Freedom Fact Sheet

December 15, 2021

The Bill of Rights of the United States of America

In this fact sheet, we will define key words in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution and look deeper into the meaning of this powerful document.

BELOW IS A LIST OF KEYWORDS:

A

Abridging: the act of reducing in scope

Ascertained: having made certain, exact, or precise

Assemble: to gather, meet together

B

Bail: property or money given as surety that a person released from custody will return at an appointed time

Bear: to be equipped or furnished with

C

Capital: having death as a possible punishment

Common law: the unwritten law, especially of England, based on custom or court decision, as distinct from statute law

Compelled: to cause, to do, or occur by overwhelming pressure

Compulsory: required by a law or rule

Confronted: to meet face-to-face

Congress: a formal meeting that consists of both the House of Representatives and Senate working together as one body of government

Consent: compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another

Constitution: the system of principles and laws by which a country, state, or organization is governed

Construed: to understand or explain the sense or intention of, usually in a particular way or with respect to a given set of circumstances

Controversy: a prolonged dispute, debate, or contention

Counsel: a lawyer

D

Delegated: to assign responsibility or authority

Deprived: lacking the necessities of life

Disparage: to depreciate, to lower in rank or reputation

Due Process: a judicial requirement that formal proceedings are carried out regularly and in accordance with established rules and principles that result in the fair and reasonable treatment of an individual

E

Effects: movable property

Enumeration: to mention a number of things one by one

Establishment: the act of founding, instituting, installing, or bringing into being on a firm or stable basis

Exercise: the act of bringing into play or realizing through action

Excessive: much more than is reasonable or necessary

F

Freedom: the power to determine action without external restraint

G

Grievance: a cause of distress felt to afford reason for complaint or resistance

I

Impartial: not biased; able to be fair to both or all sides

Imposed: to establish or apply by authority

Indictment: an official written statement charging someone with a criminal offense

Infamous: having a reputation of the worst kind; notoriously evil

Inflicted: to cause (commonly something unpleasant), to be endured

Infringed: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another

J

Jeopardy: the danger that an accused person is subjected to when on trial for a criminal offense

Just Compensation: something of equivalent value given in exchange for property taken under eminent domain

L

Law: a binding custom or practice of a community

M

Manner: a mode of procedure or way of acting

Militia: a body of armed citizens who are equipped to defend the country, its system of laws, and the people’s liberties

N

Necessary: required to be done; essential

O

Obtaining: to gain or attain usually by planned action or effort

P

Peaceably: free from strife or disorder

Petition: to make a formal written request to an authority

Prescribed: decided by a rule

Presentment: the act of presenting, to give to an authority a formal statement of a matter to be dealt with

Preserved: (something) kept in its original state or in good condition

Probable Cause: a reasonable ground for supporting that a charge or accusation is well-founded

Prohibited: not permitted; forbidden by authority 

Prosecutions: the institution and continuance of a criminal suit involving the process of pursuing formal charges against an offender

Public: exposed to general view; of, relating to, or affecting all or most of the people of a country, state, etc.

Q

Quartered: provided with lodging or shelter

R

Redress: to set right; remedy

Religion: a personal set or institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, or practices concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe

Reserved: kept or set apart or aside for future or special use

Respectively: in particular

Retained: to keep in possession or use

Right: something to which one has a just claim

S

Secure: free from risk of loss

Security: freedom from danger and risk; the state of being protected or safe 

Seizure: the taking possession of person and/or property by legal process

Speedy: marked by swiftness of motion or action, not unreasonably and unnecessarily delayed

W

Warrants: orders issued by a court that give the police the certain powers and authority

Well Regulated: properly disciplined and trained

Wherein: in which

Witness: one who has personal knowledge of something

Let’s take a look at the Bill of Rights with our keywords defined!

AMENDMENT I

Keywords Defined:

Congress (a formal meeting that consists of both the House of Representatives and Senate working together as one body of government) shall make no law (a binding custom or practice of a community) respecting an establishment (The act of founding, instituting, installing, or bringing into being on a firm or stable basis) of religion (a personal set or institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, or practices concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe), or prohibiting (not permitted: forbidden by authority) the free exercise (the act of bringing into play or realizing through action) thereof; or abridging (the act of reducing in scope) the freedom (the power to determine action without external restraint) of speech, or of the press; or the right (something to which one has a just claim) of the people peaceably (free from strife or disorder) to assemble (to gather, meet together), and to petition (to make a formal written request to an authority) the Government for a redress (to set right; remedy) of grievances (a cause of distress felt to afford reason for complaint or resistance).

