Howard Blitz

More About: Bill of Rights

A Day Really Worth Celebrating

This Friday December 15, 2006 is truly a day to rejoice for it is the 215th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Many attendees at the constitutional convention of 1787 were not completely convinced and wanted more assurance that the hands of government officials were tied tight enough to prevent them from instituting a monarchy or dictatorship over the citizenry. They would not sign the Constitution unless a bill of rights was attached.

With the promise of such the states ratified the Constitution and James Madison took the almost 200 suggested amendments and boiled them down to seventeen, of which congress only approved twelve. The states ratified ten of those twelve. Hence, the Bill of Rights became the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

The founders understood that rights were given to mankind by the Creator and that government's sole function was and is to protect those rights, not abuse them or take them away. Upon careful scrutiny one sees that the Bill of Rights does not really convey any rights to individuals at all, rather it restricts the power of government officials from interfering with a citizen's life. The Bill of Rights is actually a bill of restrictions upon government officials.

Also, upon close examination one realizes that many of the ten have either been completely obliterated and/or severely eliminated. The second, fourth, sixth, and tenth amendments come to mind with all of the government restrictions of firearm ownership, the government inspections at airports, the recent disregard of habeas corpus by government officials, and the intrusion of government officials into education.

Commemorating December 15 for what it truly stands for, the only thing separating the citizenry from being totally enslaved by their government officials, is truly something to celebrate. Happy Bill of Rights day. May those restrictions upon government power last forever.

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 offence 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 re-examined 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.

The Freedom Library begins its spring semester study of the United States Constitution January 23. All those interested in earning an opportunity to receive one of four available $1,000 scholarships may go to to register. Those interested in providing funds to The Freedom Library to help those interested in learning about individual liberty may make a tax deductible contribution at the same website.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:
Note how nice and concise all the first ten Amendments are. Not like the lawyerly tomes that pass as Amendemnts of the 20th Century. How written in plain English, without exceptions and exclusions. How all encompassing in their prohibitions on Congress enacting laws effecting the areas the Amendments cover.

And I disagree with Howard ... with the exception of the Third Amendment, all others have been successfully and historically ignord to the point where they are meaningless in protecting citizens from government abuse. Heck, you can**Q**t even bring them up in court.

I am glad someone wrote about this, as I don**Q**t have to update or write another one.

For those fortunate enough to live in the Phoenix area, Alan Korwin is putting on a celebration, but you had better hurry to RSVP. See details here.

For my BOR Day missive last year (and I wish I had thought to include: the ONLY purpose of government is to protect these individual rights - nice one Howard) is to be found here.

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