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The Bill of Rights – Exploring Amendments (Part Five)

February 17, 2016 Hastings and Hastings

We have finally reached the end of the Bill of Rights. In today’s blog, we will explore the final three amendments of this essential American document. We here at Hastings & Hastings hope you have enjoyed our Bill of Rights deep dive!

The Eighth Amendment

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

Being accused of a crime is very different from being convicted of a crime. For this reason, the Founding Fathers thought it was important that the accused could attain a degree freedom while waiting for their trail. This is possible through bail. Bail must be set based on the severity of the accusation. Additionally, punishments cannot be cruel or unreasonable.

The Ninth Amendment

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

The Ninth Amendment may be brief, but it is very powerful. It states that the Constitution and its amendments cannot be used to deny citizens of rights otherwise bestowed upon them. This covers any future amendments that may be added to the Constitution. The Ninth Amendment was created as a safeguard to protect the wide ranging rights of Americans.

The Tenth 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.”

The Tenth Amendment was designed to limit the power of the federal government and to strength the American people and the individual states. According to the Tenth Amendment, any power not specifically given to the federal government is reserved for either the states or the people. Power which may have been omitted in the Constitution also fall by default to the states.