bill of rights


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 offense 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 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.


“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 people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievance.”

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Most people don’t know this one off the top of their heads. 

In brief, it means that just because they wrote down eight freedoms, it doesn’t mean there aren’t others that should be protected. 

Or, as Justice Goldberg described it in Griswold v. Connecticut:

The Framers did not intend that the first eight amendments be construed to exhaust the basic and fundamental rights…. I do not mean to imply that the …. Ninth Amendment constitutes an independent source of rights protected from infringement by either the States or the Federal Government….While the Ninth Amendment – and indeed the entire Bill of Rights – originally concerned restrictions upon federal power, the subsequently enacted Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the States as well from abridging fundamental personal liberties. And, the Ninth Amendment, in indicating that not all such liberties are specifically mentioned in the first eight amendments, is surely relevant in showing the existence of other fundamental personal rights, now protected from state, as well as federal, infringement. In sum, the Ninth Amendment simply lends strong support to the view that the “liberty” protected by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments from infringement by the Federal Government or the States is not restricted to rights specifically mentioned in the first eight amendments. 

This is the amendment that is cited when people defend their right to Clean Air, Clean Water, or accessible internet
What the last 48 hours told us about Trump's next 4 years
President-elect Donald Trump went nose-to-nose Wednesday with a press corps itching to cross-examine him after more than five months at arm's length, while his top nominees faced off with senators during a strategic crush of confirmation hearings.
By Gregory Krieg, CNN
  1. Donald Trump still hates the press, except for Fox News and Breitbart.
  2. Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is so supportive of Russia and Trump’s buddy Vladimir Putin that he refuses to condemn Russia’s murdering journalists and bombing civilians.
  3. Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, will not pursue alleged civil rights violations by police and police departments.
  4. FBI director James Comey, asked whether the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged contacts with Russia, refused to comment: “Especially in a public forum, we never confirm or deny a pending investigation.” (Except, of course, when it’s Hillary Clinton.)

In New York City, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression in public accommodations, including in health care settings.

The City’s LGBTQ Health Care Bill of Rights is a list of current legal rights that LGBTQ New Yorkers can use to assert their health care rights.

LGBTQ New Yorkers have the right to:

1. Be treated with dignity, respect and professionalism by all providers and all staff.

2. Receive compassionate, judgement-free and comprehensive care that is mindful of your sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

3. Respectful discussions with providers about your health and health care needs, including your sexual history and current sex life.

4. Have your gender identity and gender expression recognized, affirmed, documented and accommodated.

5. Clear explanations of requests for your health information.

6. Clear explanations of all medical procedures and risks, and the right to choose or refuse any treatment.

7. Access health insurance coverage and benefits without discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

8. Choose who will make medical decisions for you if you are unable. If you are a minor, you have the right to have your voice heard and best interests included in these decisions.

9. Decide who may and may not visit you if you are admitted to a health care facility.

10. Privacy and confidentiality.

For more information on these rights, see our LGBTQ Health Care Bill of Rights.

I reblogged a discourse post for the 4th of July, deleted it, and am replacing it with this

On this day in 1776, some very brave men of like mind came together in what is known as the Continental Congress and wrote one of the greatest documents in American history: The Declaration of Independence. This document sparked the beginning of a war; a war for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Thomas Jefferson’s pen wrote something in this document that should be remembered always:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

My addition to the post I had reblogged, in hindsight, was improper and out-of-character. Although I had felt very strongly that I should say something, it was better to stay out of it since it was a days old post with drama that didn’t need to be continued. It’s message, however, can be amounted to this:

Every citizen of this nation is created equal. No white man or white woman is any better than any black man or black woman. The same goes for every race, every color, every sex, every human being. Some of us have been led down the wrong path of thinking that this is not true, that they deserve better, that they are better. I pray that those people one day realize that they are wrong.

Because of this, they all have equal rights to what they are allowed to say. In a different document called the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment gives us the freedom of speech and of the press, among other things. Everyone is entitled to this right. A white person can use the same words that a black person can, and Congress cannot make any law against that. So saying that a certain person “doesn’t have the right” to say something is untrue.

Have a happy Independence Day, everyone.