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April 2017 Policy Study, Number 17-6


A Commentary on the Bill of Rights


Part 10



Amendment III:


No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


When viewed through current perspective, this amendment seems to be of little value.  It makes scant sense.  It is inapplicable and is totally out of place today.  After all, when was the last time you ever heard of a man who was forced to quarter a soldier in his house against his will?  It does seem unlikely we will have to make use of this amendment any time soon.  Still, this amendment is pertinent to this essay.  It serves to drive home the point that has been made throughout these essays:  In order to rightly understand the intent of the framers of the Constitution, it is necessary to understand the context of the history for that period of time. It is also crucial that we pay due heed to the “spirit of the debates” that took place while the Constitution was in production.  If we do not do these two things, the meaning of the Constitution becomes very murky indeed.




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