Skip Nav

Bill Of Rights Paper Essay Sample

Navigation menu

❶Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. December 15, First Amendment.

Get your essays here, 33,000 to choose from!

Get Full Essay
Bill Of Rights Paper Essay Sample

The only answer that can be given is, that these are implied in the general powers granted. With equal truth it may be said, that all the powers which the bills of rights guard against the abuse of, are contained or implied in the general ones granted by this Constitution.

Ought not a government, vested with such extensive and indefinite authority, to have been restricted by a declaration of rights? So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessary under this Constitution than under those of the States, are wilfully endeavoring to deceive, and to lead you into an absolute state of vassalage.

Supporters of the Constitution, known as Federalists, opposed a bill of rights for much of the ratification period, in part due to the procedural uncertainties it would create. In response, Hamilton argued that the Constitution was inherently different:. Bills of rights are in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgments of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. In December and January , five states—Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut—ratified the Constitution with relative ease, though the bitter minority report of the Pennsylvania opposition was widely circulated.

Following Massachusetts' lead, the Federalist minorities in both Virginia and New York were able to obtain ratification in convention by linking ratification to recommended amendments. A minority of the Constitution's critics, such as Maryland's Luther Martin , continued to oppose ratification. They began to take exception to the Constitution "as it was," seeking amendments.

Several conventions saw supporters for "amendments before" shift to a position of "amendments after" for the sake of staying in the Union. The New York Anti-Federalist "circular letter" was sent to each state legislature proposing a second constitutional convention for "amendments before", but it failed in the state legislatures. Ultimately, only North Carolina and Rhode Island waited for amendments from Congress before ratifying.

Article Seven of the proposed Constitution set the terms by which the new frame of government would be established. The new Constitution would become operational when ratified by at least nine states. Only then would it replace the existing government under the Articles of Confederation and would apply only to those states that ratified it. Following contentious battles in several states, the proposed Constitution reached that nine-state ratification plateau in June On September 13, , the Articles of Confederation Congress certified that the new Constitution had been ratified by more than enough states for the new system to be implemented and directed the new government to meet in New York City on the first Wednesday in March the following year.

The Senate of eleven states contained 20 Federalists with only two Anti-Federalists, both from Virginia. The House included 48 Federalists to 11 Anti-Federalists, the latter of whom were from only four states: In retaliation for Madison's victory in that battle at Virginia's ratification convention, Henry and other Anti-Federalists, who controlled the Virginia House of Delegates , had gerrymandered a hostile district for Madison's planned congressional run and recruited Madison's future presidential successor, James Monroe , to oppose him.

Originally opposed to the inclusion of a bill of rights in the Constitution, Madison had gradually come to understand the importance of doing so during the often contentious ratification debates.

By taking the initiative to propose amendments himself through the Congress, he hoped to preempt a second constitutional convention that might, it was feared, undo the difficult compromises of , and open the entire Constitution to reconsideration, thus risking the dissolution of the new federal government.

Writing to Jefferson, he stated, "The friends of the Constitution, some from an approbation of particular amendments, others from a spirit of conciliation, are generally agreed that the System should be revised.

But they wish the revisal to be carried no farther than to supply additional guards for liberty. On the occasion of his April 30, inauguration as the nation's first president , George Washington addressed the subject of amending the Constitution. He urged the legislators,. James Madison introduced a series of Constitutional amendments in the House of Representatives for consideration. Among his proposals was one that would have added introductory language stressing natural rights to the preamble.

Several sought to protect individual personal rights by limiting various Constitutional powers of Congress. Like Washington, Madison urged Congress to keep the revision to the Constitution "a moderate one", limited to protecting individual rights. Madison was deeply read in the history of government and used a range of sources in composing the amendments.

The English Magna Carta of inspired the right to petition and to trial by jury , for example, while the English Bill of Rights of provided an early precedent for the right to keep and bear arms although this applied only to Protestants and prohibited cruel and unusual punishment. The greatest influence on Madison's text, however, was existing state constitutions. That there be prefixed to the Constitution a declaration, that all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people.

