Trashing the Bill of Rights: Where America Stands Now

June 14th, 2013
Updated 06/14/2013 at 3:16 am

“I know, I know. It’s a Russian thing. When we’re about to do something stupid, we like to catalog the full extent of our stupidity for future reference.” – Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5

bill-of-rights-burningPerhaps I have some Russian blood in me. Even though I’m not particularly a fan of the US Constitution (I would have come down on the side of the Anti-Federalists), I still say it’s time to take a moment and catalog what has happened to America.

I am under no impression that this is going to wake people up, by the way. Most Americans just don’t want to know. In fact, they pay people to tell them that everything is okay and that the people who complain are crazy, stupid, losers, or conspiracy believers.

Still, I want to catalog the extent of the current stupidity for the next generation – and to kill the lie that no one from my generation “saw it coming.”

Whatever our opinion of the US Constitution, it has clearly been the standard of reference in America and the trashing of this document matters for the future of the American people. So, I will briefly explain what has happened to each of the ten amendments which make up the crucial section of the US Constitution: the Bill of Rights.

1st Amendment

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.

This one has been voided repeatedly and on many fronts. Here are just a few examples:

And there are many more instances. You have free speech only until you reach the end of your leash.

2nd Amendment

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.

More or less all levels of the US government (along with their sycophants) are openly at war with the right of the people to bear arms. I won’t bother itemizing anything here.

3rd Amendment

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.

So far as I know, this one hasn’t been trashed yet. (There really is no need these days.)

4th Amendment

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.

And what are our “papers”? That HAS TO include emails, which took over from “papers” very directly.

The US government, on almost every level, has become a full-blown surveillance state, far beyond the Statsi’s wildest dreams. The National Security Agency alone spends billions of dollars per year to directly violate the 4th amendment. It’s not even close.

4th Amendment

Most people have seen the stories of whistleblowers, NSA rooms at AT&T, and covert agents admitting it all. Those who want to know, know.

These organizations hide behind dozens of laws, stacked one upon another, but it’s all complication and misdirection: The right of people to be secure in their papers (correspondence) is plain. And this amendment is purposely trashed on a daily basis.

5th Amendment

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.

There are too many trashings to be mentioned here. But we can start with the President of the United States killing US citizens with no trial, and then defending his right to do so.

We could go on with the standard police tactic of intimidating people until they testify against themselves, and much more.

6th Amendment

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.

A speedy trial? Tell that to Bradley Manning.

As for the rest of this amendment, tell it to Brandon Raub.

7th Amendment

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.

The right to a jury trial still exists, so far as I know, but only if you can make it through the legal process that far. First of all, the costs of a trial are far beyond the ability of most Americans to pay. Secondly, government prosecutors can wear you down and bully you in a dozen ways.

Mixed reviews on this one.

8th Amendment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Cruel and unusual punishments? Well, the boys in DC don’t draw and quarter people, so that’s good. But they did torture Bradley Manning (see link above), and the US government has tortured hundreds of people in Guantanamo. They can try to split hairs over US soil and citizenship all they like, but this amendment specifies what they shall not do.

9th Amendment

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Like inhaling the smoke of plants?

10th Amendment

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.

DC is king, and through abuse of the “commerce clause” they control almost every activity Americans undertake.


  • The people who have joined themselves to big corporations don’t care. They think government partnerships are good for them, and as long as the paychecks keep coming, they will oppose almost nothing government does.

  • The people taking government checks need the government and will not make the slightest motion against them.

  • Average working people generally break down into two camps:

  1. Those who know that everything teeters on the edge but who aren’t emotionally prepared to face it. They hope it will all go away and grasp for reasons to believe.

  2. Those who trust their own minds and raise an alarm. (And who suffer in varying degrees for the crimes of seeing and caring.)

Please don’t let anyone tell you this is all because of terrorism. We’re supposed to be terrified of Al Qaeda, even though the US is supporting them in Syria? Like we were supposed to be terrified of the Taliban, until the US government started negotiating with them?

One of these days, the people of my generation will go around saying, “We didn’t know.” Don’t let them get away with it.

