Great Moments in Amendment History:
Ten great initial protections for the people:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Article XIII. --1865
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation
Article XIV. --1868
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.
Article XV. --1870
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude
Article [XVIII]. --1919. First time rights are taken away....
Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited
Article [XIX]. --1920 ... and we get back to expanding rights
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Article [XXI.] --1933 ...and errors of the past are corrected...
Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age
No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
Amendment XXVIII (dated 200_?)
Marriage, the limitation of which to couples not of usual races was found to be unconstitutional, will be limited to couples of the usual genders, marking the second time, and the first time since the prohibition misadventure of 1919 was undertaken, that the Constitution of the United States and the oldest constitution in the known universe, is amended to deny a group of its citizens a right--on the basis of protecting others who already have that right, and are under the impression their freedoms will be at stake if others share them. They will be "protected," as will children, somehow, given that those children will henceforth be systematically denied the benefits awarded to married couples in the interests of the dependent children.
If marriage is a religious institution, what business does the government have saying whom can and cannot be married by religious bodies?
If marriage is a civil institution, what legitimate state interest (independent of posturing for conservative voting blocks in election years) is forwarded by discrimination on the basis of sex? What clear, objective data supports amending the oldest known constitution to deny a group of Americans an important right?
Why shouldn't the government impartially award civil unions to consenting competent adult couples who seek them, and let the churches decide whom they shall marry?