Kids

Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights

November 30
00:00 -0001

Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights
for Kids

The Full Text of the Bill of Rights Can Be Found here

The Bill of Rights is the name of the first ten amendments found
in the United States United States Constitution. The bill of Rights serves to protect
the rights of liberty and property. The bill of rights also guarantees certain of
personal freedoms, reserve some powers to the states and the public, and limit
the government’s power in judicial and other proceedings. While the amendments originally
only applied to the federal government, many of their provisions are now
applied to the states due to the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Bill of Rights was first introduced to the first United
States Congress by James Madison as a group of legislative articles. These
articles were then adopted on August 21, 1789 by the House of Representatives and
were formally proposed on September 25, 1789 by a joint resolution of Congress,
and finally came into effect on December 15, 1791 as Constitutional Amendments,
after being ratified by three-fourths of the States. Although twelve of the amendments
were passed by Congress, only ten of the amendments were passed originally by
the states. Out of the remaining two that were not passed by the states, one amendment
was later adopted as the 27th Amendment while the other technically is
still pending before the states.

The Bill of Rights originally included legal protection for
only for land-owning white men, and did not provide the same protection for
women an African Americans. It took more Constitutional Amendments and many Supreme
Court cases to finally give the same rights to all United States citizens.

The Bill of Rights is very important in to American
government and law, and to this day it still remains an important symbol of the
freedoms given in the United States.

Amendments of the
Bill of Rights for Kids

First Amendment of
the Bill of Rights for Kids

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is the
very first section of the Bill of Rights. This amendment prevents the
following:

·        
Allow any law to be made that establishes a religion

·        
Stops anyone from freely exercising their
religion

·        
Overstepping on the freedom of the press. This
mainly revolves around:

o  
Content regulation

o  
Taxation of the press

·        
Shortening the freedom of speech. Some issues
that have come up look at:

o  
Speech that is critical of the government

o  
Political speech (campaign speech, anonymous
speech, flag desecration, and free speech zones)

o  
Commercial speech

o  
Speech in school

o  
Obscenity

o  
Libel

o  
Private action

o  
Slander

o  
Memoirs of convicted criminals

o  
Involuntary administration of medicine

·        
Interfering with the right for peaceably
assemble or not allowing petitioning for a redress of grievances by the
government

The First Amendment originally only applied to any laws which
were enacted by the Congress. However, after the case Gitlow v. New York (1925),
the United States Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due
Process Clause applies the First Amendment not only to Congress, but to each
state and any of its local governments.

Second Amendment of
the Bill of Rights for Kids

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is
the section of the United States Bill of Rights which protects the right of individual
people to bear arms. This amendment was adopted into the Constitution December
15, 1791, with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Many early colonial American settlers thought of the right
to bear arms or having state militias as an important right which had many
different purposes, many which were specifically written in early state
constitutions. These included:

·        
Allowing the people to set up a militia

·        
Discouraging undemocratic governments from being
made

·        
Participating in actions of law enforcement

·        
Halting or preventing invasion

·        
Allowing the right to defend oneself

·        
Preventing insurrection

In the late 1900’s century, there was a lot of debate around
whether the Second Amendment only protected the right to bear arms as a
collective right or individuals also had that right. The debate was about
whether the right to bear arms was only for militias and armies, or if
individuals also were provided that right. The Supreme Court ultimately decided
that the right was an individual one in the case.

Third Amendment of
the Bill of Rights for Kids

The Third Amendment found in the Bill of Rights and the
United States Constitution was introduced on September 5, 1789. The Third
Amendment makes it illegal and unconstitutional to allow soldiers to
temporarily reside in private homes during peace time without the permission of
the owner. The only time it is legally allowed to have soldiers live in private
homes without the permission of the owner is during wartime, and even then it
must follow the law. This amendment was ratified by three quarters of the
states on December 15, 1791 along with the 9 other amendments.

Fourth Amendment of
the Bill of Rights for Kids

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution is also
the fourth in the Bill of Rights. This amendment protects citizens from unreasonable
seizures and searches. It also requires all warrants to be approved by a judge
and be supported by some probable cause as well. The Fourth Amendment was
adopted due to the abuse of a writ of assistance, which is a form of a general
search warrant which was used during the American Revolution. According to the
Amendment, searches and arrests must be limited in scope and should follow the specific
information given to the issuing court and has been sworn on, typically by a
law enforcement officer.

