Bill of Rights

THE FOLLOWING is a simple-english version of The Bill of Rights, for easy study and translation into 180 world languages. The original transcript can be found online at the US National Archives.

The Bill of Rights is a list of fundamental Civil Rights. The Constitution protects these rights, as they are explicitly declared in the first Ten Amendments to the Original US Constitution. These rights are so important, the States required that they be added before they agreed to adopt the Constitution as their new form of Government.

Of special importance is the 10th Amendment, where it explicitly reiterates States Rights, after also being described inside the Constitution. It is mentioned twice because it is critically important.

States Rights: All powers not delegated to the Federal Government by the Constitution, nor specifically prohibited to the States by the Constitution, are reserved for the States, or for the people.

Bill of Rights

I: Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition 

Congress shall make no law: 

  • Establishing a religion
  • Prohibiting the free exercise of religion
  • Restricting the freedom of speech
  • Restricting the freedom of the press 
  • Restricting the right of the people to peaceably assemble 
  • Restricting the right of the people to petition the government for consideration of grievances.

II: Right to Keep Weapons

A well regulated Militia is necessary to secure a free State. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or restricted.

III: Protection against Quartering Soldiers

No owner of any house shall be forced to provide room and/or board for any soldier in time of peace, nor in time of war unless prescribed by law.

IV: Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure

No one’s person, house, papers, or effects may be searched or seized except when presented with a legally issued warrant of probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and providing a description of the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. 

V: Rights of Persons Accused of a Crime

No Person(s):

  • May be charged with a capital or otherwise serious crime without indictment by a Grand Jury, except in military cases or when involving the militia when in service in a time or war or public danger.
  • May be charged again for the same crime once the court finds him innocent (double jeopardy).
  • Shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.
  • Shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
  • Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

VI: Right to a Jury Trial in a Criminal Case

In all criminal prosecutions the accused has the right:

  • To a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district in which the crime was committed as previously determined by law.
  • To be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
  • To confront the witnesses against him.
  • To request the testimony of witnesses in his favor.
  • To have the assistance of a lawyer for his defense.

VII: Right to a Jury Trial in Civil Cases

In all civil suits the accused has the right to a trial by jury. No case tried by jury shall be re-considered in any court of the United States other than by the rules of common law.

VIII: Protection from Unfair Fines and Punishment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. 

IX: Other Rights of the People 

These certain rights listed in the Constitution shall not be interpreted in any way that would deny or devalue any other rights retained by the people.

X: Powers of the States and the People

All powers not delegated to the Federal Government by the Constitution, nor specifically prohibited to the States by the Constitution, are reserved for the States, or for the people.