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Speech: The Bill of Rights

12 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2008  

Garrett Epps

University of Baltimore School of Law

Date Written: 2003


The Bill of Rights is a much more fortuitous addition to the Constitution than many people imagine. The tired delegates at Philadelphia were unable to make the final effort to frame a bill of rights, and their failure nearly caused the collapse of ratification. When the First Congress met, James Madison took responsibility for making the new government live up to the implied pledge made during ratification to provide a partial list, drawn from the historic rights on English subjects. Not all Madison's proposed amendments were adopted however. The work of adumbrating the full scope of liberty under the Constitution goes on.

Keywords: Bill of Rights, First Congress, Philadelphia Convention, James Madison, George Mason

Suggested Citation

Epps, Garrett, Speech: The Bill of Rights (2003). Oregon Law Review, Vol. 82, No. 2, 2003. Available at SSRN:

Garrett Epps (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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