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The Bill of Rights

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aaron orcutt

on 17 October 2014

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Transcript of The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights
By: Aaron Orcutt
Amendment 1:
Free speech and expression
Text of the Amendment...
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.
What its saying...
This Amendment states that as a citizen of the United States you have the freedom to choose your religion, to speak freely without fear of punishment, assemble peacefully, and protest the government.
How does this amendment protect you?
The First Amendment protects your right of expression. It prevents the government from forcing you to choose a certain religion or even a religion at all. Also, it gives you the right to petition and protest the government. This is also useful because without the right of free speech we could be punished for saying anything that is against the government.
Why this was included...
This was included to limit the power that the government has over the people. Congress was afraid of the government controlling people after what had happened with Great Britain before gaining independence.
Relevance in history...
An example of this Amendment would be the Schenck v. U.S. case in 1919. After protesting against draft of the military Charles Schenck was arrested and indicted for espionage. This today would most likely be found unconstitutional but at the time the Judges found Schenck guilty of his charge most likely due to fear of security in a time of war.
Amendment 2: Right to Bear Arms
Text of Amendment...
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.
What it's Saying...
This Amendment is saying that in order to keep a well rounded and safe militia the government is not allowed to take weapons from the people of the U.S.
How this protects you...
This Amendment protects the peoples right to own a weapon. This keeps the government from confiscating your property.
Why its included...
This was included to ensure that the Nation always had a ready Army or Militia. Weapons where not just meant to hurt people they were made to protect yourself as well. Without this Amendment the government could confiscate your property and means of protection. This also could help unify the people and the government as the government is showing trust in the peoples ability to own a weapon.
An example of this Amendment would be the Lewis v. U.S. case in 1980. In 1977, Lewis was convicted with receiving and possessing firearms. Under the Second Amendment Lewis' possession of firearms were perfectly legal. The firearms regulations corresponds with with the concept of equal protection incorporated in the Fifth Amendment.
Amendment 3: Quartering Troops
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.
What it's Saying...
Amendment Three is saying that no citizen can be forced to house a soldier in the time of peace or war. They must first get the consent of the person who owns the property.
How it protects you...
This protects your privacy and your property. Under this law, the government cant force you to have a soldier live in your home. This means that your property is safe from the government and the military.
Why its included...
This was included because when the British occupied the colonies there were citizens being forced to allow a soldier to live in there homes. This instilled a fear of the military taking over a persons home. The people wanted to ensure that this would not happen again under the Constitution.
Relevance in history...
An example of the Third Amendment going to court is Engblom v. Carey. In 1982, A state National Guardsman (a soldier) was housed without consent of property owners. Even though the owner was not living in the building at the time, it was the tenants legal responsibility to ask for permission.
Amendment 3
Text of the Amendment
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.
What it's Saying...
Amendment Four states that no person can search your home, car, or anything without a search warrant. A warrant must include a description of the place being searched and it needs a valid cause.
How does this protect you...
This protects you by stopping the government from searching and seizing property without a legitimate reason. This forces people to get a warrant to search any of your belongings.
This was included again because the people did not want the government to be able to do what Britain had done before. Britain would go and take and search what people owned.
Riley v. California is an example of this Amendment. Riley was stopped on routine traffic violations;He had a suspended license along with possession of concealed and loaded firearms. When searching they had found his phone with links tying back to a gang, the Bloods, and their killing a couple weeks prior. Riley was convicted on various crimes. Riley sued for unlawful searches/seizures. He lost due to the court approving searches on cars that are being impounded.
Amendment 4: Search and Seizure
Amendment 5
Amendment 5:Rights of Accused Persons
Text of Amendment
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.
This protects the rights and property of an accused person. This Amendment states that no one person can testify of claim witness to there own crime. It also gets rid of the double jeopardy.
How it protects you...
This Amendment protects accused people. It states that you cannot be charged for a crime you were recently acquitted for. This means that you cant be tried for the same thing twice.
Why was it included?
This was included to limit the governments power in prosecuting an accused person. It makes it so that a person accused has a chance of being proved innocent because without it a person could be tried for the same thing every time a new piece of evidence comes up.
Chambers v. Florida was a case in 1940 that represents the Fifth Amendment. Four African American men were forced to confess murder charges under confinement. They were convicted and further sentenced to death. This is against the following Amendment because of the police torture towards blacks in the South. Yet, it had defined that local law officials did these afflictions without the blessing of the Constitution.
