Bill of Rights…What Do They Mean?

( – In all the time the Constitution has been in effect, controlling our government, it has only been amended 27 times. The first 10 amendments are known as the Bill of Rights. What are they, and what purpose do they serve? Well, let’s talk about it.

What Is the Bill of Rights?

The Bill of Rights is and has been active from the day the Constitution was put into effect. It grants all citizens of the United States rights, which may not be infringed upon by any form of government. This list of amendments is designed to protect individual freedom and prevent citizens from being abused by governments of every level.

The 10 Amendments

The first 10 amendments stand as a symbol and foundation for American ideology and individual freedom. They limit the power the government holds and dictate the rule of law. The Bill of Rights consists of these constitutional amendments:

  1. Allows us the freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly and the right to petition our government.
  2. Grants the right to keep and bear arms, stating that a well-regulated militia is key to the security of a free state.
  3. Protects civilians from being forced to house soldiers in both times of peace and war.
  4. Grants citizens the right to protect their properties and themselves against search and seizures without warranted reason.
  5. Protects citizens from trial without indictment, being convicted of the same crime twice (double jeopardy), self-incrimination and property seizure.
  6. Grants citizens the right to a speedy trial, legal counsel, confrontation from witnesses, ability to call witnesses and to be informed of the charges against them.
  7. Grants citizens to a trial by an unbiased jury.
  8. Protects the citizen from excessive bails, fines and punishment deemed unusual and cruel.
  9. States that the rights granted by the Constitution shall not impede on other rights.
  10.  States that the powers not given to the federal government are to be held by the states or the people.

These are our rights granted to every American citizen. However, they’re only partially extended to non-citizens. Many of these amendments have sparked controversy throughout the years — but perhaps none as much as the Second Amendment, which to this very day may be under attack.

These rights are given to us by the Constitution, which is the supreme law in the US; these rights shall not be infringed upon by any level of government. Should the government attempt to overthrow or pass legislation that is unconstitutional, the American people have the right to petition it.

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