Happy Bill of Rights Day

Today is Bill of Rights Day. To Americans, the Bill of Rights are key amendments to the U.S. Constitution, that protect our individual rights.

On March 4, 1789, the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified by the (former) 13 colonies, and went into effect. States and individuals were concerned that the Constitution did not properly cover and protect a number of natural rights of individuals. The Constitution was signed by the original 13 states with the requirement, or understanding, that a Bill of Rights would be created, amending the new U.S. Constitution.

On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution. 10 of these amendments were added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.

The Bill of Rights includes these Amendments:

Amendment 1- Freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petitioning

Amendment 2 – The right to keep and bear arms

Amendment 3 – Protection of homeowners from quartering troops, except during war.

Amendment 4 – Rights and protections against unreasonable search and seizure

Amendment 5 – Rights of due process of law, protection against double jeopardy, self incrimination

Amendment 6 – Rights of a speedy trial by jury of peers and rights of accused

Amendment 7 – Rights to trial by jury in civil cases

Amendment 8 – Protection from cruel and unusual punishment, excessive bail

Amendment 9 – Protection of rights not specified in the Bill of Rights

Amendment 10 – States rights, power of the states

Of the 12 original articles, which ones were not approved? Articles # 1 and 2. These dealt with the number of representative to congress, and compensation to representatives. Article 2 finally became the 27th Amendment.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Liberty is not free. Like muscles of the body, if we do not exercise our God-given rights on a regular basis, we will soon lose them. On Bill of Rights Day, we hope that you will renew your familiarization with this document and spend a few minutes reflecting upon the freedoms that you enjoy. These freedoms do not exist in many countries of the world.

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