In the United States, the rights of a person are assumed: certain unalienable rights were assumed as early as 1776.
The separation of powers philosophy upon which the federal government is founded is clearly spelled-out. Interpretation of the Constitution as applied to law is the job of the Supreme Court. Creating, debating, and enacting laws is the Congress’ job, and enforcing laws falls under the Executive branch.
The Constitution is not only law but the fundamental law upon which all others are constructed. It was agreed- to by a majority of the state’s delegates to its own ratification convention. It has since been agreed-to by all “new” states as the fundamental step in becoming part of the United States. If we were to add any new states, say Puerto Rico, then they will have to adopt the Constitution as their fundamental law.
None of the states whose conventions voted against the Constitution were forced to join. Rhode Island held out for over three years. But when they saw the benefits of the federal system they gave-up their lucrative tax on moving goods through the state and made money on road and canal construction projects.
The Constitution and the attached Bill of Rights isn’t a laundry-list of rights people should have. It’s the blueprint for a democratic republic – it’s the lines laid down that say “this far and no farther” to the government.
I revere the Constitution the way Christians revere their Bible. But unlike them I know it isn’t perfect and it can always be improved as society evolves. If the fundamental laws don’t evolve then the society they create gets old and rots. Amending the Constitution ironed-out the kinks in the electoral system in the early 19th century when several elections (Thomas Jefferson’s, for example) were decided in the Congress, and when a President had a rival as Vice-President, often working against them while in office. We tried Prohibition and then un-tried it. In 1920 we added the idea that maybe women should vote, too. And of course there is the amendment that freed people held in slavery. That was some good evolution right there.
The 2nd Amendment is no longer relevant because states no longer have militias, so it should be repealed.
The First Amendment has some problems, too – it could be clearer as to what exactly “speech” is.