Article I, Section 9 includes some of the basic civil liberty protections in the Constitution. What are they?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Since Article I is the only Article with 9 sections, and since Article I, Section 9 does include some basic protections of civil liberties, I have edited your question to specify Article I.

This section of the Constitution protects civil liberties in three ways.  They are:

  • Guarantee of the right to habeas corpus.  This ensures the government cannot hold a person indefinitely without charging them with a crime.
  • Ban on bills of attainder.  These are laws passed by a legislature declaring some person or group of people guilty of a crime.  The ban prevented the Congress from doing this, thus bypassing the courts.
  • Ban on ex post facto laws.  This prevents Congress from making a particular action illegal retrospectively.  That way, you can only be convicted of a crime if your act was illegal at the time you did it.

All of these are meant to prevent the government from abusing the rights of the people.


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