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The Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America. The following Amendments are all of the changes that have been made to the constitution since it was originally written.

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the amendments to the constitution of the united states of america

The Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America

The following Amendments are all of the changes that have been made to the constitution since it was originally written.

The First Ten Amendments are known as the “Bill of Rights” and without their inclusion the Constitution would not have been signed.

amendment 1
Amendment 1
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of Press
  • Freedom of Assembly
  • All of these rights are guaranteed by this Amendment, but all can be limited if they violate another person’s right to life, liberty, or property.
religious freedom
Religious Freedom
  • Civil liberties- are the personal rights of individuals that are protected from government interference.
  • Religion and the school
    • Holding moments of silent prayer in class
    • Released from school to attend religious classes off the school grounds
    • Tax money- provide children in parochial school with free lunches

Establishment Clause- of the first amendment forbids government from making any law about “an establishment of religion”.

  • Free exercise clause- prevents the government from restricting people’s religious practices.
    • Schools cannot force students to salute or pray during school hours
  • Conscientious objector- person who refuses military service because of religious or moral beliefs
freedom of speech
Freedom of Speech
  • Pure speech- communication by the spoken word alone.
  • Speech-plus- speech combined with some kind of action.
  • Symbolic speech- actions and objects replace words.
  • Charles T. Schenck was convicted under the Espionage Act for printing and mailing 15,000 pamphlets urging men to evade the military draft.
    • Schenck V. The United States – Read the Court Document and answer the questions.
  • Clear and Present Danger Doctrine
    • Freedom of speech can be limited when it is used to cause violence
freedom of speech doesn t protect against
Freedom of Speech doesn’t protect against.
  • Sedition – words that stir up rebellion of advocate overthrowing the government.
  • Defamation- general term for attacks on another person’s good name and reputation
    • Slander- defamation in spoken form
    • Libel- defamation in written form
  • “Fighting words”- words that are so insulting of offensive that their very utterance causes immediate violence.
thought question
Thought Question
  • Do you think that it is fair for the Freedoms of the First Amendment to be limited?
    • Why or why not?
  • Do you think that Charles Schenck should have been convicted of a crime? Were his First Amendment rights violated when he was convicted?
  • Do you think that prayer should be allowed in school ever?
    • What about saying the Pledge of Allegiance?
    • Find an article on this topic, read it and write a short reflection.
freedom of the press
Freedom of the Press
  • Injunction-is a court order that forbids a specific activity.
  • Obscenity- offensive and lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value
  • Mass media- source of information that influences mass amounts of people.
  • Fairness doctrine-required stations to present all sides of an important issues.
  • Sunshine laws- require government agencies to open their meetings to the press and public
  • Shield laws- conditions under which news reporters are not required to testify in state courts.
freedom of assembly
Freedom of Assembly
  • Where can people assemble ?
    • Peaceful assembly is guaranteed in public places.
    • Not on private property
  • Peaceful assemble weather popular or unpopular must be given equal protection under the First Amendment
    • Research funeral protests on the internet and write a ½ pg opinion on this issue.
  • Heckler’s vote- the ability of hostile onlookers to disrupt a peaceful speech of assembly by jeering, shouting insults, or physically interfering with demonstrators
amendment 2 the right to bear arms
Amendment 2The right to bear arms
  • Gives the freedom to hold weapons as a defense with government limitation.- semi-automatic weapons are legal to own but fully-automatic weapons are not.
  • The early Americans wanted this included because they were afraid that the government would limit their access to weapons to prevent an overthrow of power if it became abused by the government.
amendment 3 quartering of soldiers
Amendment 3Quartering of soldiers
  • The government cant force soldiers to live in private homes without owners consent.
  • During the American Revolution many of the American colonists were forced to open their homes up to the British soldiers that they were fighting against. They wanted to ensure that the government would never have this power over them again.
