David Adler

Why We Have a Bill of Rights

The origins, scope and meaning of the Bill of Rights, and its proper place in a democratic form of government, have been the subjects of great controversy since its creation two hundred years ago. This presentation will explore the struggle to establish a Bill of Rights, changing interpretations of our civil rights, and the role and importance of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms in a democracy.

Other Related topics

  • The Constitution and the Right to Bear Arms
    Discussion of the conflicting interpretations of the Second Amendment, as well as consideration of the politics of gun control, in light of recent tragedies from Columbine and Santee.
  • The War on Terrorism and Civil Liberties
    Discussion of the nation’s ability to wage war against terrorism within the confines of the Constitution. Is it necessary, desirable, or feasible to temporarily suspend the Bill of Rights in order to secure victory against terrorism? Adler focuses on the clash between claims of national security and constitutional freedoms within the larger historical context of constitutional crises such as those that occurred in the Civil War, World War I and II, the Depression and the Cold War.