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Old February 5, 2013, 06:25 AM   #14
Hugh Damright
Senior Member
Join Date: June 5, 2004
Posts: 611
(sigh) all those legislators back in 1874 should have passed ANOTHER amendment:
the restrictions on federal government contained in the first 9 amendments are fully applicable as restrictions on state and local governments as well.
It doesn't seem right for me to sit here quietly while people assume that the 39th Congress would have passed an amendment which said that the first nine amendments were binding against state/local governments. Anyone wanting to understand this better might refer to Berger's "Government by Judiciary".

It should be understood that the phrase, "Privileges and/or Immunities," was a term of art to describe both political and natural rights (in that order).
I have read the congressional debates over the reconstruction amendments and I think this assertion is untenable. The term "privileges" was intended to exclude political rights, first and foremost the right to suffrage, because Northerners weren't ready to force black suffrage upon themselves (thus the need for the 15th Amendment). And an immunity is not a "natural right", it is an exemption from a duty or burden that applies to others. I challenge anyone to show me one single instance where anyone in the 39th Congress said that the term "privileges and immunities" regarded political rights and natural rights.
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