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Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 12/15/2010

Bill of Rights Day: Libertarians, National Archives celebrate

By Rachel Weiner

On Dec. 15, 1791, the ten amendments to the Constitution known as the Bill of Rights were ratified. In 1941, in honor of the amendments' 150th anniversary, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made the date a holiday: Bill of Rights Day.

The National Archives this year held a contest via Twitter, asking followers to distill the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights down to 140 characters each. You can see the winners here -- picked by an archivist. The prize is, of course a reproduction of the Bill of Rights.

The libertarian think-tank Cato Institute took a less cheerful tack, listing the ways they believe government has infringed on the Bill of Rights. "It's a depressing snapshot, to be sure, but I submit that the Framers of the Constitution would not have been surprised by the relentless attempts by government to expand its sphere of control," wrote Tim Lynch, a Cato policy scholar. "Let's enjoy the holidays but also resolve to be more vigilant about our liberties in 2011."

President Obama released a statement early in the week covering Bill of Rights Day, Human Rights Day, and Human Rights Week in one fell swoop. "The United States will always speak for those who are voiceless, defend those who are oppressed, and bear witness to those who want nothing more than to exercise their universal human rights," the presidential proclamation reads. "Our Bill of Rights protects these fundamental values at home, and guides our actions as we stand with those who seek to exercise their universal rights, wherever they live."

By Rachel Weiner  | December 15, 2010; 10:28 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Just a nit to pick:

"fell" means bad or evil, same root as "felon".

"Fell swoop" is if something bad happens suddenly. A bunch of things happening at once is not a "fell swoop".

Posted by: dnfree | December 15, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"Our Bill of Rights protects these fundamental values at home, and guides our actions as we stand with those who seek to exercise their universal rights, wherever they live."

How has the Bill or Rights protected us? The only intact amendment is the 3rd. I also think it's funny that Obama would say it guides him. The Constitution is about negative liberty (defining what the government CANNOT do) while Obama is a supporter of positive liberty (define what the people CAN do).

Posted by: BradG | December 15, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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