Sunstein: Obama Wants ‘Second Bill of Rights’

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Mere hours after Breitbart News published an excerpt from an interview with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in which he speculated that President Barack Obama would “prefer a different kind of constitution,” one with a Bill of Rights based on the South African model, former Obama administration regulatory czar Cass Sunstein published an op-ed making a similar argument: that the president wants a “second Bill of Rights” alongside the existing one.

Sunstein located the source of Obama’s inspiration in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1944State of the Union address, rather than the South African constitution–though the American academics whose writings inspired South Africa’s ambitious Bill of Rights could well have taken Roosevelt’s proposals as their foundation.

Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights–not a list of constitutional amendments, but policy goals–was as follows:

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

Sunstein points out Roosevelt was not a socialist–and yet many of the “rights” he proposed were inspired by socialist policies. The Soviet constitution of 1936, too, included the right to work, among other guarantees.

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Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

5 Responses to “Sunstein: Obama Wants ‘Second Bill of Rights’”

  1. 1


    In 2001 Obama did absolutely speak of the lack of positive rights in the Constitution. And Roosevelt was for intents and purposes a socialist.

  2. 2


    The current mindset of the voting populace is that the federal government has complete power over the states. In effect, that the federal government has the authority to make state law, for the states.

    This is evidenced by the movements some fairly new, others old, some quite popular, others not so popular, to suggest that the federal government make law concerning these movements, none of which is specifically delineated, in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, giving power to the federal government. Gay marriage is one such movement.

    As such, the voting populace is likely to believe that the President, or Congress, or overall Federal government, has such power as to delineate to itself additional powers not conferred by the Constitution. The people are actively involved with killing the states, and states’ rights, mostly because they do not know any better, and partly because some of them wish it to be so.

    I keep revisiting the quote most appropriate during these times, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take it all away”. Some attribute the quote to Jefferson, others to obscure or less famous historical figures. Either way, it’s appropriate, in my opinion.

    Suppose, for example, that we accept that the federal government has the power to dissolve the religious connotation that marriage has enjoyed for millenia. What, then, prevents that same federal government from empowering itself as the sole designator of who, exactly, one can marry? The ignorant cynic would suggest that it could never happen, or that if it could, that it wouldn’t, simply because the people wouldn’t allow it. The problem is, government, once given power, never willingly gives it back. This is the course of history throughout mankind, regarding organized government.

    We see this most clearly in the examples of gun control. We, the People, gave the federal government limited(we believed at the time) power to restrict the private citizenry from owning certain weapons(fully automatic firearms). We thought, at the time, that it was a necessary evil to endure, as it allowed the federal government a “fighting chance” against the gangsters of the day.

    So now what do we have looking at us? The federal government, citing power to “regulate” firearms, given over to them by We, the People, and suggesting that since they(the Feds) have the power to regulate fully automatic weaponry, that they also have the extended power to regulate other types of firearms available to We, the People.

    The states are busted, regarding power to check the federal government, and will remain so as long as the “majority” of We, the People, accept that the federal government is, and should be, the sole power within our country.

  3. 3

    MOS 8541

    FRD was a democratic whore dog, like clinton, yet opie is gay? Why the push for 11 million immigrants? In two years the administration is going to push for repeal of the constitutional amendment that limites 2 terms to the pres. The 47% , or by that time 50 million on welfare combined with 8-9 million immigrants will try to run a reversal of that amendment -WATCH. The offering will be made in 6 months and passed as part of mid-term election. You are so screwed America and you do not even know you have been had.

  4. 4

    Scott in Oklahoma

    I am pretty worried about our opportunity to have another free election… between the liberals ownership of the media and the apparently unstoppable power of the Obama administration, it may take more than just some hard stories on FOX to bring this county to its senses…

  5. 5


    Scott in Oklahoma
    yes I think so too,
    the only door that could play a role to my mind is the STATES each to make new rules to see it coming to be ready to counter it, how about a STATES MILICIA who could be combine to each other STATES, for the only purpose to push back an eventual invading opponents, be it a million of illegals having been given the the land of their choice BY OBAMA’S EXECUTIVES SIGNATURE, or to back up THE OBAMA’S UNIONYZE GOVERNMENTS EMPLOYEES given the orders to enter freely in a STATE to stop what ever they the federals, decide to stop or demolish also as an example built a MOSQUE,
    or to block anyone which we know unwanted.
    SHERIFF CLARKE said they cut the police force rendering the State vulnerable from not only criminals but occupiers ,what come to mind also, OBAMA want to have wind towers being build exactly where the coal is being process, that STATE COULD USE THEIR MILLICIA
    showing they mean business if being push.

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