UA-111879165-1 87. FDR’s Second Bill of Rights - State of the Union - January 11, 1944
Empathy Media Lab

87. FDR’s Second Bill of Rights - State of the Union - January 11, 1944

January 15, 2021

The Second Bill of Rights was proposed by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 11, 1944.[1] In his address, Roosevelt suggested that the nation had come to recognise and should now implement, a second "bill of rights". Roosevelt argued that the "political rights" guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had "proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness". His remedy was to declare an "economic bill of rights" to guarantee these specific rights:

These rights have come to be known as economic rights, although not to be enshrined within the constitution, the hope of advocating the policy was that it would be 'encoded and guaranteed by federal law'.[2] Roosevelt stated that having such rights would guarantee American security and that the United States' place in the world depended upon how far the rights had been carried into practice. 

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