It’s an error to assimilate what’s in the Bill of Rights to “the Constitution”, i.e. to the foundation of the central government.
The drafters of the 1788 Constitution, the so-called “Federalists”, heaped scorn and contempt upon the notion of a “bill of rights”. Only filthy hippies and anarchists were licentious and paranoid enough to want such a thing. The promulgators of the plan for an imperial central government grudgingly agreed to include a bill of rights only when it looked like the Constitution, lacking this, would fail to be ratified.
So it’s wrong, both historically and conceptually, to amalgamate the centralized government plan with the guarantees of various individual, community, and truly federalist rights, and call it by one name, “the Constitution”. The intent of the planners of the central government, and the sense of their document (the main Articles), run directly counter to the spirit of this Bill of Rights. The promulgators despised it, and everyone who has followed in their stead, all who support central government and empire, have regarded it as nothing but a fig leaf to be used, abused, most of all disregarded except for propaganda purposes.
So those who today cite the Bill of Rights and “the Constitution” as something being abused and affronted by the actions of government and corporations are mistaking the fundamental nature of this Constitution, by helping dress it in the nimbus of a Bill of Rights which is fundamentally alien to it.
I can appreciate constitutional arguments as a political weapon. I make many such arguments myself. But if one lets oneself see, for example, freedom of assembly* and electing a president as two parts of an integral whole, then one has fallen for a scam meant to keep us mired in fruitless notions of “reforming” a fundamentally evil system.
“The Constitution”, as an undifferentiated, unexamined holistic notion, is nothing but propaganda. It’s not organic, in principle or practice.
*Freedom of assembly is an excellent example. The natural right can only mean bottom-up citizen assembly for direct democracy and direct action. But the 1st Amendment carefully limits it “to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.
Thus many aspects of the Occupy movement are, by the technicality of the central Constitution, outside our “recognized” rights.
My point isn’t to disparage the argument for Freedom of Assembly and constitutional claims. But we must claim these only from and for ourselves. We can demand them only of ourselves, through direct action and movement building.
But to rely upon the government and the courts to agree is to misunderstand what the courts are for, and to misunderstand the difference between our sovereign constitution and the system’s “Constitution”.