Remarks in Congress on the "Most Valuable Amendment"

August 17, 1789

MR. MADISON Conceived this to be the most valuable amendment[1] on the whole list; if there was any reason to restrain the government of the United States from infringing upon these essential rights, it was equally necessary that they should be secured against the state governments; he thought that if they provided against the one, it was as necessary to provide against the other, and was satisfied that it would be equally grateful to the people.

[1] Proposed by Madison to prohibit the states from infringing freedom of conscience, speech, press, or the right to trial by jury in criminal cases. The House adopted it on August 24, but it was rejected by the Senate in early September and not restored by the conference committee that established the final text of the 12 amendments submitted to the states on September 25, 1789.