The Supreme Court of the United States: Its Foundation, Methods, and Achievements: an Interpretation

By Charles Evans Hughes | Go to book overview

V
LIBERTY, PROPERTY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

Jefferson, who was in Paris when the Federal Convention was at work, wrote to Madison in December, 1787, expressing general approval of the Constitution but strongly criticizing the absence of a bill of rights. He desired such a declaration "providing clearly & without the aid of sophisms for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies, restriction against monopolies, the eternal & unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land & not by the law of Nations."1 He wished "to guard liberty against the legislative as well as executive branches of the government."2 No effort had been made in the Convention to incorporate a bill of rights until the session was nearly over and then the proposal was defeated. It was believed to be unnecessary. Hamilton, in the Federalist,3 pointed to the provisions as to impeachment, habeas corpus, bills of attainder and ex post facto laws, prohibition of titles of nobility, trial by jury in cases of crime, and treason.

____________________
1
Doct. Hist. Const., Vol. IV, p. 412.
2
Letter to F. Hopkinson, March 13, 1789, id., Vol. V, p. 159.
3
No. LXXXIV.

-157-

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The Supreme Court of the United States: Its Foundation, Methods, and Achievements: an Interpretation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • I- Introduction -- Foundations 1
  • II- The Court at Work -- Organization -- Methods 42
  • III- Achievements -- Cementing the Union 78
  • IV- The States and The, Nation 118
  • V- Liberty, Property and Social Justice 157
  • TABLE OF CASES CITED 243
  • Index 257
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