Bill of Rights is a title of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The amendments have the power to add more freedom to citizens and extend human rights, along with putting a special emphasis on the borders of the U.S. governments power in the judicial branch, as well as other procedures. Magna Carta, Bill of Rights of 1689, and Virginia Declaration of Rights became the foundations of the ten amendments (Magliocca, 2015). The following discussion provides the brief description of every amendment and its role in the U.S. Constitution.
The First Amendment claims that the government will not interfere in the religious beliefs of the citizens by avoiding the issue of any laws, respecting the establishments of all religions. Congress also supported making the religious decisions free choices for all citizens. The First Amendment also promises not to issue any laws prohibiting the freedom of press and the freedom of speech, in general. The First Amendment referred to the decisions made by the Congress.
After the declaration of the Second Amendment, it became the key to allowing citizens keeping and bearing arms. This amendment came from the English Bill of Rights of 1689. This Amendment became a key to the resolution of legal, social, and political issues. It provided citizens with the right to protect their lives by using armed weapons in cases of self-defense within their homes. However, the Amendment did not provide any citizen with the right to keep and carry arms at any time and any place.
The Third Amendment became a restricting measure, which does not allow soldiers quartering in private homes of citizens without the consent of the Owner (Tauber, 2005). In this way, the Amendment continued to protect human rights of citizens and their private lives. Nevertheless, soldiers may quarter in the private area of any citizen, thanks to the mutual agreement of the Owner and the government.
The Fourth Amendment guarantees that the citizens will never face violations of their rights from the side of the government, interfering in their private lives, houses, papers, or effects. In addition, the government will never conduct any kinds of unreasonable searches. This Amendment is the support of the legal principle, which means that information received in the illegal way will never be used at the Court or be introduced in the criminal case. The Fourth Amendment not only protected the private lives of the citizens, but also took care of the legal backgrounds of every criminal case.
The Fifth Amendment became a legal insurance protecting the U.S. citizens from double jeopardy. Grand Jury plays the role of a legally selected figure who is responsible for screening criminal prosecutions and payoffs for the seizure of the residents private property (Berkin, 2016). According to the Amendment, nobody should be a witness against himself/herself in the court. In addition, no person should face any kinds of deprivation of freedom, private life, human rights, or property without the constitutional background for it. It is also illegal to use property in the interests of the public without the appropriate payoff.
The Sixth Amendment enhances the myriad of rights of litigants involved in the lawsuit. It provides a defendant with a right to have a quick and public trial performed by an objective jury, along with being informed on criminal indictments. Defendants may encounter witnesses and oblige them to come to the court. Finally, litigants may get the help they need from the counsel. The Amendment included an additional right to have legal representation in all legal proceedings, including both federal and state courts.
The Seventh Amendment touches upon the federal civil cases that allow jury trials to deal with claims exceeding twenty dollars. Federal civil cases should never involve overruling of facts and findings by the juries. This Amendment is the one that is used by the Court to fulfill its requirements with the minimum of six juries.
The Eighth Amendment forbids excessive fines or bills and does not allow the unusual and cruel punishments. However, the law does not specify what is meant by the excessive amount of fines or bills. In general, the second part of the amendment regarding punishments takes place in the court, in cases that involve the selection of means of execution. In fact, the Amendment created additional doubts regarding capital punishments and prison conditions, which may refer to cruel and unusual punishments.
The Ninth Amendment claims that there are extra rights that do not take place in the Constitution. It means that natural rights of the citizens who are willing to act legally within their needs and interests should not limit the rights mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. The Amendment was involved in several cases, including the right to use contraception and the right to assist others in abortions. In some cases, the law required a spouse to give a written agreement for the significant other to make an abortion.
The Tenth Amendment did not bring any significant changes to the U.S. Constitution. It enhanced the protection of states authority with the full range of rights without any appropriation to the federal government. It became an additional enhancement of the borderline between federalism and authority of states. As a result, the Tenth Amendment increased the responsibility of the federal government, lying in strict performance according to the Constitutional rights.
The discussion of the Bill of Rights increased the overall understanding of the Constitutional rights of every person. In fact, every Amendment had an outstanding meaning and played its significant role in the establishment of the legal principles, which are still effective and useful in terms of the contemporary society. It is believed that the Bill of Rights will remain the basis of all the legal transformations that are lying within the scope of human rights and Court proceedings. However, it is impossible to be certain what the future holds.
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