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 is the separation of Church and State. Congress cannot limit religion or people's exercise of it. This is a one way separation in that Congress cannot limit religion or establish one, this is not a limit on religious ideals being part of congress in it's decisions. Congress cannot limit free speech, press or peaceable assembly. The people shall be allowed to petition.
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.
The right of each American is to be able to own and operate weapons and that right without limits shall not be infringed. This means state and local gun laws are void by the constitution as we have seen recently in DC.
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.
The government cannot have soldiers sleep in your house without your consent at any time.
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.
This is a right that has been given away with the Patriot Act. Therefore the Patriot Act is unconstitutional and should be voided. (This latest bombing on the plane issue alone shows the Patriot Act is useless to begin with and needs to removed) Warrants are needed for search and this includes your car when pulled over for a traffic stop. Speeding is not just cause for a car search.
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 offense 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.
This right protects the innocent. This gives a citizen rights when accused of a crime and cannot be tried twice for the same offense. This also protects property rights for individuals. Land, houses or any other private property cannot be taken away from you by the government without being paid fair market value for it.
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.
This law allows for a citizen to have a timely trial if accused of a crime. The accused member has the right to have assistance by Counsel in obtaining witnesses and to confront those who are accusing the citizen of the crime. This sets the standard for public trials by jury in the local demographic area.
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.
This amendment separates the Civil cases from the criminal cases.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Bail/fines shall not be excessive which is quite a vague expression as well as cruel and unusual punishments. I would consider fines large companies of hundreds of millions of dollars an excessive penalty. Apparently our government and judicial system does not. Cruel and unusual punishments. If a man kills three or more people with witnesses and proved beyond doubt is it cruel or unusual to remove him from society by death? Is it not a improvement to society to remove serial killers (especially ones who plead insanity) from the gene pool? (on topic question... why does it seem like those who are against the death penalty are for abortion? how is killing an innocent baby a more acceptable practice than putting a killer to death?)
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
This says these are the rights of the people, but we are not limited to just these rights alone.
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.
This states that each state has the power the way they see fit as long as it does not go against the rights proposed in the constitution. For example all state laws against guns are voided by this constitution as that is a right granted for all citizens.