That Government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their Government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purposes of its institution.

That in article 1st, section 2, clause 3, these words be struck out, to wit: That in article 1st, section 6, clause 1, there be added to the end of the first sentence, these words, to wit: That in article 1st, section 9, between clauses 3 and 4, be inserted these clauses, to wit: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.

The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.

The people shall not be restrained from peaceably assembling and consulting for their common good; nor from applying to the legislature by petitions, or remonstrances for redress of their grievances. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor at any time, but in a manner warranted by law.

No person shall be subject, except in cases of impeachment, to more than one punishment, or one trial for the same offence; nor shall be compelled to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor be obliged to relinquish his property, where it may be necessary for public use, without a just compensation.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. The rights of the people to be secured in their persons, their houses, their papers, and their other property, from all unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated by warrants issued without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, or not particularly describing the places to be searched, or the persons or things to be seized.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the cause and nature of the accusation, to be confronted with his accusers, and the witnesses against him; to have a compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

The exceptions here or elsewhere in the Constitution, made in favor of particular rights, shall not be so construed as to diminish the just importance of other rights retained by the people, or as to enlarge the powers delegated by the Constitution; but either as actual limitations of such powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution. That in article 1st, section 10, between clauses 1 and 2, be inserted this clause, to wit: No State shall violate the equal rights of conscience, or the freedom of the press, or the trial by jury in criminal cases.

That, in article 3d, section 2, be annexed to the end of clause 2d, these words, to wit: But no appeal to such court shall be allowed where the value in controversy shall not amount to — dollars: That in article 3d, section 2, the third clause be struck out, and in its place be inserted the clauses following, to wit: The trial of all crimes except in cases of impeachments, and cases arising in the land or naval forces, or the militia when on actual service, in time of war or public danger shall be by an impartial jury of freeholders of the vicinage, with the requisite of unanimity for conviction, of the right with the requisite of unanimity for conviction, of the right of challenge, and other accustomed requisites; and in all crimes punishable with loss of life or member, presentment or indictment by a grand jury shall be an essential preliminary, provided that in cases of crimes committed within any county which may be in possession of an enemy, or in which a general insurrection may prevail, the trial may by law be authorized in some other county of the same State, as near as may be to the seat of the offence.

In cases of crimes committed not within any county, the trial may by law be in such county as the laws shall have prescribed. In suits at common law, between man and man, the trial by jury, as one of the best securities to the rights of the people, ought to remain inviolate. That immediately after article 6th, be inserted, as article 7th, the clauses following, to wit: The powers delegated by this Constitution are appropriated to the departments to which they are respectively distributed: The powers not delegated by this Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively.

That article 7th, be numbered as article 8th. Federalist representatives were quick to attack Madison's proposal, fearing that any move to amend the new Constitution so soon after its implementation would create an appearance of instability in the government.

The eleven-member committee made some significant changes to Madison's nine proposed amendments, including eliminating most of his preamble and adding the phrase "freedom of speech, and of the press". Roger Sherman of Connecticut persuaded the House to place the amendments at the Constitution's end so that the document would "remain inviolate", rather than adding them throughout, as Madison had proposed.

The Senate edited these amendments still further, making 26 changes of its own. Madison's proposal to apply parts of the Bill of Rights to the states as well as the federal government was eliminated, and the seventeen amendments were condensed to twelve, which were approved on September 9, On September 21, , a House—Senate Conference Committee convened to resolve the numerous differences between the two Bill of Rights proposals.

On September 24, , the committee issued this report, which finalized 12 Constitutional Amendments for House and Senate to consider. This final version was approved by joint resolution of Congress on September 25, , to be forwarded to the states on September By the time the debates and legislative maneuvering that went into crafting the Bill of Rights amendments was done, many personal opinions had shifted.

