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

Remember Your Rights

The US Constitution grants all Americans the Freedom of Speech, as well as the Right to Remain Silent.  May you have the wisdom to know when to use them! Have a safe and happy Fourth of July. 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