In law, an appeal is the process in which cases are reviewed, where parties request a formal change to an official decision. Appeals function both as a process for error correction as well as a process of clarifying and interpreting law. Although appellate courts have existed for thousands of years, common law countries did not incorporate an affirmative right to appeal into their jurisprudence until the 19th century. Appellate courts and other systems of error correction have existed for many millennia. During the first dynasty of Babylon and his governors served as the highest appellate courts of the land. Ancient Roman law employed a complex hierarchy of appellate courts, where some appeals would be heard by the emperor. Additionally, appellate courts have existed in Japan since at least the Kamakura Shogunate. During this time, the Shogunate established hikitsuke, a high appellate court to aid the state in adjudicating lawsuits. In the Eighteenth century, William Blackstone observed in his Commentaries on the Laws of England that appeals existed as a form of error correction in the common law during the reign of Edward III of England.
Although some scholars argue that "the right to appeal is itself a substantive liberty interest", the notion of a right to appeal is a recent advent in common law jurisdictions. In fact, commentators have observed that common law jurisdictions were "slow to incorporate a right to appeal into either its civil or criminal jurisprudence". For example, the United States first created a system of federal appellate courts in 1789, but a federal right to appeal did not exist in the United States until 1889, when Congress passed the Judiciary Act to permit appeals in capital cases. Two years the right to appeals was extended to other criminal cases, the United States Courts of Appeals were established to review decisions from district courts; some states, such as Minnesota, still do not formally recognize a right to criminal appeals. Although some courts permit appeals at preliminary stages of litigation, most litigants appeal final orders and judgments from lower courts. A fundamental premise of many legal systems is that appellate courts review questions of law de novo, but appellate courts do not conduct independent fact-finding.
Instead, appellate courts will defer to the record established by the trial court, unless some error occurred during the fact-finding process. Many jurisdictions provide a statutory or constitutional right for litigants to appeal adverse decisions. However, most jurisdictions recognize that this right may be waived. In the United States, for example, litigants may waive the right to appeal, as long as the waiver is "considered and intelligent"; the appellate process begins when an appellate court grants a party's petition for review or petition for certiorari. Unlike trials, appeals are presented to a judge, or a panel of judges, rather than a jury. Before making any formal argument, parties will submit legal briefs in which the parties present their arguments. Appellate courts may grant permission for an amicus curiae to submit a brief in support of a particular party or position. After submitting briefs, parties have the opportunity to present an oral argument to a judge or panel of judges. During oral arguments, judges ask question to attorneys to challenge their arguments or to advance their own legal theories.
After deliberating in chambers, appellate courts will issue formal opinions that resolve the legal issues presented for review. When considering cases on appeal, appellate courts affirm, reverse, or vacate the decision of a lower court; some courts maintain a dual function, where they consider both appeals as well as matters of "first instance". For example, the Supreme Court of the United States hears cases on appeal but retains original jurisdiction over a limited range of cases; some jurisdictions maintain a system of intermediate appellate courts, which are subject to the review of higher appellate courts. The highest appellate court in a jurisdiction is sometimes referred to as a "court of last resort". Civil procedure List of legal topics Judicial review Appellate procedure in the United States Scope of review
Administrative law is the body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies of government. Government agency action can include rule making, adjudication, or the enforcement of a specific regulatory agenda. Administrative law is considered a branch of public law; as a body of law, administrative law deals with the decision-making of the administrative units of government that are part of a national regulatory scheme in such areas as police law, international trade, the environment, broadcasting and transport. Administrative law expanded during the twentieth century, as legislative bodies worldwide created more government agencies to regulate the social and political spheres of human interaction. Civil law countries have specialized courts, administrative courts, that review these decisions. Unlike most common-law jurisdictions, the majority of civil law jurisdictions have specialized courts or sections to deal with administrative cases which, as a rule, will apply procedural rules designed for such cases and different from that applied in private-law proceedings, such as contract or tort claims.