The Fourth Amendment is applicable when looking at
governmental seizures and searches, but it does not apply to searches that are
done by organizations or private citizens who are not acting for the
government. Originally, the Bill of Rights only restricted this power of the
federal government and not on the states. However, after the Supreme Court Case
Wolf v. Colorado, the Court stated that the Fourth Amendment was applicable to
state governments since the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause is also
applicable to the states. Furthermore, many states have similar provisions
within their own state constitutions.

The federal government’s jurisdiction in criminal law used
to be narrow, until the late 1900’s, after Congress passed the Interstate
Commerce Act as well as the Sherman Antitrust Act. Both of these acts resulted
in the federal government’s criminal jurisdiction expanding to also include other
things like narcotics, and because of this more questions regarding the Fourth
Amendment of the Bill of Rights went to the Supreme Court.

In these cases, the Supreme Court ruled that certain searches
and seizures could violate the requirement of searches being reasonable as
described in the Fourth Amendment, even if a warrant is reinforced by probable
cause as well as limited in scope. However, the Supreme Court has also approved
routine warrantless seizures in cases where probable cause for a criminal
offense exists. Therefore, the warrant requirement and the reasonableness
requirement are a bit different. The reasonableness requirement is applicable not
only just to searches in combination with seizures, but also to searches without
a seizure, along with seizures without a search.

The main way the courts enforce the Fourth Amendment of the
Bill of Rights is by using the exclusionary rule. This rule provides that any evidence
obtained through a search and/or seizure that is in violation of the Fourth
Amendment usually cannot be used by the prosecution in a criminal trial against
the defendant.

Fifth Amendment of
the Bill of Rights for Kids

The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights and the United
States Constitution is an amendment that protects people against any abuse of
government authority in a legal manner. The amendment guarantees comes from English
common law and the Magna Carta. The amendment states that no citizen can be
held to answer for a crime unless they are on presentment have been indicted by
a Grand Jury, with the exception of cases that come out of the military.
Furthermore, the amendment says that no person will be subjected to the same
crime or offense twice. Third, the Fifth Amendment states that a person cannot
be compelled to self-incriminate himself by testifying against himself.
Individuals cannot be deprived of liberty, property, or life without receiving
due process of law. Lastly, a person’s private property cannot be taken for
land use without receiving compensation for it.

Sixth Amendment of
the Bill of Rights for Kids

The Sixth Amendment in the Bill of Rights and the United
States Constitution describes the rights in criminal prosecutions. The Supreme
Court has applied these protections of the Sixth Amendment to all of the states
by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

The text of the Sixth Amendment states that in all and any criminal
prosecutions, the accused will be given the right to a public and speedy trial,
by an impartial jury of the district and state where the crime took place. The
Sixth Amendment also describes the districts that were previously determined by
the law. Under this amendment, the person will be informed about the cause and
nature of the accusation, and he or she will be confronted by the witness who
is against him or her. The defendant will also have a compulsory process for getting
witnesses in his favor, and will be provided the Assistance of Counsel for setting
up his or her defense.

Seventh Amendment of
the Bill of Rights for Kids

The Seventh Amendment of the United States Constitution was
ratified by the rest of the Bill of Rights and gives the right to a jury trial for
specific civil cases. However, the Supreme Court has stated that in other civil
cases, they do not get the right to a jury trial for the states in the same way
that is usually expected when looking at the Due Process clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled in The Justices v. Murray (1869)
that the Seventh Amendment is not only limited in being applied to civil law
suits that are tried before juries found in United States courts, but is also
applicable in cases that are tried before a jury when at a state court.

Eighth Amendment of the
Bill of Rights for Kids

The Eighth Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the United
States Constitution is the section of the Bill of Rights which does not allow the
federal government to impose bail that is in excessive amounts, fines that are
excessive, or punishments that are cruel and unusual. The United States Supreme
Court has said that the Cruel and Unusual Punishment clause of the Eighth
Amendment is not only applicable to the Federal government, bit it is also
applicable to the individual states.

Ninth Amendment of
the Bill of Rights for Kids

The Ninth Amendment of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution,
talks about the rights of the people who are not specifically enumerated by the
United States Constitution. The Ninth Amendment of the Bill of Rights is
usually looked at by the courts as an Amendment that negates any growth of governmental
power due to the enumeration of rights found in the Constitution. However, the
Ninth Amendment is not thought of as a limiter of governmental power.

Tenth Amendment of
the Bill of Rights for Kids

The Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights and the United
States Constitution was the last of the proposed twelve amendments that were
ratified on December 15, 1791. This Amendment describes that the principle of
federalism in the Constitution by saying that any powers not given to the
federal government, nor powers that are prohibited to the individual states by
the Constitution are then reserved  to
the people or the states.

 

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