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shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”
194. Right of Personal Security.—Under the right of personal security are included security of life, of body and limb, and of reputation. No man shall be deprived of these without due process of law. This means that no person may be held for a capital offense, or for any offense above the common-law degree of larceny, except upon the presentment, or indictment, of a grand jury, or the regular mode provided by law. In criminal trials the accused shall be entitled to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district in which the crime shall have been committed. He shall be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. He shall be confronted by the witnesses who testify against him; he may compel the attendance of witnesses in his favor; and he shall not be compelled to be a witness against himself. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed. Cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted. No man shall be twice put in jeopardy of his life for the same offense; that is to say, if, after a proper trial before a proper tribunal, he has been acquitted or not convicted, he shall not be put on trial again for the same offense.
195. Right of Personal Liberty.—The right of freely moving from place to place according to one's inclination is a right of the highest importance. The writ of habeas
corpus affords a means of speedy redress for any violation of this right.
As a further means of securing the freedom of the individual, the Constitution prohibits the quartering of soldiers in any house in time of peace without the owner's consent, or in time of war otherwise than in the manner provided by law. The Constitution upholds
the right of bearing arms, and the right of publicly assembling and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.
196. Bills of Attainder.-Both Congress and the State Legislatures are forbidden to pass bills of attainder. These were common in English history, and, between the years 1776 and 1789, were not unknown in this country. By a bill of attainder the legislative authority took upon itself to sentence a man charged with an offense, usually of a political nature. The sentence carried with it the penalty of death and the confiscation of the man's property, and it placed a stain upon the blood of his descendants so that they could not inherit property. Besides these cruel features there is a special wrong in the fact that such proceedings belong to courts of justice and not to legislative bodies. Legislative bodies can never in such cases rid themselves of their political character, and can not give that free, full, and fair trial to which every accused person is entitled.
197. Ex Post Facto Laws.—The Constitution also prohibits the passing of what are called ex post facto laws. Such laws are laws which make an act punishable that was not punishable when the act was committed, or which increase the punishment for an act after its commission.
198. Right to Reputation.-Not only are a man's life and body protected but his character as well. The freedom of speech and of the press are guaranteed by both the Federal and State Constitutions, but any abuse of this right by the false and unjustifiable slander or libel of a man's character may be punished.
199. Right of Religious Belief.—The very essence of our government is that there shall be no interference by the State in religious matters. All our institutions shall be non-sectarian in their character. While the government is prohibited from showing any special favors to any one form or sect of religion, our Constitutions guarantee to every individual the right of religious belief and worship according to his own conscience.
200. Right of Private Property.-As to the enjoyment of property, the Federal Constitution, reinforced by the Constitution of each State, provides that property shall not be taken from the individual owner without due process of law. Under this right a man may acquire, use, and dispose of his property in such manner as he sees fit so long as he does not thereby violate any law or injure any other individual.
201. Taxation and Eminent Domain.-But a man's private property may be subject to taxation by the government in order that a government may have means of paying its debts and providing for the public welfare. It is also subject to the right of eminent domain. This latter right means that the State is regarded as the ultimate owner of all property within its boundaries and may assert its ownership whenever necessary. The State exercises this right when it requires the owner of property to give it up for a public use. But the Constitution requires that in such case adequate compensation must be made to the owner.
202. The Inviolability of Private Contracts.—The Federal Constitution prohibits any State from passing any law which shall impair the obligation of contracts. This means, for instance, that when the Legislature of a State has granted a charter to a corporation, it shall not violate that charter arbitrarily; or that the Legislature shall not revoke a grant of land, or shall not, by its laws, cause
one man to lose a rightful claim which he may have against another man.
203. General Warrants.—General warrants for the arrest of persons, the search of houses, or the seizure of papers are prohibited. Warrants for these purposes must be issued only on probable cause, supported by oath, and must describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized. This is a recognition of the old English principle that "a man's house is his castle;' that is to say, that his house may not be invaded arbitrarily. This principle is extended to the protection of a man’s correspondence while going through the post office.
204. Rights of Citizens of One State in Other States.- The Federal Constitution also provides that the citizens of one State shall enjoy equal rights in every other State. It provides, too, that all public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of one State shall be as much respected by another State as are its own records and proceedings. These provisions prevent any discrimination being made by one State against the citizens or laws of another State.
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
Purpose of the Constitution.- We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Section 1. Congress.
Legislative Powers (pp. 47, 59).-All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Section II. House of Representatives. 1. (a) Election of Representatives (p. 49).—The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States,
(b) Who May Vote for Representatives (p. 49).–And the electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.