Under the traditional rhetoric about the Bill of Rights and its importance for the maintenance of individual liberty and a democratic society, the document and its individual provisions are portrayed as embodying principles that must be respected and preserved in order to prevent the risk of excessive governmental power. By contrast, the assertion that rights can shrink and perhaps even disappear during a war or other emergency portrays a pragmatic view of rights that characterizes them, in some sense, as luxuries that must be set aside during certain historical eras. The article addresses these competing perspectives on the Bill of Rights to examine their implications for law and public policy in a post-September 11th world.
Christopher E. Smith,
The Bill of Rights after September 11th: Principles or Pragmatism?,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol42/iss2/4