Important Rights Listed in the Constitution

Part of the Constitutional Law For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Constitution is chock-full of guarantees of individual rights and rules about what the government can and can’t do. Some provisions affect people’s lives more than others, but they are all important in their own right. Here are just some of the important, often-discussed provisions and where you can find them in the Constitution:

  • Freedom of speech, press, and religion: First Amendment

  • Right to bear arms: Second Amendment

  • Right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures: Fourth Amendment

  • Right against self-incrimination and double jeopardy: Fifth Amendment

  • Due process: Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments

  • Right against taking without just compensation: Fifth Amendment

  • Right to a speedy and public trial: Sixth Amendment

  • Right to counsel: Sixth Amendment (also read into the Fifth-Amendment right against self-incrimination)

  • Prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment: Eighth Amendment

  • Slavery abolishment: Thirteenth Amendment

  • Equal protection: Fourteenth Amendment

  • Women’s right to vote: Nineteenth Amendment

  • Commerce clause: Article I, Section 8

  • “Necessary and proper” clause: Article I, Section 8

  • Contracts clause: Article I, Section 10

  • Full faith and credit: Article IV, Section 1

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Constitutional Law For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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