Today is Bill of Rights Day
The Bill of Rights was ratified December 15, 1791. Congress adopted twelve amendments, of which only ten were ratified by the states by 1791. Over 200 years later, one more of the original twelve, concerning compensation for Congress was ratified on May 7, 1992, becoming the Twenty-Seventh Amendment. James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights and was inspired, in part, by the Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason. The Bill of Rights initially applied only to the federal government; however, the Supreme Court, through the Fourteenth Amendment, has incorporated some portions to apply to the states.
Only 17 amendments have been ratified since the adoption of the Bill of Rights.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt believed that "We cannot grant civil rights; we cannot implement The Bill of Rights as part of the Constitution unless we complement it with an Economic Bill of Rights
" which he said should include:
"...A second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all...regardless of station, race or creed. Among these are:
"The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries, or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
"The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
"The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
"The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
"The right of every family to a decent home;
"The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
"The right to adequate protection from the economic fears, old age, sickness, accident and unemployment;
"The right to a good education.
"All of these rights spell security."
Labels: Bill of Rights, freedoms, government, historical documents