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Who is covered by the Bill of Rights
Self | October 18, 2001 | Self

Posted on 10/18/2001 10:05:22 AM PDT by RebelDawg

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To: BikerNYC
Do you conclude that "the people" really means "the citizens?"
Yes as a matter of fact I do. What do you confer it to mean? "the humans of the world"???

The phrase "the people" obviously has a context and the context i believe was stated in the opening paragraph of the Constitution.

Not trying to be argumentative but really what do you conclude the term to mean and how did you arrive at that conclusion???
21 posted on 10/18/2001 10:28:49 AM PDT by RebelDawg
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The BoR only enumerates Rights granted by GOD to all of mankind.

The Bill of Rights says nothing about the rights being granted by God.

22 posted on 10/18/2001 10:28:58 AM PDT by thtr
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To: RebelDawg
My main problem with the view that the Bill of Rights applies only to citizens is that such a distinction would view the government as the entity that bestows the rights mentioned within, rather than those rights being inherent to every man by virtue of his existence. After all, that view would hold that the government can strip non-citizens of the rights mentioned. That would seem to imply that it is the government itself bestowing the rights. Such a view, in my opinion, would put us precariously close to the liberal position...

I would say instead that the US is the only government that RECOGNIZES these rights of all men...

23 posted on 10/18/2001 10:29:07 AM PDT by MWS
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To: CharacterCounts
All persons within the borders of the USA are protected by our Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. This is why the Constitution refers to the people and persons and not citizens.
This is just "your" interpretation. Pleas epost facts to back up your opinion.

I was hoping for facts not opinions.

Can someone post a document stating that visitors to this country are protected by the BOR or not?
24 posted on 10/18/2001 10:31:01 AM PDT by RebelDawg
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To: RebelDawg
The fact is obvious. The Bill of Rights begins with “We the people of the United States”. The “people of the United States” are those who reside here. Where is the confusion?
25 posted on 10/18/2001 10:34:12 AM PDT by thtr
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To: thtr
The Bill of Rights says nothing about the rights being granted by God.

That's because it had already been said in the Declaration of Independence: "...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Notice that Jefferson did not intend his enumeration of 3 rights to be taken as a complete list...

26 posted on 10/18/2001 10:34:23 AM PDT by freedomcrusader
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To: The Shootist
SCOTUS has held that Constitutional Protections extend to resident and non-resident aliens

This is not quite accurate. In fact, SCOTUS has walked a fine line on this question, never definitively settling the question of whether "the people" refers to the citizenry of the US or people in general. For example, non-citizens were found to be partially protected by 4th ammendment prohibitions regarding search and seizure in the late 60's. The court's reasoning for this, and the limits of partial protection were extremely murky. It is my belief that if the current, more strictly constructionist, SCOTUS were forced to decide the issue you would have a good chance of establishing that constitutional rights apply exclusively to citizens of the US.

27 posted on 10/18/2001 10:36:07 AM PDT by Lonely NY Conservative
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To: camle
Since these rights are inalienable, they don't come from the government, therefore cannot be limited to the governments jurisdiction. They come from God, and are limited to HIS domain.
Sorry but you are referrin to the Declaration of Independence not the Consgtitution or the Bill of Rights.
28 posted on 10/18/2001 10:36:33 AM PDT by RebelDawg
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To: RasterMaster
I believe he was referring to non-citizens within our borders such as tourists, illegal aliens, and legal aliens not seeking citizenship.
29 posted on 10/18/2001 10:37:40 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants
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To: RebelDawg
Who bestowed the rights innumerated in the Bill of Rights? Do we have those rights because they are given to us by the government, or do we have them because they belong to us naturally?
30 posted on 10/18/2001 10:38:24 AM PDT by MWS
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To: RebelDawg
He's referring to a universal truth as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Government's round the world violate and infringe these rights routinely, but that doesn't mean that ALL humans don't have these rights.
31 posted on 10/18/2001 10:39:02 AM PDT by freedomcrusader
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To: RebelDawg
My take:

Generally speaking, the Bill of Rights doesn't "apply to" citizens or non-citizens. It applies to government.

It is for the most part a list of things which Congress and/or government is not allowed to do.

The First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law" to do various things. The Second Amendment says a certain right "shall not be infringed" (by government, presumably). Amendment 3 forbids gov't from quartering soldiers. Amendment 8 forbids government from enacting excessive bail and "cruel and unusual" punishments. Amendment 4 effectively forbids government from searching and issuing Warrants without "probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Amendment 5 mentions a grab bag of things government cannot do, too numerous to reiterate here.

These are all instructions to government.

Of course, in the course of these instructions to the government, at several points many (pre-existing) "rights" are mentioned (not "granted"). Often they are described as "the right of the people" to do something.