Original:

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.

AMENDMENT II

Keywords Defined:

A well regulated (properly disciplined and trained) Militia (a body of armed citizens who are equipped to defend the country, its system of laws, and the people’s liberties), being necessary (required to be done; essential) to the security (freedom from danger and risk; the state of being protected or safe) of a free State, the right (something to which one has a just claim) of the people to keep and bear (to be equipped or furnished with) Arms, shall not be infringed (to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another).

Original:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

AMENDMENT III

Keywords Defined:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered (provided with lodging or shelter) in any house, without the consent (compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another) of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner (a mode of procedure or way of acting) to be prescribed (decided by a rule) by law (a binding custom or practice of a community).

Original:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

AMENDMENT IV

Keywords Defined:

The right (something to which one has a just claim) of the people to be secure (free from risk of loss) in their persons, houses, papers, and effects (movable property), against unreasonable searches and seizures (the taking possession of person and/or property by legal process), shall not be violated, and no Warrants (orders issued by a court that give the police the certain powers and authority) shall issue, but upon probable cause (a reasonable ground for supporting that a charge or accusation is well-founded), supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Original:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

AMENDMENT V

Keywords Defined:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital (having death as a possible punishment), or otherwise infamous (having a reputation of the worst kind: notoriously evil) crime, unless on a presentment (the act of presenting, to give to an authority a formal statement of a matter to be dealt with) or indictment (an official written statement charging someone with a criminal offense) of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia (a body of armed citizens who are equipped to defend the country, its system of laws, and the people’s liberties), when in actual service in time of War or public (exposed to general view; of, relating to, or affecting all or most of the people of a country, state, etc.) danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy (the danger that an accused person is subjected to when on trial for a criminal offense) of life or limb; nor shall be compelled (to cause, to do, or occur by overwhelming pressure) in any criminal case to be a witness (one who has personal knowledge of something) against himself, nor be deprived (lacking the necessities of life) of life, liberty, or property, without due process (a judicial requirement that formal proceedings are carried out regularly and in accordance with established rules and principles that result in the fair and reasonable treatment of an individual) of law (a binding custom or practice of a community); nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation (something of equivalent value given in exchange for property taken under eminent domain).

Original:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

AMENDMENT VI

Keywords Defined:

In all criminal prosecutions (the institution and continuance of a criminal suit involving the process of pursuing formal charges against an offender), the accused shall enjoy the right (something to which one has a just claim) to a speedy (marked by swiftness of motion or action, not unreasonably and unnecessarily delayed) and public (exposed to general view; of, relating to, or affecting all or most of the people of a country, state, etc.) trial, by an impartial (not biased; able to be fair to both or all sides) jury of the State and district wherein (in which) the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained (having made certain, exact, or precise) by law (a binding custom or practice of a community), and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted (to meet face-to-face) with the witnesses (ones who have personal knowledge of something) against him; to have compulsory (required by a law or rule) process for obtaining (to gain or attain usually by planned action or effort) witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel (a lawyer) for his defence.

Original:

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 shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

AMENDMENT VII

Keywords Defined:

In Suits at common law (the unwritten law, especially of England, based on custom or court decision, as distinct from statute law), where the value in controversy (a prolonged dispute, debate, or contention) shall exceed twenty dollars, the right (something to which one has a just claim) of trial by jury shall be preserved ((something) kept in its original state or in good condition), and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Original:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

AMENDMENT VIII

Keywords Defined:

Excessive (much more than is reasonable or necessary) bail (property or money given as surety that a person released from custody will return at an appointed time) shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed (to establish or apply by authority), nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted (to cause (commonly something unpleasant), to be endured).

Original:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

AMENDMENT IX

Keywords Defined:

The enumeration (to mention a number of things one by one) in the Constitution (the system of principles and laws by which a country, state, or organization is governed), of certain rights (something to which one has a just claim), shall not be construed (to understand or explain the sense or intention of, usually in a particular way or with respect to a given set of circumstances) to deny or disparage (to depreciate, to lower in rank or reputation) others retained (to keep in possession or use) by the people.

Original:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

AMENDMENT X

Keywords Defined:

The powers not delegated (to assign responsibility or authority) to the United States by the Constitution (the system of principles and laws by which a country, state, or organization is governed), nor prohibited (not permitted; forbidden by authority) by it to the States, are reserved (kept or set apart or aside for future or special use) to the States respectively (in particular), or to the people.

Original:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.