The U.S. Bill of Rights is nothing more than a list of powers denied to the U.S federal government by the American people. And by the provisions of the “due process” and “equal protection” provisions of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, these prohibitions apply to states and local governments as well. The 14th amendment says, in part: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”
Nevertheless, every part of the prohibitions listed in the U.S. Bill of Rights has been violated by the federal or state governments at one time or another in American history. Below is the text of each prohibition listed in the Bill of Rights, followed by one or more links to present or historical violations.
British Parliamentarian William Pitt the Younger said in a November 18, 1783 speech in the House of Commons:
Was it not necessity that which had always been the plea of every illegal exertion of power or exercise of oppression? Was not necessity the pretense of every usurpation? Necessity was the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It was the argument of tyrants; it was the creed of slaves.
The violations listed below — while by no means an exhaustive list — are an indication that the Bill of Rights has been under occasional attack using the guise of “necessity” throughout American history, especially during the nation's times of war and national crisis. And the links also demonstrate that despite the unquestioned American military supremacy over any combination of foreign nations today, the Bill of Rights faces more threat today under manufactured “necessity” than ever before.
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