Skip to comments.HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BILL OF RIGHTS
Posted on 12/14/2002 10:19:56 AM PST by forest
December 15, 2002
Today, our Bill of Rights becomes 211 years old. These 461 words were intended to be the backbone for defense of what the Founding Fathers called our "unalienable" rights. And so they were, with only few exceptions, for nearly 147 years.
Starting with the blatant and unconstitutional socialism of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, Washington has steadily eroded our rights. So, today, many of our so called "unalienable" rights are but privileges allowed or refused at the whim of a capricious central government, and some have been all but completely usurped by Washington.
Yet, these Amendments are still part of our Constitution. Therefore, they are still officially the basis for our rule of law. Which means, they may not be violated by any president, legislator or judge without first amending the Constitution.
Well, that is what was intended, anyway. That is our Constitutional law. Our problem, therefore, is to decide what means we shall use to force the central government to behave and obey our Constitution. We the People, after all, were intended to be the sovereigns in this arrangement. Government officials are, believe it or not, but public servants. Your employees.
While we consider appropriate methods for recouping our unalienable rights, we must also recognize the prize for which we are reaching: Freedom and Liberty. The words of our Bill of Rights were designed to be read and understood literally. Please study them.
These Amendments are not part of a wish list. They are, officially, the law of the land -- restrictions all government officials must be ordered to obey.
Below is a copy of the Bill of Rights, along with the seldom seen Preamble to the Bill of Rights, as approved on December 15, 1791.
PREAMBLE Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
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.
These Amendments are not a wish list. They are the law of the land -- restrictions all government officials must obey.
These Amendments are still part of our Constitution. Therefore, they are still officially the basis for our rule of law.
What happened to the Oath of Office?
More accurately, it would be 211 years old if it were still alive.