This is saying that when a crime is committed the criminal is guaranteed to have a trial not long after accused or arrested. And that they have the right to a jury and witnesses to testify.
How it protects your rights...
This Amendment protects your rights by guarantying you a fair and quick trial with a jury present. This means that you will not have to wait for trial which means no waiting in jail for long periods of time for a trial.
Why its included...
This is included to ensure quick justice and fair treatment of accused persons. Also, conflicts can be resolved more quickly and the defendant can request a jury if he wishes. It gives people a fair trial and stops the gov from locking someone they know is innocent up in jail for a long time.
The Sixth Amendment has examples in court, including Escobedo v. Illinois in 1964. This was over a twenty-two year old Hispanic male and his sister being arrested for the fatal shooting of his brother-in-law. He was released after a short period of time. He was unaware of his Rights to remain silent, and made a detrimental statement sealing in his trial. Convicted of murder, he appealed to the State Supreme Court, which declared the conviction. This had been a speedy trial due to the arguing date being April 29, 1964 and his conviction on the 22 of June in 1964.
Amendment 6:Right to a Speedy Public Trial
Text of Amendment...
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 defense.
Amendment 7:Trial by Jury in Civil Cases
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 reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
What it Says...
According to this Amendment, everyone has the right to a trial by jury. If needed the jury may be looked at and people better fit for the certain case may be called upon.
How it protects rights...
This Amendment protects your right to a fair trial where sentimental values really mean more. The right to a reexamining or the jury means you can get people who will have a closer relation to your case.
Why its included...
This is included because it takes the away the ability for the government to set up a false jury. With this in play people can choose more of how the trial goes.
Tull v. United States in 1987 in an example of this Amendment. The U.S. filed a civil suit against Tull for releasing material into wetlands in violation of the Clean Water Act. The courts turned down Tull's motion for a jury trial and entered judgement for $325,000. Under the Seventh Amendment, civil penalties could only be enforced in courts and the party had the right to a trial by jury.
Amendment 8
Amendment 8:Limits of Fines and Punishments
Text of Amendment 8
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
This Amendment says that the government can not excessively fine you or place a bail too high. Also, this limits what the government can do in terms of punishments.
How does it protect you...
This protects not only you, but your wallet. It protects you from the excessive fines that could be placed as bail or regular fines. as well as that this protects you from police brutality and torture in custody.
Why its included...
This is included because the people of the United Sates are scared of a strong central government. In this specific Amendment they are fearful of the government robbing them with ridiculous bails and fines. Plus, they are scared of the power individual officers of the law have in terms of punishments.
Miller v. Alabama is an example of this Amendment. A Fourteen-year-old boy was convicted of murder. Jackson had attended this killing.The boys went to a video store to follow through with a robbery. Once they were inside, they shot and killed the clerk. They had charged him as an adult with a life sentence with no parole. This relates to Amendment 8 due to Jackson filing and arguing that life-without parole term for a Fourteen-year-old violates this Amendment. The courts disagreed.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
This Amendment is saying that even though other rights were not included, that does not mean they do not exist or are invalid. These are just some of the rights.
How does it protect you...
The Ninth Amendment protects all of your rights, it states that all the rights even those not listed are important. This protects every right.
Why was it included?
This was included to ensure that the government recognizes that all of a persons rights are important and not just the ones listed in the Constitution.
The case of Row v. Wade involve the following Amendment. In 1973, The U.S. Supreme Court decided on the issue involving abortion. It is women's rights to privacy if they choose to do so. This has to do with the Ninth Amendment because courts balanced the abortion concern by making state regulations that you can not get such procedures after a certain amount of time.
Amendment 9:Rights of People
Amendment 10:Powers of States and 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.
This is saying that the powers that are not prohibited or delegated by or to the Constitution are powers reserved for the state and the people.
How it protects you...
This protects you by giving the rights not prohibited or delegated to the people. This gives you more power and means the government doesn't own all the power. Its more equal between the government and the state.
This is included to give the people a more safe feeling as the government does not control everything and its more even between the States and the central government.
Bond v. United States was involved with Amendment Ten. Bond found her husband dishonest in their marriage. It led her to the spread of toxic chemicals on the woman's mailbox/mail. She was charged with violation statues of 1993 Chemicals Weapons Convention. She plead guilty. When on trial, she won the first part of the process. The Court collectively said there was no reason in the Constitution that you couldn't use this Amendment to change the honesty of her trial.
Amendment 10
Full transcript