The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution by the framers in the form of amendments. The chief purpose of the amendments was to provide greater constitutional protection for individual liberties,to protect the rights of individuals from the government’s interference. It has been said at some point in time during their early creation, They were reported to guarantee rights such as religious freedom, freedom of the press, and trial by jury to all American citizens among other essential rights. In todays system it can be argued if they are being upheld, let alone being fought for.
- First Amendment: Freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the press, the right to assemble, the right to petition the government.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
- Second Amendment: The right to form a militia and to keep and bear arms.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
- Third Amendment: The right not to have soldiers in one’s home.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
- Fourth Amendment: Protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
- Fifth Amendment: No one can be tried for a serious crime unless indicted (accused) by a grand jury. No one can be forced to testify against herself or himself. No one can be punished without due process of law. People must be paid for property taken for public use.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
- Sixth Amendment: People have a right to a speedy trial, to legal counsel, and to confront their accusers.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
- Seventh Amendment: People have the right to a jury trial in civil suits exceeding $20.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
- Eighth Amendment: Protection against excessive bail (money to release a person from jail), stiff fines, and cruel and unusual punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
- Ninth Amendment: Because there are so many basic human rights, not all of them could be listed in the Constitution. This amendment means that the rights that are enumerated cannot infringe upon rights that are not listed in the Constitution.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
- Tenth Amendment: Powers not given to the federal government by the Constitution belong to the states or the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Thirteenth Amendment (1865): Slavery shall not be allowed in the U.S.
Nineteenth Amendment (1920): Women have the right to vote.
Twenty-sixth Amendment (1971): U.S. citizens who are 18 years of age or older have the right to vote. (Previously, they had to be 21 years old.)
“https://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/.” Bill of rights institute. © 2016 BILL OF RIGHTS INSTITUTE 19Nov.2016