Celebration December 15 United States Bill of Rights
by Vikki Nelson
The first ten amendments of the Constitution of the United States, known as “The Bill of Rights,” were proposed on September 25, 1789, and became law on December 15, 1791.
December 15 has been celebrated as Bill of Rights Day since 1941.
Now, I am pretty patriotic and thought to be careful to recognize the significant events of our country, but I must admit, I must have overlooked this particular one. I certainly will pledge to make every effort in the future, starting this December 15, to celebrate it.
But how do I celebrate the “Bill of Rights”? Well, I’ll list them all for you (although I’m certain you have memorized some of them).
The First Amendment - Freedom of Expression
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 Second Amendment - The Right to Keep and Bear Arms
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 Third Amendment - Quartering of Soldiers
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 Fourth Amendment - Protection from Unwarranted Searches
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 Fifth Amendment - Civil Justice Protection
No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militias, 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.
The Sixth Amendment - The Right to a Speedy and Fair Trial
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 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.
The Seventh Amendment - The Right of Trial by Jury
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 Eighth Amendment - Protection from Excessive Fines or Punishments
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The Ninth Amendment - Other Rights Retained by the People
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The Tenth Amendment - States’ Rights
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.
We know that some of these amendments have been bruised, massaged, gerrymandered, manipulated, and just downright misquoted, but, by and large, they are deserving of a celebration every day of the year and deserving of our ATTENTION!