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 power safeguarded by this amendment had never before been so clear in my lifetime as they have been during the Covid era. As much as I had wished to see Trump lay down the law on the nationwide rioters and ban all tyrannical lockdowns, said powers were in the hands of the states. Overall, I respected Trump more for honoring the limited power of federal government.
The states are closer to their people. The people have a stronger voice in their local jurisdictions, and therefore have a better chance of making their states reflect their interest.
The smaller the government the better. And if your state sucks, like mine did (California) then move to another state, like I did (Arizona.)
God Bless These United States.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Aka: Don't Tread on Me.
The government did not give us our rights, God did. What the Lord has put together, let no man tear apart.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Easy Peasy! We discussed this one over dinner. The topic of cruel and unusual punishments was a big gaggy when reviewing medieval torture tactics. We then wondered what death penalties America has used. Hanging, electric chair, lethal injection... Those are the ones we knew. I thought to look up more but never got around to it. There is always more to learn!
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.
Studying this one led us into talking about the OJ Simpson trial. I remember the whole ordeal, and even watching the verdict in school. Later I recalled him being tried again, so we looked up how that played out around the double jeopardy. Then we talked about the old school court show, The People's Court! My daughter also brought up how I owe her $7 and she thinks it's lame that she can't get the right of trial by jury to get it out of me. lol.
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.
The kids and I copied this one today. Another long one. We broke it down line by line and played out examples of how each section covers important elements of a fair trial. They remember the events in history prior to America's founding that built up to the need for this amendment, and now they know what is to happen if they are ever accused of a crime.
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Amendment 5. 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 compensation.
Due process, due process, due process.
Amendment 4. 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.
Aka, don't tread on my stuff.
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A while back I started an inspirational quotes by Joe Biden series. Here is one from today.
Amendment 3. 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 this straight forward Amendment defends has not been a common issue since the Bill of Rights were drafted, however, the need for such written defense was driven by a regular offense committed by King George building up to the American Revolution.
Our Declaration of Independence expresses these offenses in the list of grievances, line 10,11,&12:
"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."
"He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures."
"He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power."
In our study, we pondered if the current military occupation of our nation's Capitol is an offence to 3a. What do you think?
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.
Our God-given right to uphold our freedom with self defense is plain and clear. Any effort to minimize this right is a blatant attack on our existence as free people.
In studying this amendment, my kids and I looked up the definitions of "militia" and "infringe." Not only did we discuss the meanings and their strength in this statement, but we compared the definitions in our printed dictionary from 1988, to that of the current online Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Both definitions have been altered in a manner that affects the impact of this amendment.
The left is using our vocabulary against us. Our words are the barrier between reason and violence. May we stand together now to defend our freedom with the power of our words, as to avoid having to fallback on the last stand security afforded in our sacred 2A.
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.
What a beauty! It covers so much sacred ground. My kids are copying one amendment a day this week. We're looking up definitions of words they don't know and are paraphrasing the meaning. In that, we discussed the ways in which these rights were "abridged" this past year. We agree that what's worse than the government assaulting our God-given rights, is that so many people succumbed to the oppression in the face of fear.
As our Declaration of Independence states, it is our right and DUTY to stand against such abuses. Our founders laid the groundwork to give us the upper hand in such a battle.
May we stand together to defend the blessings of liberty this nation is built on.
The Bill of Rights.
Do you have a printed copy of The Bill of Rights? When was the last time you read it? Considering the current assault on our God-given liberty, it's more important than ever to not only be familiar with our founding documents, but to have physical copies on hand.
I have this book on my America shelf, easy to study and reference. (There's nothing much cooler than when my kids pull it out to constitution fact current events.) I also keep this historical replica. It adds old worldy charm to my decor and it's just mind blowing to ogle over that flawless handwriting from time to time.
If you have a copy, share a picture. If you don't, consider getting one.