[In John Rankin’s proposed rewrite of the United States Constitution and General Laws, here are the Bill of Rights, not an an amendment, but following the Preamble; see johnrankinbooks.com item 2]


Article I

The Bill of Rights

Section 1:1: The unalienable rights of life, liberty and property belong to all people equally under the rule of law. The first order of human government is to protect human life for its entire natural duration, out of which liberty and property rights become possible. This priority is based on the covenant of the marriage of one man and woman in mutual fidelity, insofar as attainable, and on the fullest presence possible of both father and mother in the raising of children.

Section 1:2: Religious liberty is the first freedom, where the state cannot impose any religion on the people, nor can any religious group impose itself on the state. Then there follow the freedoms of speech, the press, peaceable assembly, and the power of the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances. In practical sum, this also means that all people are free to change their religious, political and/or economic affiliations as they see fit, free from any forms of coercion.

Section 1:3: A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free people, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms, is affirmed. No soldier, in time of peace, may be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner or resident, or in time of war, but only in a manner prescribed by law.

Section 1:4: The people have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, communications and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, by any means. No warrants are issued except for probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, with specificity describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Privacy rights exist where a) the substance is original with the person and does not interfere with the life, liberty or property of others, b) protection for the innocent in criminal matters, and c) when national defense against enemies without or within is needful.

Section 1:5: No person can be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless indicted by a Grand Jury, and holds exemption during actual service in time of war or public danger. No person can be subject to the same offense twice, being put in jeopardy of life or limb. No person can be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. No person may be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law. No private property can be taken for the public trust as specified in law without just compensation.

Section 1:6: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused enjoys the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district where the crime, as charged, was committed, and with the district being previously defined by law. The accused is informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, is confronted by the witnesses against him, has compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and has the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Section 1:7: In suits at common law, the right of trial by jury is preserved, and no fact tried by a jury will otherwise be re-examined in any Court of the United States, other than according to the rules of the common law. Excessive bail cannot be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Section 1:8: The constitutional definition of specific rights cannot be used to deny or disparage other rights enjoyed by the people. Those powers not specifically delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, belong to the states and ultimately to the people. Too, the states and the people have no right to federal monies except on the terms set by the federal government.

Section 1:9: All persons who are legally born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to its jurisdiction, are citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside. They are free to register to vote upon the age of eighteen years, which equals majority age unless otherwise stipulated by law. This freedom may not be abridged or denied unless they have participated in rebellion or other crimes.