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Restoring the Lost ConstitutionThe Presumption of Liberty$
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Randy E. Barnett

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159737

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159737.001.0001

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Restoring the Lost Constitution

Restoring the Lost Constitution

(p.357) Conclusion Restoring the Lost Constitution
Restoring the Lost Constitution

Randy E. Barnett

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter argues that the original meaning of the entire Constitution, as amended, is much more libertarian than the one selectively enforced by the Supreme Court. It cites the evidence of original meaning presented in this book; for example, the “privileges or immunities” of citizens included natural rights as well as rights created by the adoption of the Bill of Rights. The term “commerce” unquestionably meant trade or exchange and did not extend to such other vital economic activities as manufacturing or agriculture. The “judicial power” included the power of to nullify unconstitutional statutes. The Ninth Amendment mandates that unenumerated rights shall not be denied or disparaged. The chapter asserts that attempts to perfect the Constitution by judicial construction conflict with and override its original meaning. It ends by insisting that the opportunity still exists to adopt a Presumption of Liberty and restore the lost Constitution.

Keywords:   original meaning, Constitution, Supreme Court, liberty, natural rights, commerce, judicial power, Ninth Amendment, unenumerated rights, Presumption of Liberty

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