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Unformatted text preview: Bill of Rights
The Constitution was not ratified until the end of 1788. One of the major reasons some states agreed to ratify, was because Federalists promised to add a list of "rights" to the Constitution. These rights were known as the Bill of Rights and would become the backbone of American thoughts on freedom. Who wrote the Bill of Rights? The B of R was prepared and organized by James Madison, a representative from Virginia. He sorted through hundreds of proposed amendments and chose 12 non-controversial amendments and presented them to Congress. He did not originally believe in a B of R but was convinced by Jefferson that it was needed. Ratifying the B of R Just like the Constitution, 9 states had to ratify the B of R for it to be added to the Constitution. First two amendments were thrown out and eventually by 1791, the other 10 amendments were ratified and the B of R was formed. First Amendment Most important part of the B of R is the First Amendment It guarantees 5 basic freedoms guaranteed to all U.S. citizens. 1) Freedom of Religion 2) Speech 3) The Press (magazines, newspapers etc) 4) Assembly 5) Petition (argue against the govt.) If these rights are violated by the government, a person may appeal to the judicial system to see if actions taken were legal. Practice Case Study using the First Amendment
Until the early 1970s, children in Wisconsin were required to attend school until they were 16. But members of the Amish religion did not want their children to attend school after grade 8. Instead, the Amish wanted children to stay in their communities, learning the jobs they would have as adults. When one 15-year-old Amish girl didn't return to school after finishing grade 8, state officials tried to force her parents to send her to school. Can they do this? Does the girl's First amendment rights protect her from this law? Write down your thoughts in your notes. Answer
*The First Amendment to the Constitution protects us from having the government (federal, state or local) interfere with the way we practice our religion. *Sometimes the courts decide there is a "compelling state interest" that justifies the regulation of some religious practices, but for the most part, individuals are free to follow their own religious beliefs and practices. *In the Wisconsin case, the Supreme Court ruled that the Amish family could not be forced to send their daughter to two years of secondary school in violation of their religious beliefs. ...
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- Spring '11