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The Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment - Essay Example

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Whereas the US Constitution maps out the general direction in which governance should commence, the role and rights of the individual to the state are laid out in even more clarity within the first ten amendments to the Constitution…
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The Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment
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Download file to see previous pages Further, the 14th amendment will also be considered and discussed as a means of providing a greater degree of equality, citizenship, and fairness under the Constitution and the law. The most cited of these ten amendments is naturally the first.
As a fundamental right of the citizen, the first amendment gives the right to freedom of speech, press, religion, and petition. From a societal perspective, this is the amendment that, perhaps more than any other, allows for the continual growth and development of the American society based upon the premise of the enumerated freedoms. As freedom of religion, press, speech, and petition are guaranteed as a fundamental right which cannot and should not be infringed, the ability of the citizen to express a degree of self determination that would otherwise not be possible under a different code of ethics or laws is actionable (Kayman 324). Naturally, as with all the Bill of Rights and further amendments to the Constitution, each of these is given by means of entrusting the citizen not to break any law in the practice or implementation of these rights and privileges. The second of the ten amendments relates to the right to keep and bear arms. This hotly debated issue comes to the forefront of the political and societal discourse as acts of horrific gun violence bring out the anti-gun and pro-gun forces to a nearly seasonal battle royal in which both camps argue over the true meaning of the second amendment and how it relates to our current cultural reality (Case Law 1). With the exception of some key restraints being placed on the ownership and use of automatic weapons and a few regulations concerning what defines a handgun and what defines a rifle, the interpretation of this amendment has been historically quite liberal. In this way, American society has seen that, as with the other amendments in the Bill of Rights, the judiciary is keen on upholding the original intent, as best they see it, of the framers. Although it receives little attention, the third amendment which is included in the Bill of Rights is nonetheless important. Whereas the colonies experienced great hardship during the Revolutionary War period as well as before with relation to being required to quarter and provide sustenance to British Redcoats, the framers sought to enumerate upon the rights of the populace with regards to being required to provide material support for the military. Accordingly, this amendment secures the rights of the citizen against imposition by the military or the government in both time of peace and time of war with relation to providing quarter for soldiers and/or other military personnel. Socially, this amendment has experienced little growth and/or development due to the fact that the need of the government to require such an imposition of its citizens has been limited. The fourth amendment is infinitely more complex than the others which have heretofore been discussed. This fourth amendment states that the rights of the citizen to be free in their house, person, papers, and effects. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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