In Print and Kindle Creating the Declaration Of Independence

Sixth Amendment’s Public Trial: From Communal Duty to Accused’s Right

Public Trial

The Constitution’s Bill of Rights contains many procedural protections for those the government accuses of having committed a crime.  Among them is the Sixth Amendment right to a “public trial”.  The provision is stated: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a… public trial” The concept of a public trial is ancient, but it did […]

US Constitution’s First Amendment: Right to Petition for Redress of Grievances

Reclaiming the Right to Petition

The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights addresses five rights.  The limits on government interference with religion, speech and the press were the result of the uniquely American experience. The right to peaceable assembly was a needed protection to exercise the first three. The First Amendment’s fifth right will come as a surprise to […]

First Amendment to the Constitution: Freedom of the Press

Democracy in America

Like Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, in the United States the concept of Freedom of the Press as it developed has been uniquely American.  Along with free speech for the general population, it is surely the source of what has become known as American Exceptionalism. American Exceptionalism Alexis de Tocqueville originally referred to […]

Amendment I to the US Constitution: An Overview

First Amendment

The US Constitution grants enumerated powers to the central government. The drafters believed enumerating the powers limited the government. This was the argument Federalists made based upon an accepted  rule for interpreting legal documents: Expressio unius est exclusio alterius (“the express mention of one thing excludes all others”).  With that principle in mind, the government could not […]