•  
  •  
 

Abstract

This Article argues that the use of the “Bill of Rights” to describe the first

set of constitutional amendments emerged long after the Founding as a justification

for expanding federal power at home and abroad. In making that

claim, I challenge two common misconceptions about the Bill of Rights. One

is that the first set of amendments was known by that name from the start.

This is not true. James Madison never said that what was ratified in 1791 was

a bill of rights, and that label was not widely used for those provisions until

after 1900. The second fallacy is that the Bill of Rights was a term of art

designed to limit government through judicial review. While this is the

modern understanding of the Bill of Rights, that idea did not become part of

constitutional grammar until World War II.

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.