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Bill of Rights

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From page A4 | December 13, 2013 | 36 Comments

The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution were the Bill of Rights. They went into effect. Dec. 15, 1791, 222 years ago. Occasionally we must remind ourselves what they are and what they stand for.

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.

Amendment II

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

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.

Mountain Democrat

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Discussion | 36 comments

  • cookie65December 13, 2013 - 5:08 am

    A charter of negative liberties. http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2012/09/23/why-the-fuss-obama-has-long-been-on-record-in-favor-of-redistribution/

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  • cookie65December 13, 2013 - 5:15 am

    The people who wrote these were so wicked smart that there is even a purpose to there chronological order. The second one is the protector of the first.

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  • cookie65December 13, 2013 - 6:21 am

    The obama regime just keeps moving "FOWARD" on its all-out assault on the bill of rights. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303932504579254521095034070?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

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  • cookie65December 13, 2013 - 7:08 am

    Just look at the conditions our public servants our being forced to live under. Limiting the taxpayer expense on oil paintings of elected officials to a measly $20,000. How will they ever survive? I for one believed pelosi when she said there was nothing left to cut. http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/24212685/senators-introduce-bill-to-crack-down-on-lavish-portrait-expenses#axzz2nMWUAP4Z

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  • PvillejackDecember 13, 2013 - 11:07 am

    Actually it would be numerical order, not chronological order. Chronological would be the date that each amendment was ratified and they were all ratified on the same date.

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  • James E.December 13, 2013 - 11:32 am

    Hmmm, the 2nd Amendment. We need a militia (the MinuteMen) to protect our security -- so the right of the people to have guns will not be infringed. I think the Supreme Court has ruled that there is no need for a militia and only the second part applies. But, hey, weren't they wrong on the ACA, so maybe they were wrong here too.

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  • Dink LaneDecember 13, 2013 - 3:14 pm

    According to Thomas Jefferson's Dec 20, 1787 letter to James Madison, the Bill of Rights which were NOT included with the Articles of Confederation (Feb. 21, 1787) resulted in some of the STATES ......... NOT allowing their citizens trials by jury, ........ allowed only ONE religion practiced in the state, ........ NO protection from the State's standing armies, ......... and the Worst Part..... put in jail and left their with NO right to a trial 'habeas corpus'....... So..... "In order to form a 'more perfect' Union....." the Constitution was (re)written and included the "Bill of Rights" established in England in 1689.....

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  • DanielDecember 13, 2013 - 6:01 pm

    Ask anyone obsessed with the 2nd amendment what it says and they'll always proudly quote the second part. I love watching their reaction when I say "bzzzzzzzz, wrong answer! You missed the first half." I never tell them what it is, but their heads explode when I say: "Hint: It's the only right in the bill of rights that has the term 'well regulated' in it." They're so conditioned to regurgitating only the second part that most of them refuse to believe that they're wrong. I've had people get angry at me over this.

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  • EvelynDecember 13, 2013 - 6:57 pm

    Daniel: What import do you attach to the word "free" in the first half of the 2nd Amendment? ("A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state . . . ")

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  • DanielDecember 14, 2013 - 12:00 am

    Yes, "free" is very important to me. What's your point and how is it relevant to my comment? Are you implying that the word "free" nullifies "well regulated"? That these two concepts are mutually exclusive? Do you think tighter background checks aimed at preventing mentally ill people and violent criminals from acquiring guns infringes on "free" as it appears in the context of the 2nd amendment? What are you getting at? Here's a question for you: Why do you think the drafters saw it fitting to use "well regulated" for this right only, and not the others? Are you saying the 2nd amendment is nonsensical because it uses "free" and "well regulated" in the same sentence?

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  • cookie65December 14, 2013 - 5:37 am

    Daniel, help me out with your thought process. Historical context; you have a bunch of people who just won their liberty from a tyrannical monarchy because they were well armed, in fact they were armed with the same weapons the British had (something the anti-2nd Amendment crowd likes to sweep under the rug). And the first thing they did once they had won their liberty was to sit down and pen out basic rights of the citizen where they handed over the right to keep and bear arms to the discretion of the government? Is that what you are claiming?

