The Bill Of Rights : A Strong Federalist And Supporter Of The Constitution

The Bill Of Rights : A Strong Federalist And Supporter Of The Constitution

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To James Madison, a strong federalist and supporter of the Constitution, the proposed Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the U.S Constitution, was unnecessary because it would serve as “parchment barriers”, and would do nothing to protect people from the government’s abuse of authority. Madison saw these “parchment barriers” as something that would offer little to no protection of individuals’ rights, and believed that the real way to ensure the security of individual liberties lay in the system of checks and balances. In this “scheme of representation”, governing as a republic, by law, rather than a pure democracy, ruled by the majority, Madison saw the system of checks and balances as a better way to check the excess of liberty and prevent some of the conflict and violence that would arise if there was no centralized and controlled government. As evident in Supreme Court landmark cases such as Schenck v. United States, New Jersey v. TLO, Tinker v. Des Moines, and others, the Bill of Rights, with it’s “parchment barriers” proved unnecessary in the way Madison predicted, as the rights of Americans were curtailed during wartime, and students realized the rights they lacked at school, despite the supposed protection of their rights offered by the Bill of Rights. The decisions of these landmark cases demonstrated the abuse of authority, as well as the fact that these “parchment barriers” of the Bill of Rights offered no protection to many of these individuals.
Both cases Schenck v. United States, and Korematsu v. United States, demonstrated instances where the “parchment barriers”, as Madison predicted, proved their uselessness to preventing the abuse of authority in the fact that they were least effective when most needed, ...

... middle of paper ... these “parchment barriers” did nothing to protect the rights of individuals in these situations.
Just as James Madison predicted, the Bill of Rights, while necessary in highlighting the rights the people should enjoy, often proved ineffective as they were “parchment barriers” to the abuse of authority. These “parchment barriers” provided no protection to individuals as governments overshadowed their rights under certain circumstances, like in times of war, and deciding arbitrarily, especially for many of the cases involving the rights of students. In all of these cases, individuals’ liberties were overshadowed and curtailed by the government based on the situations, bringing to light the fact that people’s liberties could often be violated by the government, proving true to Madison’s belief that “parchment barriers” served ineffective to the abuse of authority.

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