Top 10 Things You Think are in the Constitution but Aren’t
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Top 10 Things You Think are in the Constitution but Aren’t


Top Ten Things You Think are in the Constitution
but Aren’t 10. “(The) Pursuit of Happiness” Immortalized at its most orthographically
incorrect in the hit Will Smith movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” the phrase is known
by heart by almost every American: “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Seven
simple words which put into law our inherited right to live, be free and be happy. But wait.
You and I are all the saddest sacks this side of the Suicidal Burlap factory and the government
is not using stimulus money to send us to Bali and protect our rights to be happy. What
gives? What gives is that the phrase is nowhere to
be found in the Constitution. It actually comes from the Declaration of Independence
which—while still being a very important historical document—is about as legally
binding as your 2nd grade writing assignment where you declared that you’ll be an astronaut
when you grow up. The 5th Amendment does protect our rights to “life, liberty and property”
but not happiness. Apparently you have to earn that stuff the old fashioned way: by
marrying a dying billionaire. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness 9. God There’s been a lot of debate whether the US
is a Christian nation and what the legal consequences of that are. It’s a complicated issue with
valid arguments at both sides of the debate but you have to admit that if the Constitution
itself makes references to God or Jesus then religion (specifically Christianity) should
have at least some part in our legislative process, right? I dunno. Maybe? But the Constitution actually
makes no mention of God. Not once. Zero. God in the Constitution is like the Loch Ness
monster: crazy people will swear they totally saw it there but when you actually go to check
it out all you end up with is a big fat pile of nothing. To be totally fair, there’s that
ONE part in the Constitution that says: “Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one
thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven” but if that’s a declaration of religious beliefs
then Carl Sagan is a diehard theist for using the terms “BC” and “AD.” Source: http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_reli.html#original 8. No Taxation Without Representation When Young America was rallying its future
citizens to go and kick the British right in the crumpets with a pair of steel-tipped
boots, the one phrase that could be heard everywhere was “No taxation without representation”
— a protest of the unfair taxes imposed on the colonies by the British crown. Surely
the battle cry of the revolution had to make its way into the Constitution of the ensuing
country, right? Of course not. It’s actually quite scary how
many taxes are levied today in America without any representation. Most of those ARE taxes
imposed on foreigners (both laborers and tourists) who have no representatives in the US government
so it might not seem like such a big deal to you if you’re a regular citizen. But know
that the Constitution, as it stands now, really doesn’t protect you from being taxed without
representation somewhere down the line. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_taxation_without_representation#Modern_use_in_the_United_States 7. The Right to Vote Voting. It’s one of the most basic things
we ask of a developed nation: for its citizens to have an active part in the governing of
their country. The US Constitution actually does mention voting a number of times, like
how you cannot deny anyone the chance to vote based on gender, race etc. But nowhere in
there is there a mention about the unequivocal RIGHT to vote. Why does that matter? Because it means that
states can pretty much deny the right to vote to anyone they want, as long as it’s not based
on gender, race etc. You might have gathered as much if you knew that, say, convicts are
not allowed to vote, as there’s nothing in the Constitution that would protect their
rights to vote. If tomorrow the government of California decided that fat people cannot
vote because, I don’t know, God told them to, it wouldn’t really be unconstitutional.
And that, kids, is why details matter. Well, that and performing self-circumcision (don’t
ask.) Source: http://www.salon.com/2006/09/21/no_right_to_vote/ 6. Unrestricted Freedom of Speech OK, this should be simple. Freedom of Speech.
Love it or hate it, you’d have to be some Communist Nazi to hate it. And the fact that
I can call you a Communist Nazi, hypothetical straw man whom I’ve just invented, is all
thanks to Freedom of Speech, aka the First Amendment, which gives us the right to say
whatever we want, when we want, purple cat banana pudding. Oooor so you’d think. The First Amendment
is actually pretty clear on that one: Congress will make no law to stop you from shouting
“Poop penis!” at a nunnery and that’s great but it doesn’t say anything about laws NOT
passed by Congress. Take a typical college campus. If tomorrow your college decided to
ban the public uttering of verbs then that would be A-OK with the Constitution. The office
you work at forbids you from using the letter E in conversations? Tough luck — perfectly
legal. If that depresses you, take comfort in the fact that the above also mean that
it’s illegal for some dumbass to yell “Fire!” in a crowded cinema. We just have to take
