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The Amendments


Bill of Rights. When the Constitution was adopted, some state constitutions ... Although the Bill of Rights originally applied only to the national government, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Amendments

The Amendments
  • Chapter 3 Section 4
  • Pages 84 - 90

Bill of Rights
  • When the Constitution was adopted, some state
    constitutions had bills of rights.
  • Although the Bill of Rights originally applied
    only to the national government, almost all its
    provisions have been applied to the states
    through a series of Supreme Court decisions.

The First Amendment
  • 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 grievances.

  • Freedom of religion separation of church and
  • The First Amendment protects freedom of speech
    freedom of the press.
  • In the U.S., the press is not subject to prior
    restraint government censorship of information
    before it is published or broadcast.

Freedom Within Limits
  • Laws prohibit slander and libel
  • Slander false speech intended to damage a
    persons reputation
  • Libel similar to slander but applies to written
    or published statements
  • Endangering the nations safety by giving away
    military secrets or calling for the violent
    overthrow of the government are not protected

  • The First Amendment protects the right to
    assemble in groups hold meetings
  • Courts have ruled governments can require groups
    to obtain permits before holding meetings and
  • The amendment protects the right to criticize
    government officials and their actions

The Second Amendment
  • Originally intended to prevent the national
    government from repeating actions that the
    British had taken
  • Seems to support the right for citizens to own
  • It does not prevent Congress from regulating the
    interstate sale of weapons

The Third Amendment
  • Prohibits the government from forcing people to
    provide shelter for soldiers in their homes.
  • Congress may require a homeowner to house
    soldiers but only under conditions clearly
    spelling out by law.

The Fourth Amendment
  • Protects the right to privacy
  • Authorities must have a specific reason to search
    a premises or to seize evidence or people
  • A search or arrest must be based on probable
  • A search or arrest also usually required a
    search warrant or an arrest warrant

The Fifth Amendment
  • No one can be tried for a serious crime unless a
    grand jury has decided there is enough evidence
    to justify a trial
  • A person who is found innocent of a crime may not
    be tried again for the same offense
  • No one may be forced to testify against himself
    or herself
  • The government may not deprive a person of life,
    liberty, or property without due process of law

  • The Fifth Amendment defines the governments
    right of eminent domain the power of government
    to take private property for public use such as
    to build a highway. The government must pay a
    fair price for the property taken and must use it
    in a way that benefits the public

The Sixth Amendment
  • Protects the rights of individuals charged with
    federal crimes to defend themselves in a court
  • The Supreme Court also ruled that these rights
    apply to people charged with crimes subject to
    state courts

  • The Sixth Amendment also gives important rights
  • The right to a speedy, public trial by an
    impartial jury
  • Accused persons have the right to know the
    charges against them, so they can prepare a
  • Accused persons also have the right to hear and
    question all witnesses against them and the right
    to compel witnesses to appear at the trial and
    testify in their behalf

The Seventh Amendment
  • The right to a jury trial in federal courts to
    settle disputes about property worth more than 20

The Eighth Amendment
  • Prohibits excessive bail
  • Prevents judges from ordering someone convicted
    of a crime to pay an excessive fine
  • Bans cruel and unusual punishment for crimes

The Ninth Amendment
  • States all other rights not spelled out in the
    Constitution are retained by the people. This
    prevents government from claiming that the only
    rights people have are those listed in the Bill
    of Rights

The Tenth Amendment
  • This amendment was intended to reaffirm the
    relationship between the national and state
    governments. People and state have rights that
    the national government may not assume

Other Amendments
  • The 27 amendments fall into 3 major groups
  • Amendments 1-12 are in the first group
  • Amendment 11 (1795) prohibits a state from being
    sued in federal court by citizens of another
    state or of another country
  • Amendment 12 (1804) provides for the Electoral
    College to use separate ballots in voting for
    president and vice president

Civil War Amendments
  • The second group includes Amendments 13, 14, 15
  • The Thirteen Amendment (1865) outlaws slavery
  • The Fourteenth Amendment (1868) was originally
    intended to protect the legal rights of freed
    slaves and their descendants. Today it protects
    the general citizenship by prohibiting a state
    from depriving any person of life, liberty, or
    property without due process of the law

  • The Fifteenth Amendment (1870) prohibits the
    government from denying a persons right to vote
    on the basis of race

The Later Amendments
  • The third group were all added in the twentieth
  • The 16th Amendment (1913) gives Congress the
    power to levy taxes
  • The 17th Amendment (1913) states that people,
    instead of legislatures, elect U.S. senators
  • The 18th Amendment (1919) prohibits the
    manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcoholic

  • The 19th Amendment (1920) guaranteed women the
    right to vote
  • The 20th Amendment (1933) sets new dates for
    Congress to begin its term and for the
    inauguration of the president and vice president
  • The 21st Amendment (1933) repeals the 18th
    Amendment but continued to ban the transport of
    alcohol into any state where its possession
    violated state law

  • The 22nd Amendment (1951) limits presidents to
    a maximum of two elected terms
  • The 23rd Amendment (1961) allows citizens
    living in Washington, DC to vote for president
    and vice president (DC has three presidential
  • The 24th Amendment (1964) prohibits poll taxes
    in federal elections

  • The 25th Amendment (1967) establishes a process
    for the vice president to take leadership of the
    nation when the president is disabled. It also
    sets procedures for filling a vacancy in the
    office of the vice president
  • The 26th Amendment (1971) lowers the voting age
    in both federal and state elections to 18

  • The 27th Amendment (1992) makes congressional
    pay raises effective during the term followed
    their passage