United States Bill of Rights is Ratified
Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent starts of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
In the United States, the Bill of Rights is the name by which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known. They were introduced by James Madison to the First United States Congress in 1789 as a series of articles, and came into effect on December 15, 1791, when they had been ratified by three-fourths of the States. Thomas Jefferson was a proponent of the Bill of Rights.
On December 15, 1791, the new United States of America ratified the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, confirming the fundamental rights of its citizens. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights of peaceful assembly and petition. Other amendments guarantee the rights of the people to form a "well-regulated militia," to keep and bear arms, the rights to private property, fair treatment for accused criminals, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from self-incrimination, a speedy and impartial jury trial, and representation by counsel.
The Bill of Rights draws influence and inspiration from the Magna Carta (1215), the English Bill of Rights (1689), and various later efforts in England and America to expand fundamental rights. George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights formed the basis of the amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights.
A bill of rights is a list or summary of rights that are considered important and essential by a nation. The purpose of these bills is to protect those rights against infringement by the government. The term "bill of rights" originates from Britain, where it referred to a bill that was passed by Parliament in 1689. An entrenched bill of rights exists as a separate instrument that falls outside of the normal jurisdiction of a country's legislative body. In many governments, an official legal bill of rights recognized in principle holds more authority than the legislative bodies alone. A bill of rights, on the other hand, may be weakened by subsequent acts passed by government, and they do not need an approval by vote to alter it.
An unentrenched bill of rights exists as a separate act that is presented by a legislative body. As such it can be changed or repealed by the body that created it. It is not as permanent as a constitutional bill of rights. A constitutional bill cannot be changed except with the approval of that country's voting public.
In other jurisdictions, the definition of rights may be statutory. In other words, it may be repealed just like any other law, and does not necessarily have greater weight than other laws. Not every jurisdiction enforces the protection of the rights articulated in its bill of rights.
Australia is the only Western country with neither a constitutional nor legislative bill of rights, although there is ongoing debate in many of Australia's states. Victoria (VIC) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are the only regions of the nation's states to have a human rights bill. Individual rights are protected by various laws instead.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.”— The Preamble to the Bill of Rights