Constitution of the United States

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Which freedoms are protected by the Bill of Rights? Which ones do you use regularly or rarely?

The Bill of Rights protects the freedom of expression, the right to own weapons, and certain freedoms of property and privacy. The Ninth Amendment protects freedoms not listed in the Constitution. The freedoms used most often or least often will vary from person to person, but it is likely that you exercise your First Amendment rights the most.

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Many of the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights, are designed to protect certain fundamental American rights.

The First Amendment protects the right of belief and expression. It forbids the government from interfering in the worship of religion, what the press can print, what people can say, and how people may gather. It also permits people to petition the government. This amendment allows people to freely express who they are and speak their minds without fear of punishment by the government. There are exceptions to these freedoms in certain circumstances when public safety is involved. Overall, though, the First Amendment grants Americans a wide range of freedom in these regards. Of all the rights in the first ten amendments, these are likely the ones exercised most often by Americans.

The Second Amendment specifically protects the rights of Americans to own weapons. The inclusion of the words "well regulated militia" has long caused debate as to whether or not this right extends to individuals. However, Supreme Court interpretations have decreed that this right to bear arms extends to individual citizens.

The Fourth Amendment gives people certain freedoms from overhanded law-enforcement tactics. It prevents the government and police from conducting warrantless searches and seizures of private property, thus protecting a citizen's privacy. The Fifth Amendment also protects certain aspects of a citizen's right to own property.

The Ninth Amendment was included to protect other freedoms not included in The Bill of Rights. It ensures that the list of rights described in the amendments does not exclude other rights a person may have. This amendment leaves it open-ended as to what rights an American citizen has.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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