the good with the bad. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_in_the_United_States 5. Paper Money When you get down to it, paper money really
doesn’t make sense because it has no monetary value. Yet we all agree to sort of pretend
that it does because the government promises that it won’t collapse overnight and we won’t
be forced to hunt each other for sport and food. With such high stakes, the usage of
paper money MUST BE carefully defined and controlled by the Constitution, mustn’t it?
Well, it’s not. You can try arguing that the Constitution
doesn’t mention paper money for the same reason it doesn’t mention iPods: because back then
all transactions were done in chickens and sexual favors. But of course printed money
did exist back then, and it was a pretty hot topic. The original version of the Constitution
did explicitly permit the government to print paper money but many of the dignitaries were
so against the idea that the phrase had to be taken out of the document. In reality,
the only reason we have paper money today is because of an 1871 Supreme Court decision,
which frankly doesn’t sound like a reliable foundation for the biggest economy on the
planet. Source: http://www.usconstitution.net/constfaq_q154.html 4. Marriage Lately all talks of marriage seem to be of
the gay variety and its validity. No matter what your opinion on it might be, we can all
agree that it’s an important social issue which needs to be resolved and what better
place to start with than the Constitution? So what does the document say about marriage?
Is it solely a union between a man and a woman? But of course the Constitution makes no mention
of marriage. Social conventions, which marriage is a part of, is not really something you
worry about while founding the crap out of a country. The issues of what constitute marriage
are thus left entirely to individual states because who’s better suited to decide what’s
“normal” for a society than state-level legislature? Source: http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_marr.html 3. Innocence Until Proven Guilty We arrive at yet another fundamental block
of our democracy. Presumed innocence until you are found guilty in the eyes of the law,
judged by the jury of your peers, as the Constitution clearly says. It’s a truly beautiful thing
when you think about it; a beacon of enlightenment which probably blinded the other nations with
its wisdom and human decency when it was first introduced in the U.S. Constitution! But was it really? Nah. The concept is actually
more British than tea and rampaging wealth disparity because that’s where it originated:
In British law. The Constitution makes no mention of it because by the time the document
was drafted the Presumed Innocence bit was so common throughout the Western world that
it actually did become common law, so it was in no need of codification. Which, if you’re
been following this closely, cannot stop anyone, especially the government, from crapping all
over the idea like a flock of pigeons with digestive-tract infections, if they wanted
to. Source: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/innocent-until-proven-guilty.html 2. Jury of Your Peers Hey, speaking of court proceedings. Let’s
say you’ve been arrested but the System is framing you, man! You have absolutely no idea
how that half a bag of weed got into your apartment but whoever planted it there also
cleaned out your fridge and really smoked up the place. You’ll fight the charge, dammit!
You’ll plead your case to a Jury of your peers—as the Constitution guarantees you—and win!
Ha! Well, the Constitution does make mention of
juries in a couple of places guaranteeing that you get one and that they are impartial.
But the “peers” part? That ain’t there and never was, and for good reason, because how
do you even define a “peer”? What criteria are to be used? And how can I even have peers
if I’m the most awesome, handsomest person in the universe? It’s an ontological nightmare,
and is therefore not mentioned in the Constitution. It’s also why rape trial juries aren’t stocked
with other rapists. Source: http://www.crfc.org/americanjury/jury_peers.html 1. Separation of State and Church Great, so the US Constitution is actually
full of legal crap and not red-blooded American freedom and God. Next we’ll probably find
out that besides specifically guaranteeing separation of state and church (as everyone
knows) it also makes it mandatory for every 12 year old to burn down at least one church,
right? Damn, you can be so dramatic, overly-dramatic straw man! Also wrong, because there’s no
separation of state and church mentioned anywhere in the entire Constitution. The phrase actually comes from a Thomas Jefferson
letter where he was commenting on the 1st Amendment but you might be surprise to learn
that personal correspondence has no legislative power. The Constitution guarantees the freedom
of religion but that doesn’t mean that a government, be it federal or state, has to separate itself
from religion. And you probably already knew that, only didn’t want to admit it. From Creationist
textbooks to Gov. Rick Parry (not a typo) calling in a prayer meeting, state and church
are really more in a controlled separation spiced up with occasional one night stands
rather than a full-on divorce. All those two love birds need to get back together is a
pair of rascally twins and a good helping of shenanigans! Source: http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html

