Thursday, December 15, 2011

Today is Bill of Rights Day

Because of the protections it grants us, the Bill of Rights is one of the greatest things about being American. So, be a patriot, wave that flag, and celebrate!

The Bill of Rights comprising the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution came into effect as Constitutional Amendments on December 15, 1791. Among their provisions:

1- The freedoms of speech, press, religion, and the right to assemble peacefully, protest and demand changes.
2- The right to bear arms   
3- The protection from quartering of troops   
4- The protection against unreasonable searches, seizures of property, and arrest   
5- Due process of law in all criminal cases   
6- The right to a fair and speedy trial   
7- Civil trial by jury   
8- The protection against cruel and unusual punishment   
9- The provision that the people retain additional rights not listed in the Constitution   
10- Powers of States and people.
The Supreme Court has refined the precise meaning of the Bill of Rights through many court cases that established precedents. The First Amendment right to "free speech" has been extended to artistic expression and political demonstrations such as burning the American flag. Freedom of religion has been interpreted as denying the routine preference for Christianity that was universal in 1789. The right to bear arms is controversial at both the low end (handguns) and high end (assault weapons).  

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