Understanding the Bill of Rights “The decline of education in theUnited States may be reflected inthe high correlation between the amount of formal schooling a person has and his inability to understand the Bill of Rights”
Understanding the Bill of Rights A brief video . . .http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/northamerica/aft er1500/government/billofrights.htm
Deconstructing the Bill of RightsRead the Bill of RightsWith your partner, summarize your amendment in common language
Amendment I “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.” Congress can’t make any laws establishing a religion, prohibiting its free exercise, abridging the freedom of speech or press, denying people the right to peacefully assemble or to petition the government. Congress cant make any law about your religion, or stop you from practicing your religion, or keep you from saying whatever you want, or publishing whatever you want (like in a newspaper or a book). And Congress cant stop you from meeting peacefully for a
Amendment I in ACTION Butler v. Michigan (1957): A man convicted of selling "a book containing obscene, immoral, lewd, lascivious language, or descriptions, tending to incite minors to violent or depraved or immoral acts, manifestly tending to the corruption of the morals of youth" to a police officer appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court. The Court overturned the conviction and struck down the law, holding that the states attempt to quarantine the general reading public against books not too rugged for grown men and women to read in order to shield juvenile innocence "is to burn the house to roast the pig." Famously, the Court ruled that the state of Michigan could not "reduce[s] the adult population of Michigan to reading only what is fit for
Amendment I in ACTION In 1917, a couple months after the United States entered World War I, Congress enacted the Espionage Act. It made it a crime to cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military forces of the United States. Schenck was arrested and charged with conspiring to violate the act by sending two draftees a document opposing the draft and urging them not to submit to intimidation. The document did not explicitly advocate illegal resistance to the draft. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the U.S. in this case. The Court unanimously held that Schenck could be convicted of conspiracy to violate the act. Justice Holmes stated that the words were used in such a way "and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent." Holmes said not all speech was constitutionally protected and gave the example of someone crying "fire!" in a crowded theater.
Freedom of Religion In the NEWS . . . Lutheran teacher fired after becoming disabled Christian Scientist parents Obama tries to require employers to provide employees with insurance covering birth control
Amendment II: The most controversial 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.” Because a Militia is considered important to the protection of the states, people have “the right to keep and bear arms” (have guns) Congress cant stop people from having and carrying weapons, because we need to be able to defend ourselves. WHAT does it mean???
The DEBATE over Amendment II At the time these words were written, terms like “well regulated militia” and “to keep and bear arms” were reasonably clear, but today, their implications are hotly contested. In this guide, we will look at the history and meaning of the Right to Bear Arms. Read ARTICLES
Amendment III “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.” Soldiers can’t take up residence in citizens homes without their consent. You dont have to let soldiers live in your house, except if there is a war, and even then only if Congress has passed a law about it.
Amendment IV “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.” People have the right to privacy – personally and in their homes, and are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. Nobody can search your body, or your house, or your papers and things, unless they can prove to a judge that they have a good reason to think you
Amendment V “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.”
What does Amendment V mean? You cant be tried for any serious crime without a Grand Jury meeting first to decide whether theres enough evidence for a trial. And if the jury decides you are innocent, the government cant try again with another jury. You dont have to say anything at your trial. You cant be killed, or put in jail, or fined, unless you were convicted of a crime by a jury. And the government cant take your house or your farm or anything that is yours, unless the government pays for it. People cannot be forced to testify against themselves in criminal trials, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and property can’t be taken for public use without compensation.
Amendment VI “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.”
What does Amendment VI mean??? Everyone facing a criminal prosecution has the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, and the right to know what charges are being leveled. If youre arrested, you have a right to have your trial pretty soon, and the government cant keep you in jail without trying you. The trial has to be public, so everyone knows what is happening. The case has to be decided by a jury of ordinary people from your area. You have the right to know what you are accused of, to see and hear the people who are witnesses against you, to have the government help you get witnesses on your side, and you have the right to a lawyer to help you.
Amendment VII “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.” Everyone facing a civil trial has the right to a jury of peers. You also have the right to a jury when it is a civil case (a law case between two people rather than between you and the government).
Amendment VIII “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Excessive bail or fines cannot be imposed, nor can cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted. The government cant make you pay more than is reasonable in bail or in fines, and the government cant order you to have cruel or unusual punishments (like torture) even if you are convicted of a crime.
Amendment IX “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The rights not spelled out in the first eight amendments belong to the people. Just because these rights are listed in the Constitution doesnt mean that you dont have other rights too.
Amendment X “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.” Something of a reiteration of the ninth amendment, plus acknowledgement of states’ powers Anything that the Constitution doesnt say that Congress can do should be left up to the states, or to the people.
In your groups . . . If you could only keep 3 Amendments, which ones would you keep??? Prepare an explanation