The Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends. We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated: Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

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New Jersey: 3rd Party Candidate May Help Keep Corzine Corruption Machine in Office

Democratic incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine has cut Republican challenger Christopher Christie’s lead in half and now trails the former federal prosecutor 43 – 39 percent among New Jersey likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Independent candidate Christopher Daggett has 12 points, with 6 percent undecided.

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Virginia: McDonnell Extends Lead Over Deeds

2009 Virginia Governor’s Race
Robert McDonnell (R) 51%
Creigh Deeds (D) 42%
Some Other Candidate 1%
Not Sure 7%

Source: Rasmussen Reports

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Great Britain: Conservatives Keep Large Lead Over Labour

If there were a general election tomorrow, which party would you vote for?

Sept. 11 Aug. 14 Jul. 17
Conservative 41% 42% 42%
Labour 27% 28% 25%
Liberal Democrats 17% 18% 18%
Other 15% 13% 15%

Source: YouGov

Methodology: Online interviews with 2,009 British voters, conducted on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11, 2009. No margin of error was provided.

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Poll: Palestinians Want 2 State Solution

Detailed map of Israeli settlements on the Wes...Image via Wikipedia Here are several options for a Palestinian State. Please tell me which option you would prefer most.

A Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza, separate from Israel 55%
A Palestinian state with final borders including land swaps alongside the Israeli state now with all other issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, and settlements to be negotiated 37%
Status quo continues until all these issues have been negotiated and agreed 27%
A Palestinian state with provisional borders alongside the Israeli state now with all other issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, and settlements to be negotiated 14%
Palestine joins a confederation with Jordan and Egypt with shared defense and foreign policy 11%
One state shared by both Palestinians and Israelis 11%

Source: International Peace Institute/ Charney Research

Methodology: Interviews with 2,402 Palestinian adults in West Bank and Gaza, conducted from Jun. 23 to Jul. 27, 2009. No margin of error was provided.

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Ohio: Portman Leads Fisher by 1, Brunner by 2

Rob Portman, Director of the Office of Managem...Image via Wikipedia Ohio Survey of 500 Likely Voters
September 23, 2009

Portman (R) 41%
Fisher (D) 40%
Other 6%
Not Sure 14%
Portman (R) 40%
Brunner (D) 38%
Other 5%
Not Sure 18%

Rasmussen Reports

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Ohio: Kasich Leads Strickland by 1

Kasich's websiteImage by Wild Goose via FlickrJohn Kasich is winning buy a modest 1 point, but keep in mind that with the undecideds usually turning against the incumbent, Kasich is close to 50%.

2010 Ohio Governor Race
John Kasich(R) 46%
Ted Strickland(D) 45%
Some Other Candidate 3%
Not Sure 7%

Source: Rasmussen Reports

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Australian Sheep: Almost 2/3 Approve of Statist Kevin Rudd Government

Federal Labor leader Kevin RuddImage via Wikipedia
Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way Kevin Rudd is doing his job as prime minister?

Sept. 22 Aug. 23 Aug. 9
Satisfied 65% 61% 60%
Dissatisfied 24% 29% 28%
Uncommitted 11% 10% 12%

Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way Malcolm Turnbull is doing his job as leader of the opposition?

Sept. 22 Aug. 23 Aug. 9
Satisfied 33% 30% 26%
Dissatisfied 50% 56% 57%
Uncommitted 17% 14% 17%

Who do you think would make the better prime minister?

Sept. 22 Aug. 23 Aug. 9
Kevin Rudd (ALP) 65% 66% 65%
Malcolm Turnbull (Lib.) 17% 19% 17%
Uncommitted 18% 15% 18%

Source: Newspoll / The Australian
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,150 Australian voters, conducted from Sept.18 to Sept. 20, 2009. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

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Britain: Libyan Screw-Up Sinks Gordon Brown Even Lower

PM with Colonel QadhafiImage by Downing Street via Flickr
Polling Data
From what you know about Gordon Brown’s dealings with Libya has it improved your opinion of him lessened it or has it made no difference?

Improved 5%
Lessened 43%
Don’t know 8%

Source: YouGov
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,009 British voters, conducted on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11, 2009. No margin of error was provided.
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