and finally power to states and people. Now the Bill of Rights protected all of these rights, but many people don’t really get what these ten amendments are all about. The first amendment was freedom of speech, press and religion. This amendment means that “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”. So that mostly means that Congress cannot make any law stating to what you can say, your religion, and with the press.
In 1791, the states ratified ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These became known as the Bill of Rights, a cornerstone in providing individual liberty. The United States Senate dropped one of the original proposals stating, “No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience or the freedom of press or trial by jury in crimi...
This Bill of Rights outlines the protections which citizens have from the government of the United States. The question raised in the title of this paper is; Are the Bill of Rights, written well over 200 years ago still relevant today? Of course they are and probably even more so. To illustrate this fact we will examine each of the ten amendments rewrite each one using common everyday language of today and if possible discuss why this was important in 1791 and why we may or may not need this document in writing today. In restating each amendment I will try to write it as if it is a brand new document, which is a stretch to say the least.
The Bill of Rights, however, consists of 10 amendments. The first of the amendments was written because the people at America’s establishment wanted their basic freedoms guaranteed. Thus, the first freedoms guaranteed to citizens were written by James Madison and are now known as the First 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.” The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects and guarantees the freedoms of citizens. That being said, the court cases dealing with the 1st amendment involve a violation of either a freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and or petition.
The eight amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the United States Bill of Rights, which took effect on December 15, 1791, after a three fourths of the states ratified the bill. This amendment prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishment. It is almost identical to a provision in the English Bill of Rights of 1689, in which parliament declared that excessive bail ought not be required, nor excessive fines imposed , nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. The state of Virginia had adopted this section of the English Bill of Rights in the VIrginia Declaration of rights of 1776, and the Virginia convention that ratified the US Constitution recommended in 1778 that this language also be included in the federal constitution. On September 25, 1789, James Madison proposed this amendment to Congress thus creating our eight amendment.
Reflections on the First Amendment On December 15th, 1971, the first X amendments to the Constitution went into affect. The first X amendments to the constitution were known as the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment was written by James Madison because the American people were demanding a guarantee of their freedom. The First Amendment was put into place to protect American’s freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of petition. The First Amendment was written as follows; “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.” (First Amendment Center, 2008) The First Amendment Center conducts a national annual survey on the First Amendment.
The amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting… petition the government for a redress of grievances.” This amendment is very powerful but cannot be overly abused. Over time the freedom of speech has been constricted. There are many court cases that display the limitation of free speech. Environmental factors and certain materials are not covered in free speech. To understand our rights and know how and when our rights are limited, we must
Consequently, the government is not allowed to interfere or punish the people for their opinions on anything, as long as it is an opinion or a fact. The only exception to this are the fighting words, slander, and libel clauses that are part of the freedom of speech to ensure that people do not take advantage of our right and use it for evil (Cornell University). Before this issue was addressed in the first amendment the government would punish the people if they said something negative about the government or the government’s public officials, which was cruel and unjust. “The importance of the Freedom of Assembly to the Founding Fathers stretched back into pre-colonial American history. The English monarchy often restricted the right of English citizens to assemble in public.
In conclusion you will find that the Exclusionary Rule is actually nowhere in the Constitution, it was merely a judicial structure to make sure the Fourth Amendment was imposed. Even though there are a few exceptions to the rule, they really don’t over step the rule very much. Even though many criminals are released because of evidence obtained illegally, how can we continue to try and discourage police wrongdoing and also keep dangerous criminals off the streets?
If this were allowed to be posted by government officials and if it influences our youth in schools in any way than by definition America will have created a state-endorsed religion which is in direct conflict with religious freedom. A state-endorsed religion is a direct violation of every American citizen’s first amendment. The first amendment states that “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” (Bill of Rights). The US Government has a duty to its people to uphold its constitutional laws that founded this country. If the US Government allows government building to post the Ten Commandment it loses its neutrality on religion because it will have to choose a version of the Ten Commandments that it will display, violating right of Americans.