Amendment 2 mentions "the right of the people to keep and bear arms"; I guess this means the author thought that "the people" possess the right to keep and bear arms. Amendment 4 mentions "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses," etc. I guess this means "the people" possess that right to. Article 1 even mentions "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Others go along these lines: Amendment 7 mentions "the right of trial by jury", without describing who has this right. In the process of forbidding the government from depriving any "person" (it begins with, "No person...") of "life, liberty, or property" except under certain conditions, Amendment 5 seems to be saying that each "person" currently possesses that right by default.

Amendment 6 is the only one which seems to me to actually create or "grant" certain rights: the right of speedy jury trial, the right of Counsel, etc. And in a way, these, too, are instructions to government - namely, government is not allowed to prosecute people except under these conditions.... To whom does Amendment 6 grant these "rights"? To "the accused", whoever that is.

Finally we have the underappreciated 9th and 10th Amendments, which say effectively (1) just because it ain't written here don't mean it ain't a right, and (2) when in doubt, the right belongs to the States or "the people".

So in all these cases, when it actually mentions (again, not "grants") certain "rights", these "rights" appear to belong to each "person", or to "the people". Unless I am mistaken, immigrants too qualify as "people", so the Bill of Rights applies to them too. (And if you are going to say it doesn't, because of Amendments 9 and 10, you really need to justify this somewhere else in the Constitution, or among the several State Constitutions.) This means, in summary, that government cannot violate the rights of immigrants just because they are immigrants.

None of this implies that government cannot kick them out of the country, however. There is no intrinsic "right" to come to this country from another and to stay here, and Congress is specifically granted certain power over immmigration issues, namely "To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization ... throughout the United States", in Article 1 section 8. Since Congress is granted that power, and the power to "make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers", one can safely conclude that Congress can do things like Kick Immigrants Out For Not Obeying Its Naturalization Policy.

And since this power is specifically "delegated to the United States by the Constitution", this would be also in perfect accord with Amendment 10.

As for Wars and what we can do to people like foreign leaders, I would just say that it is fairly clear that "the people" mentioned in the Constitution were never meant to be overseas people in other countries. That would just be ridiculous. For one thing, Wars (which specifically are mentioned in the Constitution) would be essentially impossible if that were true.

In sum I would say that the Bill of Rights, if it can be said to "apply to" anyone other than government, applies to "the people" within the borders of this country, and no others. Immigrants like all other "people" have pre-existing "rights" which government is forbidden from violating.

However, "the right to stay here" is not among them and Congress has all the power it could ever need to kick them out. Which is the key point.

32 posted on 10/18/2001 10:39:57 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: HarryKnutszacke
Look at the 14th Amendment:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

There is a distinction made between "citizens" and "persons." I don't think we should be reading "citizens" unless the word "citizens" is actually used.
33 posted on 10/18/2001 10:40:09 AM PDT by BikerNYC
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To: RebelDawg
agree you are correct as to the document, but the intent is also in the BOR.
34 posted on 10/18/2001 10:41:09 AM PDT by camle
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General note to all since I have seen alot of confusion here...

Neither the United States Constitution nor the Bill of Rights says anything about inalienable rights granted by God. You have the wrong document in mind. That si the Declaration of Independence.

On another note I just thought of this... Can you legally purchase a firearm in the United states if you are not a citizen? I'm not sure if you can or not. Does anyone know this?

Thanks for the great replies! Keep em coming.
35 posted on 10/18/2001 10:41:52 AM PDT by RebelDawg
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To: freedomcrusader
Thank you. You were gentler than I would have been.

The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense!

36 posted on 10/18/2001 10:41:59 AM PDT by
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If our founders only knew that in the country they founded, the people had either no knowledge of, or disdain for, the principles on which they founded the country...
37 posted on 10/18/2001 10:44:55 AM PDT by freedomcrusader
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To: RebelDawg
Still, I did not mention God as bestowing the rights... I merely mentioned that they are natural rights inherent to men by virtue of our existence... or, would you say that the government bestowed these rights upon us?
38 posted on 10/18/2001 10:45:04 AM PDT by MWS
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To: RebelDawg
All inhabitants of the US and its protectorates are protected by its laws and the Constitutions. Alien residents included. Illegal Aliens included. Animals, pets included. With due process resident aliens can be deported.

The only difference between an alien resident and a US citizen is the former cannot vote or become President or Vice-President. You still pay taxes, you are still subject to our draft, etc.

You can be a citizen of a state by reason of residency and it's this usage that is referred to by the US Constitutency.

39 posted on 10/18/2001 10:45:22 AM PDT by Bob Burnett
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To: thtr
And no comment on my instructive example of the uniquely American Legal RKBA?

The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense!

40 posted on 10/18/2001 10:45:29 AM PDT by
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