What the Constitution Means to You

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(From The National Republic)

It establishes for you a stable and responsible government.

It makes you a citizen of the United States, if native born.

It gives you citizenship, if foreign born, on complying with liberal naturalization laws.

It allows you a voice in the government through the officials whom you help to elect.

It guarantees you life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It defends your rights even against the government itself.

It makes you equal with all men before the law.

It confirms your religious freedom, and liberty of conscience.

It accords you free, lawful speech.

It guarantees you together with all people the right of peaceable assembly.

It permits you to petition the government to right your wrongs.

It guards your property rights.

It prohibits the government from taking your property without due process of law.

It lets you hold any office in the government of the nation for which you are qualified.

It enables you to become a citizen of any state.

It prevents you from being held to answer to a complaint unless you have been lawfully accused.

It insures your right of trial by jury of your fellow men.

It grants you the right of habeas corpus, that is, the right to know why you are held a prisoner.

It assures you a speedy trial.

It permits your having counsel for defense.

It prevents your being tried again if once acquitted.

It permits you to have a trial in the state and district in which you may be charged with an offense against the laws.

It lends you the power of government to compel witnesses to appear in your behalf.

It relieves you from compulsion to testify against yourself.

It forbids excessive bail.

It forbids excessive fines or cruel punishment.

It protects you from slavery in any form.

It keeps any state from depriving you of your constitutional rights.

It sanctions your bearing arms for the protection of your life and home.

It secures your home from search except by lawful warrant.

It guarantees you that the legal obligation of contracts shall not be impaired.

It permits you to participate in amendment of the Constitution from time to time.


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