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 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
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
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.