amendment 4 search and seizure
Amendment 4Search and Seizure
  • No one may be searched by law enforcement without a warrant.
    • this means that unless a warrant is given, law enforcement doesn’t have the right to go through a persons property.
  • In order for a warrant to be obtained, the police must prove probable cause for the warrant to be issued. Then a judge will issue a warrant for a limited area.
    • If a warrant is for a persons home, then their car and garage may not be searched.
    • Any evidence that is found during an illegal search can’t be used against a person in court.
amendment 5 trial and punishment
Amendment 5Trial and Punishment
  • The right to be free of self incrimination
  • The right to remain silent.-anything that you say to law enforcement can be used against you in court .
  • This Amendment protects you from self incrimination.
    • If you are arrested for a crime you need not make any comment without a lawyer present on your behalf.
    • If you choose to comment, what you say can be used against you in court.
amendment 6 the right to speedy trial
Amendment 6The right to speedy trial
  • Right to have a timely trial in public
  • Right to a trial in front of a jury of your peers
  • Right to know your charges
  • Right to confront witnesses
  • Right to have defense witnesses
  • Right to an attorney
    • If you can’t afford an attorney one will be provided for you at the expense of the government.
amendment 7 trial by jury in civil cases
Amendment 7Trial by jury in civil cases
  • Right to trial by jury in a case that isn’t criminal, but civil
    • must exceed 20$
  • Trial by jury in Civil cases must be requested
amendment 8 cruel and unusual p unishment
Amendment 8Cruel and Unusual Punishment
  • Right to be protected against cruel and unusual punishment both while incarcerated and free.
    • this includes right to be given things necessary to live, such as food, shelter, a place to sleep, and clean yourself.
  • The Death Penalty comes to question in this amendment.
    • Does the death penalty constitute Cruel and Unusual punishment? What’s your opinion?
      • If you believe that it does, then do you believe that it should be stopped?
      • If you believe that it doesn’t, then are you in favor of keeping it.
amendment 9 construction of constitution
Amendment 9Construction of Constitution
  • The government can not take away the rights guaranteed by the constitution.
    • Once it is in the Constitution or Amendments it is law and can only be repealed by a later Constitutional Amendment (see Amendment 18 and 21)
  • The people are also, not limited to the rights expressed in the Constitution and it’s Bill of Rights.
    • Just because it is not specifically stated in the Constitution does not mean that you do not have a right to it, it simply means that it isn’t clarified there.
      • In order to limit a right implied by the Constitution, the Supreme Court would have to rule.
amendment 10 powers of the state and people
Amendment 10Powers of the State and People
  • Anything not in the constitution or prohibited by the constitution is in the hands of the states or people.
    • This means that if the Constitution does not mention an issue that needs to be addressed, it is in the hands of State and Local governments to determine how the issue will be handled.
amendment 11 judicial l imits
Amendment 11Judicial Limits
  • The court system is limited by the constitution -one can not originally be in trial in a state in which a crime was not committed
amendment 12 choosing p resident and vice p res ident
Amendment 12Choosing President and Vice President
  • The electoral college votes to decide who becomes President and Vice President - 270 electoral votes are needed to become president . This is the majority of the 535 total electoral votes that are cast.
  • The Current Electoral College System has changed a bit since its creation, and is now a winner take all system. Both the President and Vice President run together on a ballot and are elected together.
amendment 13 abolition of slavery
Amendment 13Abolition of Slavery
  • Slavery or involuntary servitude will not exist in the United State or any of its Territories.
    • Except as punishment for a crime (jail, or prison)
  • This Amendment was added during the Civil War and gave all slaves their freedom.
amendment 14 ci tizenship rights
Amendment 14Citizenship Rights
  • Every person born in the U.S. or made a U.S. citizen has the right to equal rights under the Constitution, no matter what state they live in.
  • Voting Representation is based on the population of the state.
amendment 15 race no bar to vote
Amendment 15Race No Bar to Vote
  • Voting rights can’t be denied to any citizen based on race, color, or history of servitude (slaves)- needs to be a U.S. citizen in the country.