100 Comments

  • WILLRAGEATYOU

    Interesting choice of music. As epic as the 1812 overture is but what relevance does the music have the the US constitution? It struck me as a tad odd.

  • Casey C

    We have a supreme court that decides if laws are constitutional regardless of weather it's specifically written or not. We have many laws that are not in the constitution… Hence the 10th amendment.

  • The Amazing Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobian Cancer Infected Fig Man of the Nederlands

    What about the word democracy? It appears nowhere!

  • Midnight

    Hey, I can tell you number 4 started in the church. When people mention separation of church and state they really mean keeping religion away from people that don't believe unless there is money to be made. Marriage is a ceremony that is preformed that not only includes God but He's the main focus. Atheists have also have also participated in marriage even though they don't believe in God. They would mostly do civil ceremonies but you buying a big pretty white dress and throwing a lavish part just doesn't seem the same when you are married by a justice of the peace. Weddings and marriage should be something the government should step back from and let the Church continue to preform like they have for centuries; however, marriage is now a tool used for civil rights so it's become a state thing recently. The state didn't want to grant people the right to have their love ones recognized (Wills and things that a legally acknowledge couple can participate but not two sing adults living together.)  so they decided to make it about taking a religious ceremony and making state's answer to their civil rights problem because government couldn't think of another way for the people to obtain their civil rights.

  • Harley Landsbergs

    "half a bag of weed" not quite how that works :p its like saying "i smoked one marijuana :p not hating, just find it funny :p

  • Matthew Miller

    as far as no separation of church and state the term is not there by name there is Establishment Clause to the  First Amendment which separates church and state

  • PopeLando

    Here's how the President of the United States is elected: Everybody over the age of 18 has the right to vote for President. They can also vote in the primary to pick the candidate of their party. On election day, on the first or second Tuesday in November of a leap year, people go to the polls, where they vote for a "party slate". The popular votes are added up in the states, and the winner of each state gets a certain number of "electoral votes" depending on the state. Whoever gets the most votes (and at least 270 of them) will become President (which is announced generally the next day, the Wednesday). Quite often the winner can easily be seen because over the whole country he or she has a majority of votes counted in tens of millions. Now for the twist…

    Not one word of this is written in the Constitution. The Constitution gives the right to vote for President only to the selected Electors of the several States. Election day is in December, and it is only on that day that you can truly say who the President is going to be, by counting up the votes actually given to each candidate by the electors. Although it's never been tested, I am of the opinion that state laws restricting electors to their pledged candidates are unconstitutional and the Constitution assumes each elector's vote to be free. Nothing in the Constitution acknowledges that the people have a vote at all, at least for President.

    Although (like all law) it's slightly more convoluted, it is in fact guaranteed that there is no taxation without representation. This is because bills varying revenue requirements and collection have to originate in the House of Representatives. So the House, which is the only part of the government the original Constitution specifies has to be elected by the People, and proportionately according to population, designs the forms and amounts of taxation. The phrase "No taxation without representation" is not in the Constitution because laws are not made by slogans.

  • rogerdotlee

    "….back when these things were settled with chickens and sexual favors."

    If I swung that way, I'd ask to marry you.

    Keep up the good work.

  • GordosMama1111

    Ok, so #1, the PURSUIT of happiness does not guarantee happiness. even if it WAS in the constitution or legally binding. i know it's semantics, but when you talk in terms of the law, EVERYTHING is semantic. it actually helps to think of the language of law as a totally different language from english. the words are NOT defined the same way and anything you say can be used against you, even if you don't know it's meaning under the law. it's literally ALL word magic

  • GordosMama1111

    Now we're up to #5 and i must pause and make the following query,: can we please stop assuming that without the idea of money we would turn into barbarians? money doesn't give people a moral compass. in fact, it sorta makes people do things they dont WANNA do.

