The Bill of Rights, as ratified by the Virginia Legislature in 1791, comprised the first ten amendments of the Constitution. Debate over the application of these rights and freedoms continues unabated today.
CBS News/BBC Worldwide Learning
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[Background music and speakers] And now a page from our Sunday morning almanac, December 15, 1791, 211 years ago, today. To date an omission in the U.S. Constitution was quite literally set right. It was the day that Virginia legislature ratified the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution. James Madison took his own pen to paper and drafted a list of proposed amendments that eventually became the Bill of Rights as we know it. But the end of the debate over ratifying the Bill of Rights simply marked the beginning of a debate over applying it. Freedom of religion, and of speech, and of the press, and of peaceable assembly. The right to keep and bear arms. The protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The right to due process of law. The right to a speedy and public trial with the assistance of counsel. The debate over these rights and of the others in the bill continues to this day.
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Gale Document Number: GALE|SNBTTG969892243