Essay talk:Originalism and the Constitution

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There, I said it. Rylon 01:46, 4 March 2008 (EST)

You say all ten & then talk about number 14 - Shome mishtake shurley. Just pickin' holes is all :-) Susanpurrrrr 01:53, 4 March 2008 (EST)
Sorry - I know it's an essay but I'm bored. Susanpurrrrr 01:55, 4 March 2008 (EST)
D'you mind if I tidy it up a bit more? Susanpurrrrr (not doin' anything more 'til you give the go-ahead)
Sure, tidy all you want. The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments (hence "all ten"), but the Constitution as a whole has 27 amendments. Hence, the 14th amendment. It does need work. I'll admit. Rylon 02:05, 4 March 2008 (EST)
How's that? Being an ignorant Brit I don't know much about the US Bill of rights or the Constitution beyond what I've read on RW (&CP) so I apologise for my error above. Susanpurrrrr 02:13, 4 March 2008 (EST)
In a nutshell? The Constitution has 27 amendments (changes). But we did the first 10 all at once shortly after it was adopted. Because the first 10 deal with rights held by the people, it's called the Bill of Rights. So there is a first amendment that's part of the Bill of Rights, and an eleventh amendment that isn't.Rylon 02:37, 4 March 2008 (EST)
Oh ... I see ... I think ... :-) Susanpurrrrr 02:45, 4 March 2008 (EST)
It's one of those things I've learned to accept. ;) Rylon 02:47, 4 March 2008 (EST)
The first ten amendments hardly count towards calculating the difficulty of passing an amendment because they were included as a pre-condition for some of the states to even consider ratifying the contitution in the first place (if I remember the history correctly). The reasoning was that the constitution seemed to give too much power to the government over the people, so some civil rights were built in from the beginning in the form of the first ten amendments PoorEd 14:03, 4 March 2008 (EST)

I think it’s odd to add the Bill of Rights into the calculation simply because they were all passed at the same time, something I tried to say in the essay. I’ll have to update it. That said, the Bill of Rights was by no means a guaranteed addition to the Constitution. You are correct that the Bill of Rights was promised to in order to guarantee ratification, more specifically, it was promised to say anti-federalists at state ratification conventions.

Once the Constitution went into effect in March 4th, 1789, the anti-federalists who got elected to congress didn’t work on a Bill of Rights, it was off their radar. It was James Madison, who got elected to the House of Representatives after ratification, that drafted the Bill of Rights. (So sayth my book on the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.) The only reason he bothered was because it was only way he could get elected. (He couldn’t get elected to the Senate at all. So sayth that same book.)

Congress actually sent out 12 proposed amendments to the States. Only 10 became part of the Bill of Rights. The first 10 were ratified on December 15, 1791. One of the two not originally ratified with the rest was eventually ratified in 1992 and became the 27th amendment.

So given that there is a two year gap between the adoption of the Constitution and the addition of the Bill of Rights and that it is only because James Madison kept a campaign promise that they exist at all, and that not all of the original amendments were added, and that one of them took over 200 years to be added after first being proposed, I think it’s same to include them in any calculation about how often an amendment is added to the constitution. Rylon 21:52, 4 March 2008 (EST)


Ye Gods! The essay looks good. Thank you. I shall study these edits and learn from them. (And try to brush-up on the spelling and grammar, nothing like a good word book and Strunk & White to help out.) Rylon 02:14, 5 March 2008 (EST)