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The Constitution of EmpireTerritorial Expansion and American Legal History$
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Gary Lawson and Guy Seidman

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300102314

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300102314.001.0001

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Bulwark or Façade? The Rights of Territorial Inhabitants

Bulwark or Façade? The Rights of Territorial Inhabitants

(p.188) 7 Bulwark or Façade? The Rights of Territorial Inhabitants
The Constitution of Empire

Gary Lawson

Guy Seidman

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the constitutional rights of the United States' inhabitants when the constitution is being framed. When the first American constitution was made, it contained no specific prohibition on laws restricting speech, authorizing general warrants, or restricting religion, and remained that way until the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. In spite of this, the government was not free in abridging, as laws that infringed widely respected liberties would not be deemed “necessary and proper” as required by the Sweeping Clause, but as unconstitutional.

Keywords:   constitution, prohibition, liberties, Sweeping Clause, constitutional rights, Bill of Rights

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