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News Link • Bill of Rights

The Third Amendment Is More than a Historical Curiosity

•, Colleen Sheehan

The Third Amendment reads:

"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."

Most people have heard of the idea that "a man's home is his castle." This is a phrase used by Englishman Sir Edward Coke, indicating a basic right of home and property that government should not infringe upon ("et domus sua cuique tutissimum refugium").

To protect a man's house is to protect the free exercise of his mind and faculties.

Our homes are not only our legal, physical property, but our refuge—something much more than what is today called a "safe space."

James Madison, the prime sponsor of the Bill of Rights, drew an analogy between the Third Amendment and the right he considered the most fundamental of all, the freedom of conscience.

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