Constitution Assignment

Table of Content

The U. S. Was founded for all creeds, beliefs, and opinions and we have the right to freely express those without governmental interference, and the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees those rights. Can think of a recent example in the news where Louisiana Republican State Representative Valerie Hodges was supportive of a proposed government program to expand the availability of school vouchers to religious schools. That was until she realized that “religion” did not necessarily equate to “Christian”, and the program would provide funding to Muslim schools as well, and she quickly retracted her support or the bill.

This example demonstrates the need for this protection from those among us, especially our politicians, who would prefer that their beliefs be that of the government. At the time of the writing of the Second Amendment, the Militia was still seen as a necessity due to the small number of citizens available for a strong military. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that this right extends to citizens having the right to arm themselves for personal protection in their own home. The Third Amendment was more of a concern during the tumultuous evolutionary days, when soldiers would occupy private residences.

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This seemingly does not apply to our own soldiers when they are in other countries, as our forces have occupied foreign residences in most of the wars we have been in. I assume the “manner to be prescribed by law” includes exceptions that explain these examples. Amendment IV limits the amount of police power over our personal lives as well as ensures our privacy in our homes. A guarantee of privacy against the government WOUld have eased the mind of many Americans at the time and has remained pertinent to this day.

The Fifth Amendment establishes the procedure for due process of law and how the government must treat those accused of a crime. It includes the right for those accused of a crime to not incriminate themselves. It also has the so-called “double jeopardy” clause that makes it so that the same person cannot be tried for the same crime more than once. And it makes it so that the accused does not have their property taken unless convicted. The rights of the accused are furthered by Amendment VI in requiring a jury trial and counsel for a fair defense.

Without this, most accused criminals cannot afford an attorney so they would likely not be treated fairly because of a lack of knowledge of the law. Money should not be required in order to stay out of jail, and this assures the public that, at least in theory. The Seventh Amendment assures that cases cannot be re-examined by another court and solidifies the right to a jury trial in certain civil cases. This is another good way that the Constitution ensures our basic freedoms. It seems there was still some controversy over the rights of the accused after the last few amendments.

Amendment VIII ensures that the government cannot hare a ridiculous amount for bail or fines. Also makes torture illegal – at least as defined by a judge. The Bill of Rights is a great collection of human rights, but just to be sure there was nothing left out this short Amendment IX says that the Constitution thus far does not specifically define everything that it is to be free. The principal of federalism is upheld with Amendment X, as it grants powers to the states that are not specifically identified or prohibited. The first Amendment to be adopted after the Bill of Rights, the eleventh defines he power of the U.

S. Courts in regards to the state power. This protects citizens from bringing lawsuits against those of other states or nations. The Twelfth Amendment changed the way that we choose the president and vice president. The vice president was actually voted for separately instead of being a running mate to the president. The Thirteenth Amendment was monumental as it put to end the worst part of American history – slavery. Getting to this point had a high cost of American lives during the Civil War but the resulting freeing of the slaves was worth it.

The Fourteenth Amendment cleared up any confusion regarding the status of former slaves to define them as citizens. This expanded the reach of the Constitution as it addressed the states. Further defining the rights of former slaves, the Fifteenth Amendment established the right for all citizens to vote. This did not, however, address the issue of women’s suffrage so still only males could vote. Taxing Americans incomes is a continued source of anger for many Americans, and it was the Sixteenth Amendment that enacted it. This increased federal revenue and allowed the national government to grow.

Prior to the Seventeenth Amendment, Senators were chosen by the state legislators, but this changed it to a position that was voted on by the people. Prohibition was the era brought on by the ratification of Amendment XVII at a time when America most needed a drink but found itself unable to due to a very irate temperance movement. The movement of the time gained enough momentum to pass this through Congress and is one of the most obvious mistakes in the Constitution. Am not sure how restricting a beverage that has been around for thousands of years could have done anybody any good.

The women’s suffrage movement finally attained their goal with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, granting voting rights to all Americans. Amendment Twenty moved the start dates for those elected to national office from March to January. This also specifies who will act as president in the event the president-elect dies or has not been chosen by the inauguration date. This was almost an issue in the 2000 election with the controversial Florida ballot recount. Prohibition is repealed! After thirteen dry years the government finally came to its senses and made it legal to produce and drink alcohol.

Prior to the Twenty-second Amendment two terms for a president was merely a tradition. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt broke this tradition when he ran for and won not three but four terms, but died shortly into his fourth. The decision by Congress to enact this Amendment after his death ensured that America would forever have a shifting figurehead. The people of Washington D. C. Were given the right to vote with Amendment XIII, but are still the only citizens who pay federal income taxes but are not represented in congress. Presumably, this is to give D. C. N impartial political stance since it is the seat of the federal government. The Twenty-fourth Amendment assures all eligible voters the right to vote without paying some form of tax first. Since it was passed in 1962 1 would think it was implemented in order to combat racist practices in some areas of the country. Given that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, the Twenty- fifth Amendment was likely enacted to clear up any confusion that was present directly after that event. The vice president becomes president in the event of death or resignation.

This would have also been useful in 1974 when President Nixon resigned in disgrace. Amendment XVI lowered the voting age to 18. Apparently 18 years of age is old enough to vote for our leaders and fight our wars, but not buy alcohol. One of these does not seem right but I am not sure which. The last amendment makes it so that those members of Congress cannot give themselves a raise. They could, essentially, but would first have to win their next election to receive it. This must have been a difficult decision for Congress, as it took over two hundred years to ratify.

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