My Silence

June 8, 2012

Today, in response to those who would attack bloggers, impinge on our freedom of speech and threaten the safety of some of our most well known voices, I present to you a little piece of history. A big piece, really. As my National Day of Blogger Silence protest, I present the words of Thomas Jefferson as ratified by the Constitutional Convention. The Bill of Rights:

The United States Constitution, May it ever be preserved

Amendment I

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

Amendment II

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.

Amendment III

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.

Amendment IV

The Right of the people to be secure in ther persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searchse 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.

Amendment V

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 offense 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.

Amendment VI

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 accusation; and to 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 defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trail by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United Statesm than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

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

Amendment IX

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

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

           What words of mine can do anything more for the cause of freedom than these words did one hundred and ninety nine years before I was born?

Image used from http://www.michellemalkin.com

 


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