The United States Bill of Rights.
The Ten Original Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
Passed by Congress September 25, 1789
Ratified December 15, 1791
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
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
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 re-examined 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.
End of the Project Gutenberg etext of The