By Veronica Majerol
This article is an information piece talking about the difference between the Bill of Rights in 1791, and the Bill of Rights today. In this article the author talks about the first 10 amendments to the Constitution and the debates that are still stirring almost 220 years later.
John Adams called the Constitution “the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen.” Many other people thought that the Constitution was incomplete, lacking fundamental rights. It was missing the Bill of Rights. So in 1791 the Bill of Rights became the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. Debates over what they mean are still going strong. It took 219 years for the Supreme Court to answer the question of the Second Amendment grants individuals or just militias the right to have guns. It was ruled in McDonald vs. Chicago that the amendment applies to individuals in 2011. Three big debates going on right now are, Government Surveillance and Technology, this debate covers whether police need a warrant to track a suspect’s car using GPS. The issue involves the Fourth Amendment, which protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Civil Liberties and Terrorism Suspects, which has been debated whether terrorism suspects deserve the protections accorded by the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that they have the right to challenge their detention at Guantanamo Bay where hundreds are imprisoned. The State Rights which the tea party says “that the federal government has grown too large and is encroaching on states’ rights.” One of its biggest debated has been President Obama’s 2010 health care bill, which imposes a penalty on individuals who do not buy health insurance.
Even with all these debates the Bill of Rights was created for people to have a voice, and essential ingredient for the health of a democracy. It guarantees us that our
References: MAJEROL, V., & Liptak, A. (2011). The Bill of Rights, Then & Now. New York Times Upfront, 144(7), 18-21.