A report on United States Bill of Rights

On June 5, 1788, Patrick Henry spoke before Virginia's ratification convention in opposition to the Constitution.
George Washington's 1788 letter to the Marquis de Lafayette observed, "the Convention of Massachusetts adopted the Constitution in toto; but recommended a number of specific alterations and quieting explanations." Source: Library of Congress
James Madison, primary author and chief advocate for the Bill of Rights in the First Congress

The United States Bill of Rights comprises the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

- United States Bill of Rights

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Freedom of the press in the United States

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Legally protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Legally protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

Exclusionary rule

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Legal rule, based on constitutional law, that prevents evidence collected or analyzed in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights from being used in a court of law.

Legal rule, based on constitutional law, that prevents evidence collected or analyzed in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights from being used in a court of law.

The exclusionary rule is grounded in the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and it is intended to protect citizens from illegal searches and seizures.

Archivist of the United States

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Head and chief administrator of the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States.

Head and chief administrator of the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States.

The Archivist is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate and is responsible for safeguarding and making available for study all the permanently valuable records of the federal government, including the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, which are displayed in the Archives' main building in Washington, D.C.

South facade of Independence Hall (formerly the Pennsylvania Statehouse), Philadelphia, where the Constitution was forged

Timeline of drafting and ratification of the United States Constitution

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The drafting of the Constitution of the United States began on May 25, 1787, when the Constitutional Convention met for the first time with a quorum at the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to revise the Articles of Confederation.

The drafting of the Constitution of the United States began on May 25, 1787, when the Constitutional Convention met for the first time with a quorum at the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to revise the Articles of Confederation.

South facade of Independence Hall (formerly the Pennsylvania Statehouse), Philadelphia, where the Constitution was forged
George Washington, who served as president of the 1787 Constitutional Convention
Nathaniel Gorham, who served as chairman when delegates met as a Committee of the Whole
The convention voting record, which reflects the mutual concessions and compromises that produced the Constitution; this page records the final vote taken September 15, 1787
Howard Chandler Christy's 1940 Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States
An advertisement for The Federalist, 1787, using the pseudonym "Philo-Publius"
Dates the 13 states ratified the Constitution
Federal Hall, New York City, first seat of government of the United States under the Constitution
George Washington's inauguration as the first President of the United States, April 30, 1789
Original parchment pages of the United States Constitution

Twelve articles of amendment to the Constitution are approved by the Senate, having been passed by the House on the preceding day, both without recorded vote, and sent to the states for ratification. Articles Three through Twelve were ratified as additions to the Constitution December 15, 1791, and are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. Article Two became part of the Constitution May 7, 1992 as the Twenty-seventh Amendment. Article One is technically still pending before the states.

McDonald v. City of Chicago

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Landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that found that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms", as protected under the Second Amendment, is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and is thereby enforceable against the states.

Landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that found that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms", as protected under the Second Amendment, is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and is thereby enforceable against the states.

Slaughter-House determined that the 14th Amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause did not apply the Bill of Rights to the actions of states (and by extension, local governments).

Richard Labunski

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American journalism professor at the University of Kentucky and newspaper columnist who is an outspoken advocate for reforming the United States Constitution in his book The Second Constitutional Convention.

American journalism professor at the University of Kentucky and newspaper columnist who is an outspoken advocate for reforming the United States Constitution in his book The Second Constitutional Convention.

Labunski's book James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights (2006) argued that Madison was initially lukewarm to the idea of a Bill of Rights to the Constitution, but later came to energetically support the ten amendments and worked hard for their inclusion.

Alexander Hamilton, author of Federalist No. 84

Federalist No. 84

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Political essay by American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, the eighty-fourth and penultimate essay in a series known as The Federalist Papers.

Political essay by American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, the eighty-fourth and penultimate essay in a series known as The Federalist Papers.

Alexander Hamilton, author of Federalist No. 84

Federalist No. 84 is notable for presenting the idea that a Bill of Rights was not a necessary component of the proposed United States Constitution.

Students pledging to the flag with the Bellamy salute, March 1941.

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette

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Landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment protects students from being forced to salute the American flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance in public school.

Landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment protects students from being forced to salute the American flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance in public school.

Students pledging to the flag with the Bellamy salute, March 1941.
Justice Felix Frankfurter

The American Bar Association's Committee on the Bill of Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union filed amicus curiae briefs that argued Gobitis was bad law and should be overruled.

The National Archives building Constitution Avenue façade

National Archives Building

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Headquarters of the United States National Archives and Records Administration.

Headquarters of the United States National Archives and Records Administration.

The National Archives building Constitution Avenue façade
Entrance to the National Archives in Washington, DC
The Rotunda of the National Archives Building, where the Charters of Freedom documents are publicly exhibited
National Archives Building at night
Construction of the Foundation for the National Archives Building
Advanced Construction of the Foundation for the National Archives Building
Guardianship, a 1935 sculpture by James Earle Fraser, is exhibited outside the NARA along with Fraser's companion piece, Heritage.

The National Archives building holds original copies of the three main formative documents of the United States and its government: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

"Don't take pictures of me", drawing school, Russia, 2021

Right to privacy

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Element of various legal traditions that intends to restrain governmental and private actions that threaten the privacy of individuals.

Element of various legal traditions that intends to restrain governmental and private actions that threaten the privacy of individuals.

"Don't take pictures of me", drawing school, Russia, 2021

The Constitution of the United States and United States Bill of Rights do not explicitly include a right to privacy.