The Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution

bill-of-rights_public domain imageFOUNDERS CORNER LIBRARY: POLITICAL DOCUMENTS

1791


Amendment I

Religious establishment prohibited, Freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, of assembly, and to petition.

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.

Amendment II

Right to keep and bear arms, that is, the right to self-defense, is retained by the people.

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.

Amendment III

Right to consent and other conditions regarding quartering soldiers.

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.

Amendment IV

Right of to be secure in person, house, papers, and effect against unreasonable search and seizure. Strict conditions for a warrant.

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 particularity describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

Rights of the accused. Right to life, liberty, and property and the need for due process, and as applicable, just compensation. 

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 offence 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.

Amendment VI

Right to speedy trial, to impartial jury of peers, to face one’s accuser, to witnesses, to counsel.

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 Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

Right of trial by jury in suits at common law and limitation concerning retrial of facts.

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.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail, fines and cruel and unusual punishment prohibited.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

Check in favor of limited government, of strict construction of delegated powers and against an open-ended view of these powers.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

Again the principle of delegated power, of its limitations, and an understanding as to who is the Master (the People), and who the Servant (the Government); that any power not delegated by the Master is retained by him – that the great majority of governmental power was then, and ought to be now, held at the most local level possible, ultimately with each man (collective sense of the word) and his family governing himself in all other matters, not the other way around. 

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.


Founders Corner Library is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional commentary and explanatory notes) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Moral Liberal. The copyright of the Bill of Rights itself is held in the Public Domain. This copy of the Bill of Rights, as uniquely presented with explanatory notes (in bold) and as otherwise uniquely formatted Copyright © 2015 Steve Farrell.