Happy Bill of Rights Day

Two hundred and twenty-four years ago the Bill of Rights was ratified on this day.  The Bill of Rights is made up of those first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, granting things like freedom of speech, jury trial, protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and many other useful rights.  These rights have been around awhile now and they may seem intuitive today, but the history of the Bill of Rights was anything but straightforward. Ironically the Bill of Rights was never actually a “Bill” in Congress.  It got called that because England had passed a “Bill of Rights” a hundred years earlier.  Some felt these rights should have been included in the Constitution.  Others did not think we needed this Bill of Rights at all because states would have their own bill of rights.  Originally there were seventeen amendments, but the Senate rejected some and combined others.  Furthermore, some states did not accept the Bill of Rights right away.  Massachusetts did not get around to ratifying the Bill of Rights until 1939 (two years before President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be “Bill of Rights Day”). Today we celebrate the Bill of Rights, but every day […] Read More

Top TV Script: The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791.  Who knew that two centuries later it would make for such great TV, winning Emmy’s and Golden Globe awards on shows like Law & Order, Boston Legal, and The Good Wife?  Those scripts would not have much plot without the Bill of Rights. The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.  They were proposed in 1789, and have been in force since December 15, 1791.  In honor of those rights, we celebrate today as Bill of Rights Day.  While you can enjoy your Constitutional rights every day, you can mark today by watching a television courtroom drama or try out this Bill of Rights Bingo from the Constitucion Center: http://constitutioncenter.org/media/files/Bill_of_Rights_Bingo.pdf Read More

Bill of Rights & 40-Year-Old Animatronics

Sunday is December 15, the 40th anniversary of when the Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened at Disney World in Florida.  The date is also Bill of Rights Day, marking the 222 years since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791.  Enjoy your Constitutional Rights, whether you are in the Magic Kingdom, or anywhere else in the US. The first ten amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.  They were proposed in 1789, and have been in force since 1791.  They are as follows: Amendment I 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. Amendment II 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. Amendment III 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. Amendment […] Read More

Bill of Rights v. Cupcakes

Tomorrow is Bill of Rights Day—who knew?  It snuck up on everybody since it was proclaimed a day of celebration on its 220th birthday last year.  On December 15, 2011 the President bumped National Cupcake Day in favor of a holiday to honor the Bill of Rights, even though Americans think of cupcakes more often than their right to a speedy trial…or the freedom of speech which makes this blog legally possible. The first ten amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.  They were proposed in 1789, and have been in force now for 221 years. Enjoy your cupcakes, and here is the Bill of Rights: Amendment I 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. Amendment II 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. Amendment III No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, […] Read More