A number of Federalists came out in support, thus silencing the Anti-Federalists' most effective critique. Many Anti-Federalists, in contrast, were now opposed, realizing that Congressional approval of these amendments would greatly lessen the chances of a second constitutional convention. Madison remained active in the progress of the amendments throughout the legislative process.

Wood writes that "there is no question that it was Madison's personal prestige and his dogged persistence that saw the amendments through the Congress. There might have been a federal Constitution without Madison but certainly no Bill of Rights. The twelve articles of amendment approved by congress were officially submitted to the Legislatures of the several States for consideration on September 28, The following states ratified some or all of the amendments: Having been approved by the requisite three-fourths of the several states, there being 14 States in the Union at the time as Vermont had been admitted into the Union on March 4, , [63] the ratification of Articles Three through Twelve was completed and they became Amendments 1 through 10 of the Constitution.

President Washington informed Congress of this on January 18, As they had not yet been approved by 11 of the 14 states, the ratification of Article One ratified by 10 and Article Two ratified by 6 remained incomplete. The ratification plateau they needed to reach soon rose to 12 of 15 states when Kentucky joined the Union June 1, On June 27, , the Kentucky General Assembly ratified all 12 amendments, however this action did not come to light until Article One came within one state of the number needed to become adopted into the Constitution on two occasions between and Despite coming close to ratification early on, it has never received the approval of enough states to become part of the Constitution.

Since no state has approved it since , ratification by an additional 27 states would now be necessary for the article to be adopted. Article Two, initially ratified by seven states through including Kentucky , was not ratified by another state for eighty years.

The Ohio General Assembly ratified it on May 6, in protest of an unpopular Congressional pay raise. Wilson and subsequently affirmed by a vote of Congress on May 20, Three states did not complete action on the twelve articles of amendment when they were initially put before the states.

Georgia found a Bill of Rights unnecessary and so refused to ratify. Both chambers of the Massachusetts General Court ratified a number of the amendments the Senate adopted 10 of 12 and the House 9 of 12 , but failed to reconcile their two lists or to send official notice to the Secretary of State of the ones they did agree upon.

The Bill of Rights had little judicial impact for the first years of its existence; in the words of Gordon S. Wood , "After ratification, most Americans promptly forgot about the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

Mayes , the Court ruled that Constitutional protections, including the provisions of the Bill of Rights, do not apply to the actions of American Indian tribal governments. Barnette case that the founders intended the Bill of Rights to put some rights out of reach from majorities, ensuring that some liberties would endure beyond political majorities.

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 prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion , impeding the free exercise of religion , abridging the freedom of speech , infringing on the freedom of the press , interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. Initially, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by Congress, and many of its provisions were interpreted more narrowly than they are today.

Board of Education , the Court drew on Thomas Jefferson's correspondence to call for "a wall of separation between church and State", though the precise boundary of this separation remains in dispute. The Supreme Court overturned English common law precedent to increase the burden of proof for libel suits, most notably in New York Times Co. The Free Press Clause protects publication of information and opinions, and applies to a wide variety of media.

Minnesota [95] and New York Times v. United States , [96] the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected against prior restraint —pre-publication censorship—in almost all cases. The Petition Clause protects the right to petition all branches and agencies of government for action. In addition to the right of assembly guaranteed by this clause, the Court has also ruled that the amendment implicitly protects freedom of association.

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. The Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms. The concept of such a right existed within English common law long before the enactment of the Bill of Rights. Long a controversial issue in American political, legal, and social discourse, the Second Amendment has been at the heart of several Supreme Court decisions.

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. The Third Amendment re stricts the quartering of soldiers in private homes, in response to Quartering Acts passed by the British parliament during the Revolutionary War. The amendment is one of the least controversial of the Constitution, and, as of [update] , has never been the primary basis of a Supreme Court decision.