  • Domenico Grimaldi

    Uhh "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion". If that's not telling government to keep secular, I don't know what is.

  • Dean Thomas

    Surely you aren't stupid enough to think the Constitution is the only paper our founding fathers wrote about the intended purpose of the newly found nation.

  • FritzII

    Ever heard of the Establishment clause? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise…" Saying that their is no mention when this is one of the most hotly debated pieces of constitutional law is silly and irresponsible.

  • Tyger42

    Mmm. While the phrase "separation of church and state" isn't there, the part about passing no law to establish a state religion covers that. Just not in those exact words. An interpretation the SCOTUS upholds regularly.

  • Tim Bud 72

    URRRRG! The constitution grants NO rights! The constitution exists to limit the powers of the Federal Government! That's why most of these things are not in the document. While I love these videos, he shouldn't be talking about things he doesn't understand. Rights can not be granted by any human or piece of paper, rights come from our creator, and if you are Atheist, rights are found within, they are truths we find self-evident. The constitution has never had ANYTHING to do with your rights! It is there to remind the people of what their Federal Government can and can't do. WOW, just wow! Holy crap I just had a cold chill go down my spine, now I know we're screwed when even intelligent, well spoken people don't understand the point of our founding documents.

  • LordSlag

    The Separation of Church and State live in the 1st Amendment and Article 6 of the US Constitution. There are no valid arguments on the other side, sir.

  • john lysle

    nothing on the 2nd amendment? all these idiots who think it gives you the right to run around armed need to be set straight. it doesn't. this country has always had gun control laws. the gunfight at the ok corral was fought because the clantons refused to obey the city ordinance and check their guns at the marshall's office when they came to town.

  • Alyssa Dominic

    I love when people talk about their rights, like to marriage or to have an abortion (women's rights…jee whiz) or whatever. Whether you agree with the issue or not, Americans are granted few NATURAL BORN rights, which are listed in the BILL OF RIGHTS and in additional amendments.

    Ignorant people mix these two things up, just as they misunderstand what a "right" is. You think you have the RIGHT to marry? No. No one, gay or straight, has the right to marry anyone else, so stop using misnomers in your silly arguments.

  • Seth Apex

    the constitution doesn't mention marriage because the founding fathers wanted the states to decide it for themselves. they certainly did not want the supreme court making law from the bench. and since marriage isn't in the constitution that means they didn't see it as a human right.

  • The84336

    Also individual gun ownership. The Second Amendment was actually passed to protect Southern state militias, i.e., slave patrols.

  • Allison Bird

    No. 8 is actually a little more complicated. The closest thing that comes to "no taxation without representation" is the fact that revenue bills (i.e. tax bills) have to Originate in the House of Representatives. Under the idea The House of Representative, being require to be directly elected by citizens, should be coming up with congressional tax bills and not the Senators,(who originally were elected by state legislation). However when it comes to sales tax applying to non U.S. citizens,the fact that federal taxes apply to D.C.(who don't get a representative), ect. they aren't technically unconstitutional as he stated in the video.

  • Tommy Culver

    Although some of your points are correct, this is mostly misleading. You might want to redo this dissertation after considerably more study.

  • Gene Rybarczyk

    As others have noted, the vid narration badly misstates the effect of the so-called "separation of state and church," taking specific note of only the second part of this extract from the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…." while ignoring the religion prohibitions of the first part.

  • Amanda King

    I don't know about chickens or sexual favors, but at one point whiskey was a legal form of currency, particularly in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

  • Jameson Watson

    The Constitution is our supreme law on how our government and the people are suppose to operate and the Declaration of Independence is our guide on how to abolish or alter the government if its powers grow out of control and destructive to life, liberty, and happiness. The 9th amendment covers that the rights listed in the first 8 amendments are not all of your rights that the rights you have are endless and the 10th amendment tells you that just because the constitution doesn't say the government cant do something, that the government can't assume they have the power to do it, but that this is for the states and the people to decide and this goes hand in hand with the 9th amendment. So event though you are right that the constitution doesn't say what you have in the video the 9th and 10th amendment is a catch all for that.

