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Published byLucas Glenn Modified over 7 years ago
Amendment: (noun) a change made to a law or document Founders wanted Constitution to be a “living document” (able to evolve with the nation) Making changes to the Constitution had to be possible (but difficult) Proposing an amendment requires: 2/3 of Congress, or 2/3 of states Ratifying an amendment requires: 3/4 of states
First Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …” Government cannot: support a specific religion prevent people from practicing their religion “Separation of Church and State”
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;” Government cannot: limit free expression limit the press’ ability to spread information
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.” Government cannot: prevent people from gathering peacefully prevent people from complaining about the gov.
Second 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.” Since a nation’s (or state’s) security depends on an armed civilian army … gov. can’t prevent people from owning weapons
Third Amendment “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.” Gov. can’t force people to house soldiers in their homes (unless there is a war and we pass specific laws allowing it)
Fourth Amendment “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.” Government can’t search or seize you or your property … without “probable cause” (a reason to believe they’ll find something illegal)
Fifth Amendment “[No person shall] be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; …” Government cannot: try a person twice for the same crime (“Double jeopardy”)
Fifth Amendment “… Nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, …” Government cannot: force an accused person to testify against themselves “Right to remain silent” “Pleading the fifth”
Fifth Amendment “… Nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; …” Government cannot: punish someone without giving them a fair trial “Due process”
Sixth Amendment “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” People accused of crimes have the right to … have a speedy and public trial be judged by a fair jury of local people
Sixth Amendment “[The accused shall enjoy the right] … to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” People accused of crimes have the right to … be told what they’re accused of doing question the people who say they did it have a lawyer’s help
Seventh Amendment “In [cases] where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved …” Civil cases (legal arguments) over more than $20 will be settled by a jury
Eighth Amendment “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted” Government cannot: demand unreasonable amounts of money for bail or fines (When a person is charged with a crime, they can pay bail to go free until their court date) punish criminals in “cruel and unusual” ways
Ninth Amendment “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” “Just because we’re listing certain rights doesn’t mean they’re the only ones people have”
Tenth Amendment “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.” Any power the constitution doesn’t mention, belongs to the states or the people (not to the federal gov.) (LIMITED GOVERNMENT)
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