Four Boxes of Liberty - Commentary

Commentary

In a commentary on Leonard Levy's book Origins of the Bill of Rights (1999), Brian C. Kalt of the Michigan State University College of Law argues that the meme simply expresses the intent of the United States Bill of Rights to enshrine and protect the popular sovereignty. It succinctly defines the four methods by which the people can stand up for their rights. Taking a less positive view of the meme, in April 2010 the Anti-Defamation League noted that it is frequently used by anti-government extremists to justify violence to gain their ends on the grounds that all else has failed, and cites a typical comment on the Pat Dollard Web Site: "we've tried the soap box & the ballot box to no avail. Maybe it's time to start thinking INSIDE the box - the bullet box".

In their book For the People: What the Constitution Really Says About Your Rights, Akhil Reed Amar and Alan Hirsch introduce a variation on the theme. Discussing the American Constitution, they assert that the ideal of citizenship generates four "boxes" of rights. The first three are the familiar ballot box, jury box and cartridge box. To these, with some reservations, they add the lunch box: the idea of a social safety net that supports basic physical and educational needs.

Read more about this topic:  Four Boxes Of Liberty

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