The First Freedoms
The Privacy Amendments
The 5th Amendment
The 6th Amendment
Civil Trials
The Interpretive Rules

9th Amendment

Bills of Rights as a Protection of Rights

Yet the Anglo-American political tradition found that popular government was often not enough to protect the rights of individuals because majorities could act just as tyrannically as single despots. It was discovered that placing some restrictions on popular consent was in everybody’s best interests; therefore, declarations or bills of rights were established. Blackstone explained that a bill of rights was intended to name certain facets “of natural liberty, which is not required by the laws of society to be sacrificed to public convenience.” There are some liberties that are so fundamental that the state is almost never justified in taking them away. For instance, very few interests of government can be deemed more important than an individual’s natural right to exercise his religion in the manner he deems proper. And although free speech can sometimes be harmful to society, the benefits of this right are generally considered to be more important than its harms. The rights that are listed in a bill of rights are therefore intended to be exceptions to the general grant of power given to the people’s representatives.