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. The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures , along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance , which is a type of general search warrant , in the American Revolution. Search and seizure including arrest must be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer who has sworn by it. The amendment is the basis for the exclusionary rule , which mandates that evidence obtained illegally cannot be introduced into a criminal trial.

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 offence 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.

The Fifth Amendment protects against double jeopardy and self-incrimination and guarantees the rights to due process , grand jury screening of criminal indictments, and compensation for the seizure of private property under eminent domain. The amendment was the basis for the court's decision in Miranda v. Arizona , which established that defendants must be informed of their rights to an attorney and against self-incrimination prior to interrogation by police.

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 defence.

Wainwright , the Court ruled that the amendment guaranteed the right to legal representation in all felony prosecutions in both state and federal courts. 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 re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. The Seventh Amendment guarantees jury trials in federal civil cases that deal with claims of more than twenty dollars.

It also prohibits judges from overruling findings of fact by juries in federal civil trials. Battin , the Court ruled that the amendment's requirements could be fulfilled by a jury with a minimum of six members. The Seventh is one of the few parts of the Bill of Rights not to be incorporated applied to the states.

The Eighth Amendment forbids the imposition of excessive bails or fines, though it leaves the term "excessive" open to interpretation. Georgia , some members of the Court found capital punishment itself in violation of the amendment, arguing that the clause could reflect "evolving standards of decency" as public opinion changed; others found certain practices in capital trials to be unacceptably arbitrary, resulting in a majority decision that effectively halted executions in the United States for several years.

Georgia , which found capital punishment to be constitutional if the jury was directed by concrete sentencing guidelines. Gamble and Brown v.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. The Ninth Amendment declares that there are additional fundamental rights that exist outside the Constitution. The rights enumerated in the Constitution are not an explicit and exhaustive list of individual rights.

It was rarely mentioned in Supreme Court decisions before the second half of the 20th century, when it was cited by several of the justices in Griswold v. The Court in that case voided a statute prohibiting use of contraceptives as an infringement of the right of marital privacy. Wade , which overturned a Texas law making it a crime to assist a woman to get an abortion, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey , which invalidated a Pennsylvania law that required spousal awareness prior to obtaining an abortion.

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. The Tenth Amendment reinforces the principles of separation of powers and federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or the people.

The amendment provides no new powers or rights to the states, but rather preserves their authority in all matters not specifically granted to the federal government. Congress has sometimes gotten around the Tenth Amendment by invoking the Commerce Clause in Article One [] or by threatening to withhold funding for a federal program from noncooperative States, as in South Dakota v.

George Washington had fourteen handwritten copies of the Bill of Rights made, one for Congress and one for each of the original thirteen states. In an FBI sting operation, it was recovered in After fifty years on display, signs of deterioration in the casing were noted, while the documents themselves appeared to be well preserved.

In his dedicatory remarks, President George W. Bush stated, "The true [American] revolution was not to defy one earthly power, but to declare principles that stand above every earthly power—the equality of each person before God, and the responsibility of government to secure the rights of all.

In , President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Drafting and ratification timeline Convention Signing Federalism Republicanism. Constitutional Convention United States. First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Third Amendment to the United States Constitution. Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. United States portal Law portal Human rights portal.

The Bill of Rights". National Archives and Records Administration. The fourth amendment is designed to protect people from unreasonable search and seizures of their property. This amendment was inspired by the way the English treated the Colonists because they often raided their houses and took their personal property with no justification.

In order to prevent this from happening in the new country, the framers of the Constitution made sure to include this in the list of amendments. However, one drawback to this amendment is that it can give suspects time to get rid of evidence while police are working to obtain a warrant.

The next amendment that relates directly to criminal law is the Fifth Amendment. This amendment is designed to ensure that everyone receives due process when they are accused of a crime, which entails several things. First, a person must be given notice that they are being accused of a crime, and they must then have the chance to have a hearing and defend themselves.