In Brazil, unlike most Civil-law jurisdictions, there is no specialized court or section to deal with administrative cases. In 1998, a constitutional reform, led by the government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, introduced regulatory agencies as a part of the executive branch. Since 1988, Brazilian administrative law has been influenced by the judicial interpretations of the constitutional principles of public administration: legality, publicity of administrative acts and efficiency; the President of the Republic exercises the administrative function, in collaboration with several Ministries or other authorities with ministerial rank. Each Ministry has one or more under-secretary that performs through public services the actual satisfaction of public needs. There is not a single specialized court to deal with actions against the Administrative entities, but instead there are several specialized courts and procedures of review. In France, most claims against the national or local governments as well as claims against private bodies providing public services are handled by administrative courts, which use the Conseil d'État as a court of last resort for both ordinary and special courts.
The main administrative courts are the tribunaux administratifs and appeal courts are the cours administratives d'appel. Special administrative courts include the National Court of Asylum Right as well as military and judicial disciplinary bodies; the French body of administrative law is called "droit administratif". Over the course of their history, France's administrative courts have developed an extensive and coherent case law and legal doctrine before similar concepts were enshrined in constitutional and legal texts; these principes include: Right to fair trial, including for internal disciplinary bodies Right to challenge any administrative decision before an administrative court Equal treatment of public service users Equal access to government employment without regard for political opinions Freedom of association Right to Entrepreneurship Right to Legal certainty French administrative law, the founder of Continental administrative law, has a strong influence on administrative laws in several other countries such as Belgium, Greece and Tunisia.
Administrative law in Germany, called "Verwaltungsrecht" de:Verwaltungsrecht rules the relationship between authorities and the citizens and therefore, it establishes citizens' rights and obligations against the authorities. It is a part of the public law, which deals with the organization, the tasks and the acting of the public administration, it contains rules, regulations and decisions created by and related to administrative agencies, such as federal agencies, federal state authorities, urban administrations, but admission offices and fiscal authorities etc. Administrative law in Germany follows three basic principles. Principle of the legality of the authority, which means that there is no acting against the law and no acting without a law. Principle of legal security, which includes a principle of legal certainty and the principle of nonretroactivity Principle of proportionality, which says that an act of an authority has to be suitable and appropriateAdministrative law in Germany can be divided into general administrative law and special administrative law.
The general administration law is ruled in the administrative procedures law. Other legal sources are the Rules of the Administrative Courts, the social security code and the general fiscal law; the Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz, enacted in 1977, regulates the main administrative procedures of the federal government. It serves the purpose to ensure a treatment in accordance with the rule of law by the public authority. Furthermore, it contains the regulations for mass processes and expands the legal protection against the authorities; the VwVfG applies for the entire public administrative activities of federal agencies as well as federal state authorities, in case of m
Miscarriage of justice
A miscarriage of justice known as a failure of justice, is when an innocent person is found guilty. It is used as a legal defense in criminal and deportation proceedings; the term applies to errors in the other direction—"errors of impunity", or to any unjust outcome in any civil case. Every "miscarriage of justice" in turn is a "manifest injustice." Most criminal justice systems have some means to overturn or quash a wrongful conviction, but this is difficult to achieve. In some instances a wrongful conviction is not overturned for several decades, or until after the innocent person has been executed, released from custody, or has died. "Miscarriage of justice" is sometimes used to describe any wrongful conviction when the defendant may be guilty, for example in reference to a conviction reached as the result of an unfair or disputed trial. While a miscarriage of justice is a Type I error for falsely identifying culpability, an error of impunity would be a Type II error of failing to find a culpable person guilty.
However, the term "miscarriage of justice" is used to describe the latter type as well. With capital punishment decreasing, the expression has acquired an extended meaning, namely any conviction for a crime not committed by the convicted person. Wrongful convictions are cited by death penalty opponents as cause to eliminate death penalties to avoid executing innocent persons. In recent years, DNA evidence has been used to clear many people falsely convicted; the term travesty of justice is sometimes used for a gross, deliberate miscarriage of justice. Show trials, due to their character lead to such travesties; the concept of miscarriage of justice has important implications for standard of review, in that an appellate court will only exercise its discretion to correct a plain error when a miscarriage of justice would otherwise occur. The Scandinavian languages have a word, the Swedish variant of, justitiemord, which translates as "justice murder". Slavic languages use a different word, but it is used for judicial murder, while miscarriage of justice is "justiční omyl" in Czech, implying an error of the justice system, not a deliberate manipulation.
