Nearly everything has changed in the United States since the Bill of Rights was written and adopted. We still see the original words when we read those first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, yet the meaning is vastly different now.
And no wonder. We’ve gone from a country of a few million to a few hundred million. The nation’s desire to band together was replaced by revulsion of togetherness. We exchanged a birthright of justice for a magic bullet, and replaced the Pioneer Spirit with the Pioneer Stereo.
We’re not the people who founded this country and our Bill of Rights should reflect this. As we approach the 21st Century, it’s time to bring the wording up to date showing what we are and who we are.
Congress shall make no law establishing religion, but shall act as if it did; and shall make no laws abridging the freedom of speech, unless such speech can be construed as “commercial speech” or “irresponsible speech” or “offensive speech;” or shall abridge the right of the people to peaceably assemble where and when permitted; or shall abridge the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, under proper procedures.
It shall be unlawful to cry “Fire!” in a theatre occupied by three or more persons, unless such persons shall belong to a class declared Protected by one or more divisions of Federal, State or Local government, in which case the number of persons shall be one or more.
A well-regulated military force shall be maintained under control of the President, and no political entity within the United States shall maintain a military force beyond Presidential control. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall be determined by the Congress and the States and the Cities and the Counties and the Towns (and someone named Fred.)
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, unless such house is believed to have been used, or believed may be used, for some purpose contrary to law or public policy.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures may not be suspended except to protect public welfare. Any place or conveyance shall be subject to search by law enforcement forces of any political entity, and any such places or conveyances, or any property within them, may be confiscated without judicial proceeding if believed to be used in a manner contrary to law.
Any person may be held to answer for a crime of any kind upon any suspicion whatever; and may be put in jeopardy of life or liberty by the state courts, by the federal judiciary, and while incarcerated; and may be compelled to be a witness against himself by the forced submission of his body or any portion thereof, and by testimony in proceedings excluding actual trial. Private property forfeited under judicial process shall become the exclusive property of the judicial authority and shall be immune from seizure by injured parties.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to avoid prosecution by exhausting the legal process and its practitioners. Failure to succeed shall result in speedy plea-bargaining resulting in lesser charges. Convicted persons shall be entitled to appeal until sentence is completed. It shall be unlawful to bar or deter an incompetent person from service on a jury.
In civil suits, where a contesting party is a person whose private life may interest the public, the right of trial in the Press shall not be abridged.
Sufficient bail may be required to ensure that dangerous persons remain in custody pending trial. There shall be no right of the public to be afforded protection from dangerous persons, and such protection shall be dependent upon incarceration facilities available.
The enumeration in The Constitution of rights shall be construed to deny or discourage others which may from time to time be extended by the branches of Federal, State or Local government, unless such rights shall themselves become enacted by Amendment.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution shall be deemed to be powers residing in persons holding appointment therein through the Civil Service, and may be delegated to the States and local Governments as determined by the public interest. The public interest shall be determined by the Civil Service.