Constitutional Amendments

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Constitutional Amendments
2011-04-13 00:51:52

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  1. Amendment 1 (1791)
    Addresses the rights of freedom of religion (prohibiting Congress from establishing a religion and protecting the right to free exercise of religion), freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of petition.
  2. Amendment 2 (1791)
    Guarantees the right of individuals to possess weapons.
  3. Amendment 3 (1791)
    Prohibits the government from using private homes as quarters for soldiers during peacetime without the consent of the owners. The constitution protects the right to personal privacy.
  4. Amendment 4 (1791)
    Guards against searches, arrests, and seizures of property without a specific warrant or a "probable cause" to believe a crime has been committed. Some rights to privacy have been inferred from this amendment and others by the Supreme Court.
  5. Amendment 5 (1791)
    Forbids trial for a major crime except after indictment by a grand jury; prohibits double jeopardy (repeated trials), except in certain very limited circumstances; forbids punishment without due process of law; and provides that an accused person may not be compelled to testify against himself (this is also known as "Taking the Fifth" or "Pleading the Fifth"). This is regarded as the "rights of the accused" amendment, otherwise known as the Miranda rights after the Supreme Court case. It also prohibits government from taking private property for public use without "just compensation", the basis of eminent domain in the United States.
  6. Amendment 6 (1791)
    Guarantees a speedy public trial for criminal offenses. It requires trial by a jury, guarantees the right to legal counsel for the accused, and guarantees that the accused may require witnesses to attend the trial and testify in the presence of the accused. It also guarantees the accused a right to know the charges against him.
  7. Amendment 7 (1791)
    Assures trial by jury in civil cases.
  8. Amendment 8 (1791)
    Forbids excessive bail or fines, and cruel and unusual punishment.
  9. Amendment 9 (1791)
    Declares that the listing of individual rights in the Constitution and Bill of Rights is not meant to be comprehensive; and that the other rights not specifically mentioned are retained by the people.
  10. Amendment 10 (1791)
    Reserves to the states respectively, or to the people, any powers the Constitution did not delegate to the United States, nor prohibit the states from exercising.
  11. Amendment 11 (1795)
    Clarifies judicial power over foreign nationals, and limits ability of citizens to sue states in federal courts and under federal law.
  12. Amendment 12 (1804)
    Changes the method of presidential elections so that members of the Electoral College cast separate ballots for president and vice president.
  13. Amendment 13 (1865)
    Abolishes slavery and authorizes Congress to enforce abolition.
  14. Amendment 14 (1868)
    Defines a set of guarantees for United States citizenship; prohibits states from abridging citizens' privileges or immunities and rights to due process and the equal protection of the law; repeals the Three-fifths compromise; prohibits repudiation of the federal debt caused by the Civil War.
  15. Amendment 15 (1870)
    Prohibits the federal government and the states from using a citizen's race, color, or previous status as a slave as a qualification for voting.
  16. Amendment 16 (1913)
    Authorizes unapportioned federal taxes on income.
  17. Amendment 17 (1913)
    Converts state election of senators to popular election.
  18. Amendment 18 (1919)
    Prohibited the manufacturing, importing, and exporting of alcoholic beverages (Prohibition. Repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment.
  19. Amendment 19 (1920)
    Prohibits the federal government and the states from forbidding any citizen to vote due to their sex.
  20. Amendment 20 (1933)
    Changes details of congressional and presidential terms and of presidential succession.
  21. Amendment 21 (1933)
    Repeals Eighteenth Amendment. Permits states to prohibit the importation of alcoholic beverages.
  22. Amendment 22 (1951)
    Limits president to two terms.
  23. Amendment 23 (1961)
    Grants presidential electors to the District of Columbia.
  24. Amendment 24 (1964)
    Prohibits the federal government and the states from requiring the payment of a tax as a qualification for voting for federal officials.
  25. Amendment 25(1967)
    Changes details of presidential succession, provides for temporary removal of president, and provides for replacement of the vice president.
  26. Amendment 26 (1971)
    Prohibits the federal government and the states from forbidding any citizen of age 18 or greater to vote on account of their age.
  27. Amendment 27 (1992)
    Limits congressional pay raises.