The term was used for cases where the accused was convicted and cleared after death. Causes of miscarriages of justice include: Plea bargains that offer incentives for the innocent to plead guilty, sometimes called an innocent prisoner's dilemma Confirmation bias on the part of investigators Withholding or destruction of evidence by police or prosecution Fabrication of evidence or outright perjury by police, or prosecution witnesses Biased editing of evidence Prejudice against the class of people to which the defendant belongs Misidentification of the perpetrator by witnesses and/or victims Overestimation/underestimation of the evidential value of expert testimony Contaminated evidence Faulty forensic tests False confessions due to police pressure or psychological weakness Misdirection of a jury by a judge during trial Perjured evidence by the real guilty party or their accomplices Perjured evidence by the alleged victim or their accomplices Conspiracy between court of appeal judges and prosecutors to uphold conviction of the innocent Fraudulent conduct by a judge: Judicial MisconductA risk of miscarriages of justice is one of the main arguments against the death penalty.
Where condemned persons are executed promptly after conviction, the most significant effect of a miscarriage of justice is irreversible. Wrongly executed people occasionally receive posthumous pardons—which void the conviction—or have their convictions quashed. Many death penalty states hold condemned persons for ten or more years before execution, so that any new evidence that might acquit them will have had time to surface; when a wrongly convicted person is not executed, years in prison can have a substantial, irreversible effect on the person and their family. The risk of miscarriage of justice is therefore an argument against long sentences, like a life sentence, cruel prison conditions. Various studies estimate that in the United States, between 2.3 and 5% of all prisoners are innocent. One study estimated that up to 10,000 people may be wrongfully convicted of serious crimes each year. A 2014 study estimated that 4.1% of inmates awaiting execution on death row in the United States are innocent, that at least 340 innocent people may have been executed since 1973.
According to Professor Boaz Sangero of the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan in Israel, most wrongful convictions are for crimes less serious than major felonies such as rape and murder, as judicial systems are less careful in dealing with those cases. Wrongful convictions appear at first to be "rightful" arrests and subsequent convictions, include a public statement about a particular crime having occurred, as well as a particular individual or individuals having committed that crime. If the conviction turns out to be a miscarriage of justice one or both of these statements is deemed to be false. During this time between the miscarriage of justice and its correction, the public holds false beliefs about the occurrence of a crime, the perpetrator of a crime, or both. While the public audience of a miscarriage of justice varies, they may in some cases be as large as an entire nation or multitude of nations. In cases where a large-scale audience is unknowingly witness
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Arguably one of the most consequential amendments to this day, the amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War; the amendment was bitterly contested by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress. The amendment its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education regarding racial segregation, Roe v. Wade regarding abortion, Bush v. Gore regarding the 2000 presidential election, Obergefell v. Hodges regarding same-sex marriage; the amendment limits the actions of all state and local officials, including those acting on behalf of such an official. The amendment's first section includes several clauses: the Citizenship Clause, Privileges or Immunities Clause, Due Process Clause, Equal Protection Clause.
The Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship, nullifying the Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, which had held that Americans descended from African slaves could not be citizens of the United States. Since the Slaughter-House Cases, the Privileges or Immunities Clause has been interpreted to do little; the Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without a fair procedure. The Supreme Court has ruled this clause makes most of the Bill of Rights as applicable to the states as it is to the federal government, as well as to recognize substantive and procedural requirements that state laws must satisfy; the Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people, including all non-citizens, within its jurisdiction. This clause has been the basis for many decisions rejecting irrational or unnecessary discrimination against people belonging to various groups.
The second and fourth sections of the amendment are litigated. However, the second section's reference to "rebellion, or other crime" has been invoked as a constitutional ground for felony disenfranchisement; the fourth section was held, in Perry v. United States, to prohibit a current Congress from abrogating a contract of debt incurred by a prior Congress; the fifth section gives Congress the power to enforce the amendment's provisions by "appropriate legislation". Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed, but when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, having taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof, but Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. Section 4; the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave.
