Bill of Rights - The Really Brief Version
The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution are summarized below.
Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.
Right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain a well regulated militia.
No quartering of soldiers.
Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy.
Rights of accused persons, e.g., right to a speedy and public trial.
Right of trial by jury in civil cases.
Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments.
Other rights of the people.
Powers reserved to the states.
Congress can't make any law about your religion, or stop you from practicing your religion, or
keep you from saying whatever you want, or publishing whatever you want (like in a newspaper
or a book). And Congress can't stop you from meeting peacefully for a demonstration to ask the
government to change something.
Congress can't stop people from having and carrying weapons, because we need to be able to
You don't have to let soldiers live in your house, except if there is a war, and even then only if
Congress has passed a law about it.
Nobody can search your body, or your house, or your papers and things, unless they can prove to
a judge that they have a good reason to think you have committed a crime.
You can't be tried for any serious crime without a Grand Jury meeting first to decide whether
there's enough evidence for a trial. And if the jury decides you are innocent, the government can't
try again with another jury. You don't have to say anything at your trial. You can't be killed, or
put in jail, or fined, unless you were convicted of a crime by a jury. And the government can't
take your house or your farm or anything that is yours, unless the government pays for it.