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  • EvelynDecember 14, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    Daniel: You ask whether I am ’saying the 2nd amendment is nonsensical because it uses "free" and "well regulated" in the same sentence?’ NO, certainly not. I posed the “free” state question specifically because I believe it CANNOT be separated from the envisaged purpose of a well-regulated militia. Making no claim to being a constitutional scholar or having special insight into the minds of our Founding Fathers, I merely observe the apparent logic of the Bill of Rights. AMENDMENT I: FREE – or its derivative – is twice explicit. Moreover, another three times it is implicit: (1) FREEDOM of the press, (2) FREEDOM to peaceably assemble, (3) FREEDOM to petition for redress of grievances. AMENDMENT II: A well-regulated militia [is necessary] to the security of a FREE state. . . . AMENDMENTS III – IV: All relate to the rights/freedoms to be preserved for the people. ********* Can it be said that a Constitutional Free State has been preserved?

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  • EvelynDecember 14, 2013 - 2:38 pm

    . . . 3rd line from bottom: AMENDMENTS III – X

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  • cookie65December 14, 2013 - 5:23 am

    If you could break away from what dailykos feeds you and learn the use of the term "well regulated" during the same time period in which the 2nd Amendment was written it would be helpful. The collectivists such as yourself take it to mean something controlled by the government. But that is no surprise since you see everything thru that lens. Yet in the time of its use it wasn't used that way at all. ---"The debate between the collectivist and the individualist interpretations of the 2nd has often focused on the meaning of "well regulated" in the opening phrase "well regulated Militia". The collectivists claim this this refers to a Militia which is tightly controlled by the government, deducing this from the etymology of "regulated" which relates to "ruled". However, this ignores the usage of the word "regulate" in which the "rule" refers to the proper operations of a device rather than to man-made laws. We still see this in the word "regular", which in many contexts means "properly operating."" -- http://yarchive.net/gun/politics/regulate.html

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  • cookie65December 14, 2013 - 5:51 am

    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." -- George Washington

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  • DanielDecember 14, 2013 - 10:11 am

    Like many quotes you and your ilk attribute to the founders, Washington never said that. First of all, I don't read dailykos; not to sound snotty but it's way too low brow for me. Secondly, a person who advocates for sane gun control (in full support of and accordance with the 2nd amendment) is not "anti-2nd amendment." That is called a strawman fallacy, one of your favorites as far as I can tell from the very few of your posts I've read. Trying to seek balance between "free" and "well regulated" does not make one anti-2nd amendment. Thirdly, I'm very glad you brought up historical context. I'm a literature and culture studies guy so my brain is wired for reading all texts not as isolated entities but partly, sometimes largely, products of their time. For decades following the war of independence, the drafters were obsessed with protecting the homeland from further foreign invasions. That was a very real danger at the time, including the British returning for a second round. Of course, the people being armed was critical, and I support the latest SCOTUS ruling that this extends to everyone, not just militiamen (and women). The same SCOTUS, even the most conservative Scalia, ruled that regulations were completely acceptable and inevitable. The drafters never intended firearms as a defense against one's own constitutional republic, since the very foundational idea of such a form of government completely invalidates the need for any form of violent interventions. Just vote differently, don't shoot. Even if such an attitude were to take hold in a major way today, we don't live in a musket-against-musket world anymore. Now it's your round limited AR15s (at best) against Blackhawks, smart bombs, bunker busters, tactical nukes, Predator drones, fighter jets, automatic M4s, gun ships, nuclear subs, carriers, etc., etc., etc. I just watched a documentary on a new weapon used in Falujah. A single soldier can fire it from miles away using a laser sight. It puts a shell right through your window in your living room. It has two stages: In stage 1, it implodes sucking the air right out of anything breathing instantly collapsing all lungs in the house. Stage 2 is not an explosive but pure incendiary; it will fry everything and anything in the house at extreme temperatures. Good luck using your little AR15 arsenal against the kind of firepower we all have provided our own government for decades. It is a far right delusion.

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  • DebbieDecember 14, 2013 - 10:52 am

    Agreed Daniel. Thanks for taking the time post a rational response.

