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    • Washington Post: Obamacare Repealed. Replacement In Place
      Page: 2
      It's by design.

      In the 1980s, amid heated discussion about constitutional rights, few Americans recall that for most of our history the Bill of Rights did not apply to the exercise of power by state and local governments. Until the 1920s, only state constitutions and state law prevented local governments from encroaching upon basic liberties such as freedom of speech, press, religion and the right against compulsory self-incrimination.

      Advocates of a bill of rights feared that the new national government created by the Constitution would encroach upon personal liberties. Thus, according to the common understanding of the period, the rights specified in the Bill of Rights checked only the powers of the national government; they did not apply to powers retained by state and local governments. The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed this understanding in Barron v. Baltimore in 1833, and it became thereby a basic principle of constitutional law.
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