Constitution of United States
With reference to the United States of America, a codified constitution which consists of the nations’ fundamental laws is used to establish the form of the government as well as the rights and liberties of the American people. The reason for a codified constitution in this country is to ratify the problems faced by the various states of America who had established an alliance under the Articles of Confederation to solve national problem as the Articles of Confederation lack the authority to make the states work together. As such, majority of the delegates at the constitutional convention that met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1787 decided to write new plan ...view middle of the document...
Out of the 12 amendments accepted by Congress, the necessary legislatures in three-fourths of the states approved 10 of the 12 amendments which are known as the Bill of Rights.
The initial establishment of the Constitution of the United States of America shows that a codified constitution does not in itself guarantee that the liberties of a person are protected as the constitution does not mention the rights of the people. Besides that, even if the rights of the people can is implied by the constitution, it does not guarantee 100% the rights of the people as judicial interpretation may vary or alter the meaning of the constitution altogether. However, with the addition of the first 10 amendments to the constitution also known as the Bill of Rights, we can now see that the rights and liberties of its people is well and better protected compared to the initial constitution.
Originally, the Bill of Rights restricted only the Federal government. But the 14th Amendment declares that no state can deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without “due process of law.” However, the Supreme Court has interpreted those words to mean that most of the Bill of Rights applies to limit the states and their local governments as well. This shows that a codified constitution is only a reference in general to govern the country and may not have specific instruction. In this situation for example, the issue whether the Bill of Rights is only to be upheld by the federal government or by the states as well was in dispute.
Among the Bill of Rights Given to the people include Amendment 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America which gives its people the freedom of religion, speech, and the press; rights of assembly and petition.
“ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
This amendment forbids Congress to set up or in any way provide for an established church. It has been interpreted to forbid government to give endorsement or aid to religious doctrines. In addition, Congress may not pass laws limiting worship, speech, or the press, or preventing people from meeting peacefully. Congress also may not keep people from asking the government for relief from unfair treatment. This amendment gives the people the freedom to practice the religion they choose, voice out their opinion or suggestion for improvement to the government. Aside from that, the people are also free to conduct assemblies as long as it is in a peaceful condition.
Amendment 6 is another important amendment which gives the people rights to a fair trial.
“ In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district...