Bill of Rights

Kendra Bonsu, U.S. History, Period 7

What are the Bill of Rights?

The Bill of Rights are rights that belong to ALL America citizens and protects them.

First Amendment: Freedom of Speech, Press, and Religion

It basically says you can say anything you want, you're entitled to follow a religion of your choice, and you can comment on anything relating to the government.


Court case: Texas vs. Johnson (1989)

Johnson burned a flag and was determined to protect political speech, even if society might find it offensive.

Second Amendment: Right to bear arms

You're welcome to own a gun for protection.


Court case: District of Columbus vs. Heller (2008)

A man wanted to keep a pistol in his house for self-defense. 5 of the justices ruled in favor of him. The other 4 voted against him.

Third Amendment: Right to privacy in the home

You're not obligated to let a soldier stay in your house, even if they demand it.

Court case: Nevada man vs. Nevada
A homeowner in Nevada says his 3rd amendment right was violated when police forcibly entered his home to gain a "tactical advantage" in solving a domestic violence case involving the people next door.

Fourth Amendment: Unreasonable search and seizure

If they don't have a search warrant, no one can just unexpectedly and rummage through your things.


Court case: Coolidge vs. New Hampshire

With this case, the attorney general of New Hampshire issued a search warrant for a murder investigation. The Court settled the conflict when they threw out all of the evidence.

Fifth Amendment: Double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and due process of law

You can't be charged multiple times, you don't have to speak against yourself neither.


Court Case: Brown vs. Ohio (1977)

The defendant was put on trial twice for offenses involving the same crime. He was convicted 1st of joyriding and then convicted a 2nd time for stealing the vehicle. The Supreme Court then overturn the 2nd conviction.

Sixth Amendment: The rights of the accused in criminal cases

When charged with a crime, your trial will happen as soon as possible.


Court case: Barker vs. Wingo (1972)

Barker was arrested for murder in 1958. He was not brought to trial until 1963. He asked for an appeal because he didn't have a speedy trial once he was found guilty.

Seventh Amendment: The right to a jury trial

A jury can settle civil cases that involve tons of money.

Court case: United States vs. Tull
The US filed a lawsuit against Tull for discharging fill material into wetlands in violation of the Clean Water Act. The US desired $22 million and relief.

Eighth Amendment: Preventing cruel and unusual punishment

When charged, your consequences should suit your crime.


Court case: Robinson vs. California

California law imposed a mandatory prison sentence for drug addiction. The Supreme Court ruled that imprisonment for a misdemeanor was cruel and unusual punishment and therefore unconstitutional.

Ninth Amendment: Rights retained by the people

You have other rights, though they're not listed here.


Court case: Roe vs. Wade

Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) wanted an abortion because she was unable to support 2 kids on her own. But in Texas, abortion was illegal. After the Supreme Court got involved, they agreed that it should be the women's choice. McCorvey won the case.

Tenth Amendment: Limiting federal powers

If it doesn't say the states can't do something, then the states are entitled to do so.


Court case: United States vs. Lopez

A senior at a Texas high school brought a concealed handgun to school with him. He was arrested and charged with violating the Gun-Free Zones Act of 1990.