Neil H. Cogan
The fundamental, inalienable rights and privileges set forth in the Bill of Rights represent the very foundations of American liberty. The Complete Bill of Rights is a documentary record of the process by which these rights and privileges were defined and recorded as law. Now in its second edition, The Complete Bill of Rights contains double the content featured in the first edition. This new edition includes all the background texts for the origins and debate of the ratification of the Bill of Rights and presents them clause by clause in a complete, accurate, and accessible format. Arranged in chronological order, the work presents each clause in its finished form, and traces its development from its proposal through drafting through adoption. Cogan presents every draft of the text and every documentary source, including state convention proposals, state, colonial, and English constitutional texts, sources in caselaw and treatises, and State and Colonial statutory and decisional law. He includes data from diaries and correspondence, pamphlets and newspapers, as well as the Congressional and State debates, including the correspondence of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams among many others who debated the issues that the Supreme Court considers law today. The book also contains each version of the drafts from the manuscript collections of the National Archives and Library of Congress. The result is the most detailed and useful record of the debate over the Bill of Rights available. This first new edition since 1997 substantially expands on the previous edition, providing the same invaluable texts for two fundamental protections of liberty found in the Constitution of 1789 (though not in the Bill of Rights): the protections under habeas corpus and the privileges and immunities clauses. Each chapter expands the background discussion of rights, and provides pertinent texts in contemporary legal dictionaries to meet the increasing interest of federal and state courts in additional sources for interpretation. The second edition also provides a chapter-by-chapter discussion of rights by treatise and abridgement writers in addition to Blackstone. Finally, all margin notes and footnotes in the dictionaries and treatises are included, so the reader has access to the totality of the original statues and case law upon which the drafters relied. The Complete Bill of Rights is the only comprehensive collection of texts essential to understanding the Bill of Rights. Organized in an accessible and practical manner, it is an invaluable tool for law students, judges, lawyers, and law clerks, as well as scholars of the law, history, and political science.