The Bill of Rights - a transcription of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America

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These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791.

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
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 defence.

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.


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Please Note: The capitalization and punctuation in this version is from the
enrolled original of the Joint Resolution of Congress proposing the Bill of Rights, which is on
permanent display in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.

Transcript was obtained from the home page of the
National Archives and Records Administration.



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