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§ 614. We have already seen that no religious test can ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States, (§ 603.) * The object of the present amendment is to go still further, and in general terms to restrict Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. One purpose sought to be effected by this provision, is to prevent the supremacy of any religious denomination in consequence of national patronage, or by authority of law, and to maintain the separation of church and State.
§ 615. At the same time the Constitution extends its protection alike to all religious denominations, and by thus allowing to every citizen the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of his conscience, secures equal religious liberty. In this way the Constitution seeks to avoid the injustice, intolerance, and other evils which have accompanied the establishment of State religions in the Old World.
§ 616. This article also prohibits Congress from making any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. The liberty of speech and of the press has always been considered to be the right of a free people. In many coun tries, however, it is narrowly restricted. Some govern ments prohibit the printing of books on particular subjects, unless they have been previously examined and approved by an officer of the government. Others require an author to obtain a license before he can publish. Similar restraints have been applied also to newspapers and periodicals, which are even now in some countries subjected to a censorship and to other restrictions.
§ 617. Although, by the Constitution, a man may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, yet
that liberty may be abused, in which case the law holds the wrong-doer responsible for such abuse. One man has no right to speak or publish false, scandalous, and malicious matter concerning another; such things constitute slanders or libels, and are punishable by law. The liberty of speech or of the press does not justify a publication of what is mischievous, immoral, or illegal. That is licentiousness, not liberty.
§ 618. By our law no man can be restrained from publishing whatever he pleases, because he is not under any obligation to submit his works to the examination of any person previous to publication, and, until publication, no one can know what the work contains. But the author and publisher are both held answerable civilly for damages done to individuals, and criminally for the public offence, if any is committed by such publication, in whatever it may consist, whether in its tendency to lead to a breach of the peace or to corrupt the public morals.
§ 619. The last clause of this article declares that Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
§ 620. The people have a natural right to petition their rulers for a redress of grievances, and it is the object of this clause to protect the right from violation by Congress. It must, however, be exercised peaceably, lest, under pretence of assembling to discuss political subjects or to petition the government, riotous, tumultuous, and disorderly proceedings take place.
§ 621. Petitions and memorials may be addressed to the Senate or House of Representatives by any person, or any number of persons, and are presented by the presiding officer, or by a member, who makes verbally a brief state
ment of their contents. They are then discussed and disposed of according to the rules and practice of the Senate or of the House, as the case may be.
“ARTICLE II. A well regulated Militia, being necessary t. the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
§ 622. If citizens are allowed to keep and bear arms, it will be likely to operate as a check upon their rulers, and restrain them from acts of tyranny and usurpation. The necessity of maintaining a large standing army is also diminished by arming and disciplining the citizens generally, so that they may be ready and qualified at any time, to defend the country in a sudden emergency.
"ARTICLE III. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."
§623. It has been a frequent practice in arbitrary governments to compel the subjects to board or lodge the soldiers of the army in time of peace. It is evident that this violates the dominion which every man should have over his own house. The above article prohibits such quartering, as it is called, of soldiers in the houses of citizens in time of peace against the consent of the owner, and provides that, if soldiers be quartered in the houses of citizens in time of War, it shall be done, not arbitrarily or capriciously, but in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
"ARTICLE IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreason
able searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
§ 624. The object of this article is to protect the personal liberty and private property of the citizens from interference. It secures the persons, houses, papers, and effects of the people from all unreasonable and illegal searches and seizures.
§ 625. It was an ancient doctrine of the common law of England, and one that has been adopted in this country, that "the house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence, as for his repose." But the house of any is not a castle or privilege but for himself, and does not extend to a person who flies to his house, or the goods of any other which are brought into his house, to prevent a lawful execution, and to escape the ordinary process of law; for the privilege of his house extends only to him and his family, and to his own proper goods, or to those which are there lawfully and without fraud.
§ 626. A search-warrant is a writ requiring the officer to whom it is addressed, to search a house or other place, for property, generally such as is alleged to be stolen, and if it be found, to bring the goods together with the person occupying the premises, who is named in the warrant, before the officer issuing it, or some other legally authorized officer.
§ 627. Warrants are mentioned in English history, and known by the name of general warrants, which authorized the officer, in general language, to search any place or to
arrest any person he suspected, without describing or naming either the place or the person, and without stating any probable cause for the search. Such warrants are prohibited by this article, which provides that no warrant shall issue except upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.
'ARTICLE V. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any Criminal Case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
§ 628. A grand jury is a body of men chosen in the manner prescribed by law, at every term of a court having criminal jurisdiction. In the State courts they are selected by the sheriff; in the Federal courts, by the marshal. Their number must not be less than twelve, nor greater than twenty-four. Their duty is to inquire into all crimes committed within the jurisdiction of the court in which they are attending.
§ 629. The sittings of the grand jury are private. They examine under oath the party making the charge, (who is called the prosecutor,) and his witnesses; but they do not