Essay Of Bill Of Rights

Bill Of Rights Why They Are The Most Important Rights

The U.S Bill of Rights has served as a balance to keep a Central government from becoming corrupt and ruling over its people unjustly. Our forefathers did a great job when contemplating what needed to be addressed to keep the balance of power over this centralized government. They truly knew that history does repeat itself. This balance of power was designed to keep the government working for the people and not for the self interest of a few.

The most important rights protected by the U.S. Bill of Rights are contained in the 1st Amendment. It provides that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise, or abridging freedom of speech or press or the right to assemble and petition for redress of grievances. These rights are the core rights protected by the system of ordered liberty established by the Bill of Rights.

The 2d and 3d amendments reflect the colonists' hostility toward standing armies; they guarantee the people's right to bear arms and limit the quartering of soldiers in private homes.

The 4th Amendment is aimed at the abuses the colonists had suffered from writs of assistance and general warrants; it secures the people against unreasonable searches and seizures and requires warrants to be specific and issued only upon probable cause.

The 5th Amendment requires grand jury indictments in major criminal prosecutions and prohibits trying a person twice on the same charge or requiring that person to testify against himself or herself; it...

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The Bill Of Rights

The United States Constitution has been called a living document because it can be changed in two ways: formal amendment, and information adjustments and decision making. On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States submitted 12 amendments to the state legislatures for ratification. The first two concerned each state’s representative’s number of constituents, and congressmen’s compensations, but they were not ratified. In 1791, three-fourths of the state legislatures quickly ratified Articles 3 to 12, which constitute the Bill of Rights.

The amendments, inspired by Thomas Jefferson and drafted by James Madison, placed fundamental restraints on the power of the federal government over ordinary citizens: Congress cannot limit free speech, even unpopular expression, or interfere with religion; deny the people the right to keep and bear arms; require the quartering of troops in private homes; or allow homes to be searched by federal authorities without search warrants. Persons accused of federal crimes cannot be made to testify against themselves; nor can the federal government deny citizens trial by jury; or deprive them of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The central government cannot impose excessive bail or cruel and unusual punishments. Rights in the Constitution are not exhaustive; people have all the rights not listed; and those powers not given to the federal government or denied the states should belong solely to the states or the people.

The Bill of Rights protected citizens from abuses of the federal government only, not from unfair state laws. In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution. It provided that no state may deny its citizens either due process of law or equal protection of the laws. In the beginning of the 20th century, the Supreme Court used the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to expand the protections of the first ten amendments. Therefore, the Bill of Rights now applies to state as well as federal laws.

Although the Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times, the framing of the Bill of Rights was in itself one of the most momentous actions of any Congress, with regard to amending the Constitution, in the nation’s history. Never before had any single document enumerated so clearly and emphatically the rights of private citizens. The Bill of Rights has become a landmark in the history of human liberty.


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