The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States; all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution, namely:
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.
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.
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.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
A LIST OF FREEDOMS WE HAVE LOST
Through the enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act and subsequent
executive directives and regulations, essential rights and freedoms
that were once guaranteed to all individuals have been substantially
degraded. Many Americans still do not realize the significance of
what we have lost. The resulting expansion of government powers,
and the erosion of 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th Amendment
rights and freedoms have transformed the United States.
1st AMENDMENT FREEDOM OF SPEECH
• The Patriot Act broadly expands the official definition of
terrorism, so that many domestic groups that engage in
nonviolent civil disobedience could very well find themselves
labeled as terrorists.
• The Government may now prosecute librarians or keepers
of any other records if they reveal that the government
requested information on their clients or members in the
course of an investigation. It has become a crime for these
individuals to try to safeguard your privacy or to tell you
that you are under investigation.
1st AMENDMENT FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
• Government agents may now monitor the First Amendmentprotec......ted
activities of religious and political institutions, and
then infiltrate these groups with no suspicion of criminal
activity. This is a return to domestic spying on law-abiding
religious and political groups.
• You may now be the subject of a government investigation
simply because of the political, activist, or advocacy
groups you are involved in, or the statements you make
within these groups.
1st AMENDMENT RIGHT TO ACCESS
• A U.S. Department of Justice directive actively encourages
federal, state, and local officials to resist and/or limit access
to government records through Freedom of Information Act
• The Government has conducted immigration hearings in
secret behind closed doors. Such proceedings were once
open to the public. Hundreds, if not thousands, of immigrants
have already been deported in secret.
4th AMENDMENT FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE
• Law Enforcement authorities may now conduct secret searches and wiretaps in your home or office
without showing “probable cause.” They need only to claim that intelligence gathering is “a significant
purpose” of their intrusion, even when the primary goal is ordinary law enforcement. They may also
monitor where and to whom you send and receive e-mail, or where you go on the Internet, recording
every e-mail address and website you have been in contact with.
• Law Enforcement may now demand any personal records held by any source including your doctor,
employer, accountant, or library. All they have to do is claim that it is related to an investigation into
“terrorism.” The record keepers may not reveal that your records were provided to the government.
• Judicial oversight of secret searches has been effectively minimized. The Patriot Act directs judges to
consent to secret searches based only on the Government’s assertion that a “significant” purpose of
an investigation is gathering information related to “terrorism,” as the government defines it.
5th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS & FREEDOM FROM BEING
HELD WITHOUT CHARGE
• Americans can now be jailed without a formal charge & without the right to confront the witnesses or
evidence against them. American citizens are now being held in military jails without charge and without
a clear path of appeal for their indefinite confinement.
• Hundreds of Arab, Muslim and South Asian men were rounded up in the Ashcroft raids following
September 11, and held for weeks without charges until all were cleared of terrorism charges
6th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION
• Hundreds of U.S. residents have been detained for months at a time, and denied access to the advice
and advocacy of an attorney. The Government may now monitor conversations between attorneys &
clients in federal jails.
• The Bush Administration filed papers in court that arguing that an American citizen held in a military
jail without charge should be denied access to legal counsel because such access would interfere with
the process of his interrogation.
6th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL
• The U.S. Government may now jail its residents and citizens indefinitely without charge & without a public trial.
8th AMENDMENT FREEDOM FROM CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS
• The U.S. Government has taken into custody individuals they identify as “material witnesses,” transported
them across the country, and held them for months in solitary confinement without charge or
contact with their family.
• According to the Justice Department’s own Inspector General, immigrant men rounded up in the
Ashcroft raids following September 11 and held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY
were subjected to a pattern of “physical and verbal abuse.”
14th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO EQUAL PROTECTION
• Over 82,000 men from Arab, Muslim and South Asian countries registered with the Government
under the Special Registration program. Over 13,000 are now in deportation proceedings. None
have been charged with terrorism.