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. In the final years of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that followed, Congress debated the rights of black former slaves freed by the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1865 Thirteenth Amendment, the latter of which had formally abolished slavery. Following the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment by Congress, Republicans grew concerned over the increase it would create in the congressional representation of the Democratic-dominated Southern States; because the full population of fre
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants do not self-identify as African American; the overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities. Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States; the first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several years without wages; the status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c
Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court of Canada, the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial and federal appellate courts, its decisions are the ultimate expression and application of Canadian law and binding upon all lower courts of Canada, except to the extent that they are overridden or otherwise made ineffective by an Act of Parliament or the Act of a provincial legislative assembly pursuant to section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The creation of the Supreme Court of Canada was provided for by the British North America Act, 1867, renamed in 1982 the Constitution Act, 1867; the first bills for the creation of a federal supreme court, introduced in the Parliament of Canada in 1869 and in 1870, were withdrawn. It was not until 8 April 1875 that a bill was passed providing for the creation of a Supreme Court of Canada. However, prior to 1949, the Supreme Court did not constitute the court of last resort: litigants could appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London.
As well, some cases could bypass the court and go directly to the Judicial Committee from the provincial courts of appeal. The Supreme Court formally became the court of last resort for criminal appeals in 1933 and for all other appeals in 1949; the last decisions of the Judicial Committee on cases from Canada were made in the mid-1950s, as a result of their being heard in a court of first instance prior to 1949. The increase in the importance of the Court was mirrored by the numbers of its members; the Court was established first with six judges, these were augmented by an additional member in 1927. In 1949, the bench reached its current composition of nine justices. Prior to 1949, most of the appointees to the Court owed their position to political patronage; each judge had strong ties to the party in power at the time of their appointment. In 1973, the appointment of a constitutional law professor Bora Laskin as chief justice represented a major turning point for the Court. In this period, appointees either came from academic backgrounds or were well-respected practitioners with several years experience in appellate courts.
Laskin's federalist and liberal views were shared by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who recommended Laskin's appointment to the Court. The Constitution Act, 1982 expanded the role of the Court in Canadian society by the addition of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which broadened the scope of judicial review; the evolution from the Dickson court through to the Lamer court witnessed a continuing vigour in the protection of civil liberties. Lamer's criminal law background proved an influence on the number of criminal cases heard by the Court during his time as chief justice. Nonetheless, the Lamer court was more conservative with Charter rights, with only about a 1% success rate for Charter claimants. Lamer was succeeded as chief justice by Beverly McLachlin in January 2000, she is the first woman to hold that position. McLachlin's appointment resulted in a more centrist and unified Court. Dissenting and concurring opinions were fewer than during the Lamer Courts. With the 2005 appointments of Justices Louise Charron and Rosalie Abella, the court became the world's most gender-balanced national high court, four of its nine members being female.
Justice Marie Deschamps' retirement on 7 August 2012 caused the number to fall to three, however the appointment of Suzanne Côté on 1 December 2014 restored the number to four. After serving on the Court for 28 years, 259 days, McLachlin retired in December 2017, her successor as chief justice is Richard Wagner. The structure of the Canadian court system is pyramidal, a broad base being formed by the various provincial and territorial courts whose judges are appointed by the provincial or territorial governments. At the next level are the provinces' and territories' superior courts, where judges are appointed by the federal government. Judgments from the superior courts may be appealed to a still higher level, the provincial or territorial courts of appeal. Several federal courts exist: the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada. Unlike the provincial superior courts, which exercise inherent or general jurisdiction, the federal courts' jurisdiction is limited by statute.
In all, there are over 1,000 federally appointed judges at various levels across Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada rests at the apex of the judicial pyramid; this institution hears appeals from the provincial courts of last resort the provincial or territorial courts of appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal, although in some matters appeals come straight from the trial courts, as in the case of publication bans and other orders that are otherwise not appealable. In most cases, permission to appeal must first be obtained from the court. Motions for leave to appeal to the Court are heard by a panel of three judges of the Court and a simple majority is determinative. By convention, this panel never explains why it grants or refuses leave in any particular case, but the Court hears cases of national importance or where the case allows the Court to settle an important issue of law. Leave is granted, meaning that for most litigants, provincial courts of appeal are courts of last resort, but leave to appeal is not required for some cases criminal cases and appeals from provincial references.