[Paul Rosenberg is the founder of, a site dedicated to economic freedom, personal independence and privacy. He is also the author of The Great Calendar, a report that breaks down our complex world into an easy-to-understand 3-color model. Visit our site to get your free copy.]

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Category: Constitution

About the Author ()

Paul Rosenberg is a writer, adventure capitalist, engineer, and author of published titles, including “A Lodging of Wayfaring Men”,“The Words of the Founders”, and “Production Versus Plunder.” Paul is also the founder of

Comments (13)

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  1. smithfield says:

    SAD yet true. The Constitution is now full of bullet holes…

  2. nogovt says:

    thanks for bringing these points forward Anthony and writers

  3. Gil says:

    How necessarily has the U.S. Constitution been violated? Doubly so in time of war?

    1A: How was the IRS violating rights of groups that declare they think taxes are wrong by simply investigating them? It's akin to a person trying to open his own car with a coat hangar because locked his keys inside but is questioned by a police officer because the officer thinks he might be a car thief. So when Ron Paul & co. uses his freedom of speech it's okay but when he get criticism by others using their freedom of speech that's wrong? And if your devout Christian neighbor think you're evil for viewing porn how is that a violation of the 1A?

    2A: How many people ever thought any gun control is wrong let alone the 2A supports the right to own any weapon per se?

    4A: A lot people are conflation a "right to total privacy" with "violation of private property rights". The information companies have about you are their private property and if they voluntarily share it with the government then that's their right. If they didn't voluntarily share it then their rights have been violating not yours.

    5A: In time of war any one, including Americans, getting caught up in the war risk immediate death. A U.S. reporter in the home of a terrorist target hoping for a scoop won't stall a military strike.

    6A: Those are military issues in a time of war than random criminals on the street during peacetime.

    7A: There are two side of a trial, so what? The right to a trial doesn't mean it's going to be easy.

    8A: Conflating military action in wartime versus ordinary criminals in peacetime.

    9A: Talk to your lawyer if you get caught or you can try to get your fellow voters to legalize pot in your State.

    10: Other people aren't taking your view of the Constitution the way you would like it? Then again don't forget about the other seventeen Amendments.

    • Guest says:

      You mean that "war" that Congress never declared as they are supposed to? So that means there is no "war" by your definition. Go back to your fascist boot licking.

      • Gil says:

        There's no hardcore definition of a Declaration of War and the although the Constitution says Congress may declare war it's not the only way to declare war.

  4. noel says:

    Interestingly, The 3rd Amendment may just be 'another' way to see the NSA and other privacy attacks as not only constitutional, but repugnant to the people and the States. It was once invoked as helping establish an implicit right to privacy in the Constitution. This happened in the majority opinion by Justice William O. Douglas in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 484 (1965) which cited the amendment as implying a belief that an individual's home should be free from agents of the state.[5] Tom W. Bell, The Third Amendment: Forgotten but Not Gone, 2 William & Mary Bill of Rights J. 117 (1993) )Wiki sourced)

  5. Jewmanlizard says:

    You are a jew skued lawer loser, how can you talk about the trial when you see manning and others being CLEARLY mistreated by the military. And your next excuse will be a person serving the military doesnt deserve the same rights then your a nazi

  6. Dave H. says:

    Regarding the 7th, trial by jury is going away thanks to most prosecutions being done in the star chambers of regulatory agencies. There is a growing and separate system of courts, unconnected to the jury system.

    Regarding the 3rd, asset forfeiture relative to the so-called "war on drugs" puts combatants in that "war" in private homes — and the owners evicted. Thanks to the RAVE Act, the former owners need not have even been aware of any criminal activity to be dispossessed.

  7. TK3 says:

    Gil is either another example of the brainwashed turds spit out by Big Brother government public schools or… wiser than the founding fathers…guess which :-)

  8. TK3 says:

    1A; Groups being 'illegally' having their 501 status delayed/denied effects their funding/support and thus their operation and thus groups effect/speech is reduced.

    The rest of your comments Gil are at best ignorant of fact (least read Constitution/Bill Of Rights before making such absurd comments) and thus rightfully ignored.

  9. I've been trying to find out a little more about this kind of stuff, thanks for sharing

  10. Kayla says:

    It is an interesting story.

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