You get the political genie arising from the very bottle of ink with which the Constitution was scribed. You get three wishes consistent with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and you get them forever if you want, what would they be? What are the two or three things that […]

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Podcast for April 25, 2018. It’s the White Social Status edition of the program, with nano-physicist Mike Stopa coming to us from his new home in California (is he shifting yet on immigration?) and Todd connecting from Connecticut, where he hosts a daily talk show on WTIC in Hartford.

Our two topics this week:

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Before we start the lesson, I want to recognize those of you who took part in the March for Our Lives on Saturday. I think a discussion of how to address the problems brought up by the march will help you understand the unit we are covering today. Let’s start out by brainstorming some solutions to […]

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In the 17th Century our English ancestors fought our first civil war, to reassert 700 years after the Magna Carta a measure of our liberty and some of the nature of our relationship with government.  In the 18th Century, our own American forebears fought our second civil war, successfully asserting our individual liberties and personal […]

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Have You Read the Constitution of the United States?

 

It’s a rhetorical question. I presume you all have, and many times over. And I presume you’ve all carefully read the Bill of Rights, and probably know the Second Amendment by heart. And so I assume that if you saw the following sentence, you’d know how it should be corrected: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon.”

You’d just whip out that red pen and get rid of the “upon,” wouldn’t you? Because you know what it actually says by heart, and that sounds wrong. It sounds wrong the way, “O say can you see, by the dawn’s early lightning” sounds wrong. It’s just not the way the lyrics go, and every Americans knows those lyrics by heart.

Garland: A Liberal’s Worst Nightmare

 

bill-of-rights-hero-lgThis past Sunday, the American Freedom Defense Initiative and its president, Pamela Geller, held a Muhammad art exhibit in a Garland, Texas community center. Two radical Islamists — Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi — drove up to the entrance, got out of their car, and started shooting, wounding a security guard before a Garland Police officer shot and killed them both. This is a terrible story for obvious reasons. In many ways, it’s an even worse story for liberals. Here are just a few examples of why.

The First Amendment: From efforts to stifle debates and cancel “American Sniper” on college campuses, to calling “thug” the new n-word, liberals are constantly trying to shut down and/or chill free speech. Every day, more words and ideas are offensive to them and, therefore, cannot be used. Cartoons and drawings of Muhammad are a grave insult to Muslims, so liberals feel that they should not be shown. Whereas many of us feel that the First Amendment protects all types of speech, even inflammatory speech, people like New York Times writer Rukmini Callimachi, take a very different view:

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While recounting a guided tour of the Jack Daniel’s distillery on my way back from the airport, I was surprised when my dad referenced the ATF in relation to “sin” taxes. Half the price of a bottle of whiskey is taxes. Half the price of a carton of cigarettes is taxes. Handguns, bullets, and even […]

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I keep hearing that we conservatives need to tell more stories to make people understand our point of view. Senator Rand Paul spoke Friday at Bowie State, which describes itself as an “Historically Black College” in the Maryland university system. He relates story after story of real people whose lives have been affected by bad […]

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I have little respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a judge, but occasionally she does have a point.  Suppose an employer’s sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage or according women equal pay for substantially similar work? Preview Open

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