Those men who wrote our Constitution made it perfectly intelligible to anyone who cared to read it. They also left some flexibility in its articles to ensure that as time passed and circumstances changed the document would remain viable as the indispensable protector of the republic they created and of the liberty of citizens who delegated a limited amount of their sovereign power to the national government through its provisions. And after a long and often angry ratification debate, the first congress added a bill of rights to the Constitution as that document’s first ten amendments. These amendments were fully as clear as the text — perhaps more so — but less flexible than the body of the document because they dealt with the tenets of republican liberty which, if regularly and deliberately violated by the national government, would require that Americans, to paraphrase Jefferson, demolish the existing government and erect a new one that would better safeguard their liberties and their republic’s security.
Read the entire article