Bill of Rights Summary Statements
Summarize the meaning for each Amendment of the Bill of Rights in one sentence.
I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging1 the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress2 of grievances3.
1. abridging: Reduce 2. redress: A correction or to set right 3. grievances: Official complaint over something wrong or unfair
II. A well regulated Militia4, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms5, shall not be infringed6.
4. Militia: A civilian military force raised to help a regular army 5. Arms: Weapons and ammunition 6. infringed: An act to limit or undermine
III. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered7 in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
7. quartered: Be stationed or lodged in a specified place
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 Warrants8 shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath9 or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
8. Warrants: A legal document authorizing a government official to make an arrest or search premises 9. Oath: A sworn declaration that one will tell the truth
V. No person shall be held to answer for a capital10, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury11, 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 compensation.
10. capital: A charge liable to the death penalty 11. Grand Jury: A prosecutor presents evidence before 16 to 23 members of this non-public jury to decide if there is enough evidence for a trial
V. A person must be formally charged of a crime, cannot be tried twice for the same offense, has the right to remain silent and can only lose life, liberty, or property by due process of law.
VI. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial12 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 Counsel13 for his defence.
12. Impartial: Fair and just treatment 13. Counsel: A lawyer who pleads cases in court
VII. In Suits14 at common law15, 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.
14. Suits: A court proceeding to recover a right or claim 15. common law: A system based on customs and traditions rather than on written laws
VIII. Excessive bail16 shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
16. bail: Money paid as security to guarantee an accused person appears in court
IX. The enumeration17 in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed18 to deny or disparage19 others retained by the people.
17. enumeration: A catalog or list 18. construed: To give the meaning or intention of 19. disparage: To reduce in high regard or rank
X. The powers not delegated20 to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
20. delegated: To entrust or authorize