This process prevents a person from being held in prison for a long duration of time without any charges against them. This amendment also protects a person from self-incrimination and gives them the right to remain silent. This is the amendment where the Miranda Rights that are read to a person when they are arrested come from. Lastly, this amendment protects citizens from double jeopardy, or being tried twice for the same crime. Another amendment that relates to criminal law is the Sixth Amendment, and this also has several parts to it, just like the Fifth Amendment does.

First, and perhaps most important, this amendment guarantees that those accused of a crime have a right to a jury trial. In addition to this, it also states that the defendants have a right to confront their accusers, along with having witnesses to support their defense. This amendment also states that defendants have a right to legal representation in a court of law, and that the trail must occur in the same state that the crime occurred in.

All of the rights that are outlined in the Sixth Amendment pertain to the trial of the defendant, while the rights listed in the Fifth Amendment all pertain to things that occur before the trail. The last amendment in the Bill of Rights that is about criminal law is the Eighth Amendment, which protects all citizens from cruel and unusual punishment.

However, it also implies that a punishment should fit the crime, meaning that a person should not be sentenced to an extreme length of time in jail for a petty crime. The electric chair and hanging were once considered acceptable, but are now considered barbaric with lethal injection now being one of the only acceptable methods to administer capital punishment. One of the reasons that the Bill of Rights is such an important document is because it was written over years ago, but is still relevant to modern law.

For example, the fifth and sixth amendments still guide the basic procedures for all criminal trails, and all the rights guaranteed to citizens when the founding fathers wrote the Constitution are still guaranteed to citizens today. Another reason that the document is so successful is because it outlines specific rights that each citizen has, but is still open to a certain degree of interpretation for unforeseen circumstances.

For example, the fourth amendment applies to searches of cars, something that would not have even been imagined when James Madison drafted the amendments.

Also, the Supreme Court is also able to interpret these amendments as special cases arise that have no past precedent. The foresight of the founding fathers allows the Bill of Rights to still be relevant and applicable to everyday lives in the year The passing of the Civil Rights Act, Reconstruction Act, and the unwritten Compromise of to end Reconstruction was all a fight for the African Americans to gain their equality and freedom.

The Civil War had entirely changed how Americans viewed their That was the act from differences of cultural, social and political life styles in both the North and the South at that time.

As a support worker, it is must abide by the company policies and procedures within my service. Company policies and procedures cover all aspect of legislation, code of practice and policies that relate to positive behaviour.

Individuals right, choice, independence should be respected. No individual should be restrained unlawfully because The Mental Capacity Act states all of its terms and definitions clearly and focuses on the needs of each individual that fits into the category.

However, due to the individuals mental capacity, they may not be aware or have a great understanding of this piece of legislation so may not be aware of their rights.

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

- A Bill of Rights A Bill of Rights is a statement of values and standards, of rights and responsibilities. It is a 'higher law' than those which Parliament passes, and a standard by which to judge these laws.

Privacy FAQs

Bill of Rights Paper May 7, Week 3 History / United States Constitution Joseph Richardson As Americans we are given certain “freedoms” that other countries are not entitled to have. In the United States Constitution went to effect and included the Bill of .

About Our Ads

Bill of Rights Bill of Rights & Amendments Paper Intro The United States is a country that was founded on the principle of freedom; it took the Bill of Rights to . In , the Bill of Rights, consisting of 10 amendments, was ratified into the constitution. They felt that it was not necessary for there to be a bill of rights because it was implied that those rights the Constitution did not specifically state would be handed down to the states.

Cookie Info

Bill of rights essaysAs Americans we are given certain "freedoms" that other countries are not entitled to have. In the Declaration of Independence was signed by Thomas Jefferson and included the Bill of Rights that provides us with our freedoms. Each of these amendments are very imp. Bill Of Rights Paper Essay Sample. After the Declaration of Independence, Congress drafted the Constitution. This document explained how the new government would be .