I.The Bill of Rights (1st 10 Amendments)
A.1st AmendmentGuarantees freedom of religion, speech, assembly, and press, and the right of people to petition the governmentNo official religionCitizens can criticize governmentAmerican press is not subject to prior restraint - that is, government censorship of information before it is published
1st Amendment (cont.)1.Slander (false speech intended to damage a persons reputation) and libel (similar to slander except it applies to written or published statements) are both illegal2.You must be responsible. For example, you cannot endanger the nations safety by giving away military secrets or call for the violent overthrow of the govt.3.Dont cry Fire in a crowded theatre
Is this O.K.? What do you think and why?
B. 2nd AmendmentRight to Bear ArmsOriginally intended to prevent the national government from taking away weaponsCan be regulatedRight to Wear Sleeveless shirts
C.3rd AmendmentProhibits government from forcing people to provide shelter for soldiers In times of war this could be changed by law
D.4th AmendmentPolice must have probable cause (a reasonable basis to believe the person or premises is linked to a crime) to carry out an arrest or searchA search or an arrest also requires a search warrant or an arrest warrant (these are orders signed by a judge describing a specific place to be searched for specific items or naming the individual to be arrested for a specific crime)
E.5th AmendmentNo one can be tried for a serious crime unless a grand jury has decided there is enough evidence to justify a trialCannot be tried for the same crime twiceCannot be forced to testify against himself or herselfGovernment cannot deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law (govt needs to follow proper procedures in trials)
Miranda v. Arizona1.You have the right to remain silent. 2.Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. 3.You have the right to an attorney. 4.If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
F.6th AmendmentGuarantees the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. Why?Change of venue may be asked for as wellAccused persons have the right to a lawyer
G.7th AmendmentRight to a trial by jury for disputes about property worth more than $20
H.8th Amendment1.Prohibits excessive bail2.prohibits excessive fines3.Bans cruel and unusual punishment (these are punishments that are out of proportion tothe crime committed)
I.9th Amendment*protects all basic or natural rights not specifically noted in the ConstitutionJ.10th Amendment*establishes that powers not given to the national govt - or denied to the states - by the Constitution belong to the states or to the people
II.Other AmendmentsA.11th Amendment (1795) prohibits a state from being sued in federal court by citizens of another state or of another nationB.12th Amendment (1804) required presidential electors to vote separately for president and vice president
III.Civil War AmendmentsA.13th Amendment (1865) abolished slaveryB.14th Amendment (1868) originally intended to protect the legal rights of the freed slaves and their descendants. Today it protects the rights of citizenship in general by prohibiting a state from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.C.15th Amendment (1870) prohibits the government from denying a persons right to vote on the basis of race
IV.Later Amendments (20th Century)A.16th Amendment (1913) Gave Congress the power to levy individual income taxesProgressive tax assigned higher tax rates to people with higher incomes
B.17th Amendment (1913)Provided for the election of U.S. Senators by direct popular vote instead of by state legislatures Mark Dayton Norm Coleman
C.18th Amendment (1919)Outlawed the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcoholic beverages(Prohibition)
D.19th Amendment (1920)Guaranteed women the right to vote(Womens Suffrage)
E.20th Amendment (1933)Shortened the time between a presidential election and inauguration by designating January 20 as Inauguration Day; set January 3 as the date for the opening of a new Congress
F.21st Amendment (1933)Repealed the 18th Amendment and empowered Congress to regulate the liquor industry
G.22nd Amendment (1951)Limited presidents to 2 full terms in office Why?
H.23rd Amendment (1961)Granted voters in the District of Columbia the right to vote for president and vice president.
I.24th Amendment (1964)Outlawed poll taxes (taxes paid in order to vote) in federal elections. Why were these used?
J.25th Amendment (1967)Provided for succession to the office of president in the event of death or incapacity and for filling vacancies in the office of the vice president
26th Amendment (1971) extended the right to vote to 18-year olds
27th Amendment (1992) banned Congress from increasing its members salaries until after the next election
What are some ideas for future amendments?