    • Congress has the power to use proper legislation to enforce this issue.
amendment 16 status of income t ax c larified
Amendment 16Status of Income Tax Clarified
  • Congress has the right to lay and collect taxes from any source that derives income.
    • With no regard to census or enumeration.
    • If you have a job and receive a legitimate paycheck you can expect that a portion of your paycheck will be removed and paid to the government in the form of taxes. If no money is taken from your check, you will be expected to pay in to the government the amount you owe them after having your taxed done by the 15th of April every year.
amendment 17 senators e lected by popular v ote
Amendment 17Senators Elected by Popular Vote
  • Each State will receive two Senators.
  • Senators are selected by popular vote not by the electoral votes.
    • Every 6 years a senator election is held.
amendment 18 liquor a bolished
Amendment 18Liquor Abolished
  • Prohibits the sale or consumption of alcohol. (1919 – 1933)
    • This was passed to decrease crime in the United States, but was not effective.
      • It had the opposite effect. In many cases this Amendment created more crime, as people would turn to bootlegging to get the alcohol that they wanted. Gangs, and Mobs have a large history in this era of American History.
      • This also led to the creation of NASCAR. As racing and fast cars became necessary to outrun police when transporting the illegal liquid.
    • It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment
amendment 19 w omen s suffrage
Amendment 19Women's Suffrage
  • The Right to Vote shall not be abridged on the account of a persons sex. (1920)
    • Women finally received the right to vote.
    • Keep in mind that African Americans gained the right to vote with the 13th Amendment in 1865
      • It was still 60 years before women were allowed the same rights in Voting as men.
amendment 20 p residential c ongressional terms
Amendment 20Presidential Congressional Terms
  • Terms of the president and the vice president will end on the 20th day of January with the inauguration of the President elect.
    • On this day in January the President will give an address to the members of Congress and the general population of people to review the State of the Union.
  • If the President dies the Vice President becomes President and so forth down the line of people in office.
amendment 21 amendment 18 repealed
Amendment 21Amendment 18 Repealed
  • Repealed (removed) the 18th Amendment
    • Made it legal again to drink and make alcohol
amendment 22 p residential t erm limits
Amendment 22Presidential Term Limits
  • No President shall serve more that 2 terms.
    • The exception to this is Roosevelt who served 4 terms, before the Amendment was passed.
    • Also, if you are serving less than 2 years of a previous Presidents term, you can still run for 2 terms on your own.
amendment 23 presidential vote for district of columbia
Amendment 23Presidential Vote for District of Columbia
  • The District of Columbia (D.C.) will be given electoral votes as if it were a State, despite it not having statehood.
amendment 24 p oll t ax barred
Amendment 24Poll Tax Barred
  • Voting can’t be subject to a Poll Tax (voting tax) 1960
    • During the 1950’s – 60’s it was common that African Americans were denied the right to vote by enforcing steps that prevented certain groups from voting.
      • Poll Taxes – you had to pay a tax to vote
      • Literacy Tests – you could vote if you could read
      • Grandfather Clauses – you could vote if your grandfather did
    • The 24th Amendment was passed to ensure that the 13th Amendment could be upheld.
amendment 25 presidential d isability and s uccession
Amendment 25Presidential Disability and Succession
  • The Vice President shall become President in the event of a death or disability in the President (that prevents him from doing his duties)
    • It goes down the line as if the president had passed away or got impeached.
      • President
      • Vice President
      • Speaker of the House
      • President Pro Tempore of the Senate
      • Offices of the Cabinet in order from Secretary of State
amendment 26 voting a ge is set to 18 y ears of age
Amendment 26Voting Age is Set to 18 Years of Age
  • Gives everyone over the age of 18 the right to vote
    • Before this Amendment was passed it was 21 years of age before a person could vote.
    • When soldiers were being sent to Vietnam to fight, it became evident that it was not right to sent men and women to fight in a war when they were not old enough to vote on if the war itself should even be fought.
amendment 27 limiting c ongressional p ay i ncrease
Amendment 27Limiting Congressional Pay Increase
  • Sets limits on the congressional pay increase and decrease until the next congressional session.
    • Congress can give itself a raise, but it will not be in effect for those serving during that session.