December 15 Bill of Rights Day

“This food is expensive because I’m paying for the hobbies the chicken had. I know this chicken is $9.00 a pound, but it played the cello and it liked to surf. If I had the choice to eat something that had a priveleged life, screw chickens, I’d eat a Kardashian.” Cristela Alonzo

I can’t say that I really know the Bill of Rights off the top o’ me head, can you? I watched a comedy show today on youtube, “Let Freedom Laugh 2015” to support having the Bill of Rights monument in every state – hella funny. I thoroughly enjoyed the comedy but it got me thinking about the Bill of Rights, of which I know little, and can’t recite past Amendment 1 and 2.

Unless you are a lawyer or a history major or a weirdo, I bet you don’t know the Bill of Rights. In a nutshell the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. It is framework for how we define our government (it’s powers and limitations), and our rights as citizens of this country. It was written to give the citizens individual rights and liberties that were not explicit in the Articles of Confederation.

The First 10 amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights, designed to limit the government’s power. The following is a brief summary of the 10 amendments to the Constitution, with my commentary:

First Amendment: It guarantees freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and protects the right of assembly. Congress can’t make any law that shuts you up, changes your religion or forces you to leave the party, if the party happens to be a peaceful demonstration protesting any damn thing you want to protest.

Second Amendment: It protects the right to keep and bear arms. Basically, we will be shooting it out in lieu of working it out for a long time to come because you can’t take our guns away.

Third Amendment: It guards against the forced quartering of troops. This is a weird one, it means that you can’t be forced to let soldiers live in your house. Unless, there is a war and Congress decides that yes, you must let soldiers live in your house. Umm… what?

Fourth Amendment: It protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Nobody can search you or your house, car, phones, etc. unless they can prove to a judge that they have a good reason to search. How’s that working?

Fifth Amendment: It guarantees a trial by jury, guards against being charged twice for the same offense and self-incrimination. We all know this one as the right to remain silent.

Sixth Amendment: It outlines the rights of the accused, including the right to have a “speedy and public”trial, the right to be informed of the charges made against him, the right to call witnesses in his defense, and the right to have an attorney in his defense.

Seventh Amendment: It codifies the right to a jury trial in certain civil cases, and inhibits courts from overturning a jury’s findings of fact. This is the reason for Judge Matthews, Wapner, Judge Judy, et al.

Eighth Amendment: It protects against cruel and unusual punishments. Whatever.

Ninth Amendment: It addresses rights, retained by the people, that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. What? No, really, what does this mean?

Tenth Amendment: It limits the power of federal government by reserving for the states all powers that are not explicitly granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor denied to the states. Tricky, tricky. Anything that the Constitution doesn’t say that the Congress can do is left up to the states and the people.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. (Source: vercalendario)

Here is the full comedy show, maybe I’m silly but I thought this was pretty funny:

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