Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Restoring the Lost ConstitutionThe Presumption of Liberty$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Natural Rights as Liberty Rights: Retained Rights, Privileges, or Immunities

Natural Rights as Liberty Rights: Retained Rights, Privileges, or Immunities

(p.53) Chapter Three Natural Rights as Liberty Rights: Retained Rights, Privileges, or Immunities
Restoring the Lost Constitution

Randy E. Barnett

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the conception of rights held by the people who wrote and adopted the original Constitution and also by those who wrote and adopted the Fourteenth Amendment. If the framers held certain views of rights, their conception of rights was correct, and if they incorporated effective procedural protections of these rights into the Constitution, then the laws that are produced by this constitutional process will be binding in conscience. The terms “rights,” “liberties,” “privileges,” and “immunities” were often used interchangeably or in a cluster. The chapter analyzes the founders' view of natural rights as liberty rights as well as their universal belief in popular sovereignty. It argues that those who subscribe to the fiction of “We the People” precisely because they reject the reality of natural rights and can see no alternative path to constitutional legitimacy are wrong on both counts.

Keywords:   rights, U.S. Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment, natural rights, liberty rights, We the People, constitutional legitimacy, privileges, immunities, popular sovereignty

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.