A final source of cases is the referral power of the federa
United States Bill of Rights
The United States Bill of Rights comprises the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Proposed following the bitter 1787–88 debate over ratification of Constitution, written to address the objections raised by Anti-Federalists, the Bill of Rights amendments add to the Constitution specific guarantees of personal freedoms and rights, clear limitations on the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, explicit declarations that all powers not granted to the U. S. Congress by the Constitution are reserved for the people; the concepts codified in these amendments are built upon those found in earlier documents the Virginia Declaration of Rights, as well as the English Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta. Due to the efforts of Representative James Madison, who studied the deficiencies of the constitution pointed out by anti-federalists and crafted a series of corrective proposals, Congress approved twelve articles of amendment on September 25, 1789, submitted them to the states for ratification.
Contrary to Madison's proposal that the proposed amendments be incorporated into the main body of the Constitution, they were proposed as supplemental additions to it. Articles Three through Twelve were ratified as additions to the Constitution on December 15, 1791, became Amendments One through Ten of the Constitution. Article Two became part of the Constitution on May 1992, as the Twenty-seventh Amendment. Article One is still pending before the states. Although Madison's proposed amendments included a provision to extend the protection of some of the Bill of Rights to the states, the amendments that were submitted for ratification applied only to the federal government; the door for their application upon state governments was opened in the 1860s, following ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Since the early 20th century both federal and state courts have used the Fourteenth Amendment to apply portions of the Bill of Rights to state and local governments; the process is known as incorporation.
There are several original engrossed copies of the Bill of Rights still in existence. One of these is on permanent public display at the National Archives in Washington, D. C. Prior to the ratification and implementation of the United States Constitution, the thirteen sovereign states followed the Articles of Confederation, created by the Second Continental Congress and ratified in 1781. However, the national government that operated under the Articles of Confederation was too weak to adequately regulate the various conflicts that arose between the states; the Philadelphia Convention set out to correct weaknesses of the Articles, apparent before the American Revolutionary War had been concluded. The convention took place from May 14 to September 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although the Convention was purportedly intended only to revise the Articles, the intention of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York, was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one.
The convention convened in the Pennsylvania State House, George Washington of Virginia was unanimously elected as president of the convention. The 55 delegates who drafted the Constitution are among the men known as the Founding Fathers of the new nation. Thomas Jefferson, Minister to France during the convention, characterized the delegates as an assembly of "demi-gods." Rhode Island refused to send delegates to the convention. On September 12, George Mason of Virginia suggested the addition of a Bill of Rights to the Constitution modeled on previous state declarations, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts made it a formal motion. However, after only a brief discussion where Roger Sherman pointed out that State Bills of Rights were not repealed by the new Constitution, the motion was defeated by a unanimous vote of the state delegations. Madison an opponent of a Bill of Rights explained the vote by calling the state bills of rights "parchment barriers" that offered only an illusion of protection against tyranny.
Another delegate, James Wilson of Pennsylvania argued that the act of enumerating the rights of the people would have been dangerous, because it would imply that rights not explicitly mentioned did not exist. 84. Because Mason and Gerry had emerged as opponents of the proposed new Constitution, their motion—introduced five days before the end of the convention—may have been seen by other delegates as a delaying tactic; the quick rejection of this motion, however endangered the entire ratification process. Author David O. Stewart characterizes the omission of a Bill of Rights in the original Constitution as "a political blunder of the first magnitude" while historian Jack N. Rakove calls it "the one serious miscalculation the framers made as they looked ahead to the struggle over ratification". Thirty-nine delegates signed the finalized Constitution. Thirteen delegates left before it was completed, three who remained at the convention until the end refused to sign it: Mason and Edmund Randolph of Virginia.
Afterward, the Constitution was presented to the Articles of Confederation Congress with the request that it afterwards be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people, for their assent and ratification. Following the Philadelphia Convention, some leading revolutionary figures such as Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee publicly opposed the new frame of government, a position known as "Anti-Federalism". Elbridge Gerry wrote the most popular Anti-Federalist tract, "Hon. Mr. Gerry's Objections"