Wednesday, April 24, 2013

" liberty of the press; to keep and bear arms..."

"The declaration of rights in this constitution, essentially the same in the other States, sets forth the civil rights of the citizens. Free and equal by birth, all men have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights: to life and liberty; to property and to happiness; to freedom in the worship of God; to free elections and the impartial administration of the laws; to jury trial and exemption from unreasonable searches searches and seizures; to liberty of the press; to keep and bear arms; to peaceable assembling and to petition; to freedom of debate in legislatures; to immunity from ex post facto laws--that is, from "laws made to punish actions done before the existence of such laws and which have not been declared crimes by preceding law;" to freedom from excessive bail or sureties, from excessive fines, or cruel or unusual punishments; to exemption from the quartering of soldiers in private houses without the owner's consent in time of peace, or in time of war save as the law may prescribe. These fundamental notions in government are set forth in all the State constitutions and are to be traced in enactments by colonial assemblies, to provisions in the English Bill of Rights of 1689, to the Great Charter, or to the unwritten law of England; and many of them to a time in Anglo-Saxon history beyond the memory of man."-- Francis Newton Thorpe, The Story of the Constitution of the United States, 1891. (Francis Newton Thorpe was an American legal scholar, historian, political scientist,and Professor of Constitutional History at the University of Pennsylvania).

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