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  • VoterDecember 14, 2013 - 11:11 am

    Right on, Daniel. Muskets are no match for Blackhawks, smart bombs, bunker busters, tactical nukes and whatnot. Let's vote.

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  • Tom GibneyDecember 14, 2013 - 4:34 pm

    Well of course, Daniel let us then do away with the second amendment. Disarming the public worked for Hitler and Mao It should work for Obama or whatever socialist Democrat you pine for. If it comes to the government using smart bombs on American citizens...there may be a problem. Those who do not learn from history ... will be come victims of its repetition.

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  • cookie65December 14, 2013 - 7:27 am

    Molon Labe

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  • cookie65December 15, 2013 - 6:24 am

    The Federalist Papers #29 Alexander Hamilton puts to rest the notion that "well regulated" means dianne feinstein and the rest of the anti-2nd Amendment leftists can deem themselves imperial rulers over the free citizens right to keep and bear arms. His use of the exact terminology gives us a very clear understanding of its meaning at the time. -- “The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, nor a week nor even a month, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss.”

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  • PatriceDecember 14, 2013 - 10:21 am

    This explains some of the glassy eyed BS that comes from group, cult thinking.

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  • cookie65December 15, 2013 - 8:54 am

    “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

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  • robertdnollDecember 14, 2013 - 10:50 am

    why would anyone argue with someone who believes john stewart is a journalist, as does stewart himself

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  • EvelynDecember 14, 2013 - 5:02 pm

    We've come a long way since 1902. Paging through a 1902 Sears, Roebuck & Co catalogue, I find 42 pages devoted to Rifles, Shotguns, Pistols and ammunition. Prices to die for include a New Rival Single Shot Air Rifle, 67Cents. Genuine Smith & Wesson Ejecting Revolver, $10.50. Smokeless Cartridges, $1.40 for 100. And if you're loaded for bear (what the heck does that mean?) you can get a Natural Black Bearskin Coat for only $22.50.

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  • cookie65December 15, 2013 - 7:03 am

    In 1902 we had a President. He was want our modern day party of enlightenment, tolerance and diversity would characterize as a gun-nut.

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  • robertdnollDecember 15, 2013 - 6:27 am

    senior federal judge says there is no evidence that california gun laws are constitutional,a judge that was appointed by clinton

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  • cookie65December 15, 2013 - 6:36 am

    It didn't take long to find out the kid shooting up the school in Colorado was another loonatic leftist. The mental disease of leftism strikes again.

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  • cookie65December 15, 2013 - 6:41 am

    Even the leftist rag Washington Post is starting to disclose what a 3rd world banana republic the obama regime is. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-delayed-enacting-rules-ahead-of-2012-election-to-avoid-controversy/2013/12/14/7885a494-561a-11e3-ba82-16ed03681809_story.html

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  • cookie65December 15, 2013 - 8:03 am

    This is what happens when you let the village raise your kids. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/ohio/kid-slugs-his-grandma-867403

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  • cookie65December 15, 2013 - 8:09 am

    Ever notice how the obama voters keep the news business in business? http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/12/13/cbs4-exclusive-wal-mart-employee-arrested-for-shooting-co-workers-car-over-award/#comments

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  • cookie65December 15, 2013 - 8:18 am

    Surprise, Surprise, Surprise. ocommycare is depleting people's bank accounts. LMAO!!!!!! http://www.kgw.com/news/Enrollees-report-erroneous-debits-by-WA-Healthplanfinder-235244701.html

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  • cookie65December 15, 2013 - 8:26 am

    Can you tell the difference between an obamabot and an obamabot? http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/12/10/meet-the-robot-telemarketer-who-denies-shes-a-robot/

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  • robertdnollDecember 15, 2013 - 9:39 am

    laughing at anyone's misfortunes,more pathetic than prepubescent giggling

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  • cookie65December 15, 2013 - 10:06 am

    Welcome to hope and change.

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  • Diamond DaveDecember 15, 2013 - 10:39 am

    Those same people that were targeted by the Obama campaign machine being promised hope and change. The young, the middle class, minorities and the poor. it just so happens they are the same groups that are now having their lives turned upside down. Poetic justice for getting him elected?!. What would be pathetic is if they don't learn from their mistake.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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