Individual Liberty and the Constitution

By Robert H. Bork
July 08, 2008
To consider liberty in relation to the Constitution is to enter upon a subject of some abiguity. Which constitution are we to consider? The document has undergone dramatic shifts in its coverage and in its meaning over the course of our history. The unamended document ratified in 1787 had little explicit to say about individual liberties, aside from provisions such as those barring states from barring states from discriminating against persons from other states, bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus without the consent of Congress, individual liberty was to be protected by the structure of the federal government. The states were largely left to deal with issues of liberty as they saw fit....