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

Demand for (and Resistance to) the United States Bill of Rights

James Madison is rightly considered the chief architect of the Bill of Rights, but he was a reluctant hero to the cause. From the beginning, he was, at best, ambivalent about the suggestion that a bill of rights would improve the Constitution as it was originally framed. The Constitutional Convention had decided against a bill of rights without much debate. During the ratification debates, the Federalists were probably surprised to learn how zealously some Antifederalists would seize upon this issue as an argument against the Constitution as a whole. Madison ultimately conceded the necessity of a bill of rights, probably more because of the vigor of the popular demand than because of the merits of their arguments. Still, Madison had his own reasons for championing the cause of a bill of rights, some of which are worth revisiting today.