Bill of Rights
The United States Constitution
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The United States Constitution binds the 50 states together into one nation. The Constitution was conceived as a compromise between the need for a single, unified nation and the States' desire to preserve their power to govern themselves. Once this was accomplished, the new Congress turned to problem of protecting individuals from their new government. Twelve Amendments to the Constitution were proposed in 1789. Within two years, ten of these had been ratified by the required number of states and became known as the Bill of Rights.
Among the rights preserved in the Bill of Rights are the right to worship freely, the right to bear arms, and the right of citizens to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the right to due process of law. In criminal proceedings the right to be represented by an attorney, the right to a speedy trial by jury, the right to confront accusers, the right to remain silent, and the right to be tried only once for an offense were also guaranteed.
When adopted in 1791 the Bill of Rights preserved citizens' rights from encroachment only by the federal government. Not untli 1868 and the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment were these rights extended against the states.
The Arizona Constitution acknowledges the United States Constitution as the supreme law of the land, but reiterates values important to Arizona's citizens. The rights outlined in the Arizona Constitution can be broader than those preserved by the United States Constitution, but Arizona cannot restrict or reduce the fundamental rights contained in the federal Constitution.
Members of the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice strive to ensure that the federal and state constitutional protections are afforded to all persons within our state, in all courts, state and federal, and within the legislature.
The Bill of Rights
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.
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.
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.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
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.
The Fourteenth Amendment While the Fourteenth Amendment is not a part of the Bill of Rights, its passage in 1868 ensured that rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights could not be denied by the States. Amendment XIV Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.