Adopted and ratified in 1791, the Bill of Rights are: First:
- Prohibits laws establishing a religion.
- Bans laws which would restrict freedom of religion, speech, press (now interpreted as covering all media)
- Gives the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government. Second:
Authorizes a well regulated military. Construed to be the right of individuals to bear arms.Third:
No quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner's consent. Fourth:
- No unreasonable search and seizures,
- No warrants without probable cause.
- Warrants must be affirmed by a judge and describe the place to be searched, the person or things to be taken. Fifth:
- A Grand Jury must be held for capital crimes of felonies except under martial law in the time of war or "public danger"
- No person may be tried twice for the same offense;
- No one may be compelled to be a witness against himself
- No one can be deprived of life, liberty or property without "due process of law"
- No taking of property for public use (eminent domain) without just compensation.Sixth:
- Right to a speedy and public trial
- Impartial local jury
- Information on the nature and cause of accusation
- Confront witnesses against him, right to subpena witnesses,
- The right to have counsel. Seventh:
- Juries may be demanded in civil cases (over $20)
- The jury shall be trier of the fact in such cases as required by Common Law. Eighth:
- No excessive bail, excessive fines or "cruel and unusual punishment." Ninth:
Stating these rights shall not be construed to deny that other rights are retained by the people. Tenth:
Powers given to the United States and not prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.