The Bill of Rights
The Ten Original Amendments: The Bill of Rights. Passed by
Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor
cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
- The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights,
shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by
- 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 later amendments to the constitution
- The Judicial power of the United States shall not be
construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or
prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of
another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign
Passed by Congress March 4, 1794. Ratified February 7, 1795.
- The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and
vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom,
at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with
themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted
for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for
as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all
persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for
as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which
lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the
seat of the government of the United States, directed to the
President of the Senate;--The President of the Senate shall,
in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives,
open all the certificates and the votes shall then be
counted;--The person having the greatest number of votes for
President, shall be the President, if such number be a
majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no
person have such majority, then from the persons having the
highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted
for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose
immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the
President, the votes shall be taken by states, the
representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for
this purpose shall consist of a member or members from
two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states
shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of
Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the
right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day
of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as
President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional
disability of the President. The person having the greatest
number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the
Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole
number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a
=majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the
Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the
purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of
Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be
necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally
ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to
that of Vice-President of the United States.
passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified July 27, 1804.