  • Dagobah 359

    This is one of my pet peeves. People don't stop to realize that the "right to pursue happiness" and the "right to happiness" are NOT the same thing.

    No, the government is not responsible for making sure you're happy (which would be implied by the "right to happiness"). But if someone is allowing you life and liberty, but preventing you from being happy, they are infringing your rights, and should be stopped. So, this is bullies, harassment, stalking, etc and we do have laws against such things.

  • ericgmortensen

    The declaration of independence was made before the constitution and was considered a part of it. Also, pursuit does not mean guarantee.

  • ericgmortensen

    'Granted by the highest power' really sounds like god to me? It's in the declaration of independence by the way.

  • kitiowa

    The Separation of Church and State is in the Constitution. The First Amendment prohibits establishment of any religion and guarantees the free exercise of religion. That is THE separation of Church and State (in the constitution).

  • Paul Robinson

    As the supreme court actually said, it can be made illegal to falsely yell "Fire" in a crowded theatre, if there really is a fire in the theater, and you yell that, it's a truthful statement which cannot be prohibited.

  • not BANGERTV

    About Church and state.
    The first amendment says:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

  • munstrumridcully

    Church and state are separated by the establishment clause, which the supreme court has interpreted to mean no favoring any religion , orno religion, over any other. Creationism textbooks*are* unconstitutional, and must be exposed and removed. Check out dover v kitzmiller case to see how both intelligibility design and regular creationism are illegal to be taught as science.

  • Joseph Parker

    Actually #7 is completely false as it is the whole premese of the 12th amendment as found on archives.gov "The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an
    inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; — the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the
    votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. –]* The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."

  • John Cofer

    If I am correct the Constitution does not give the Supreme Court the power to declare laws unconstitutional. They started doing it, and the practice made sense, so that power stuck.

  • varanid9

    Hmmmmm, a disgruntled Brit telling us about the US Constitution, eh? Well, all these amendments must have been passed for a reason, so imagine what life would have been like if we HADN'T kicked the redcoats out. Look at England today: a populace taxed to death for increasingly crappy social welfare services. Now, look what's happening here as more and more of our whacko politicians try to mold the US in England's image. We have a government that is for sale, and England owns more of the US than any other foreign interest.

  • GS

    Separation of Church and State comes from a letter from the president to a church minister assuring him that the government would not interpreter with his church

  • Kathryn Guzman

    For the freedom of speech… That's because there actually was a dumbass who yelled "fire" in a cinema which caused a stampede which injured and killed people.

  • 6Glitch

    The right to pursue happiness isn't the same as the right to happiness. And the Declaration of Independence informs our understanding of the Constitution, so it does have some legal significance.

  • Jennifer ofHolliston

    The Constitution" means the Constitution of the United States of America? Don't other countries have Constitutions? Aren't there other countries?

  • JayneCobb88

    Yes, number 8 is in the constitution. That specific phrase isn't used but the net legal effect is present.
    Yes, number 7 is in the constitution. You yourself identified the implicit right to vote via non discrimination
    Yes, number 6 is in fact explicitly stated in the 1st amendment. The "Fire" in a crowded restriction only came about later via supreme court decisions
    Yes, number 3 is in the constitution. It's a mixture of due process, right to trial by jury and historical British common law upon which the Constitution was framed. This has been affirmed by the supreme court.
    Yes, number 2 is in the Constitution. It comes from Article III section 2, from the 6th amendment and the legal term Peer simply means Fellow Citizen
    Yes, number 1 is in the Constitution. It comes from the 1st amendment. It prevents an official state religion which means specific laws may not be written to favor one religion. But also note, it means "freedom OF religion" and not "freedom FROM religion".

  • John Mc

    California making it illegal for fat people to vote would be unconstitutional. Not because of a constitutional right to vote, but because of the Equal Protection Clause & Supreme Court precedent. That's why you should get legal advice from a lawyer & not a You Tube video.

  • Michael Timpson

    The concept of the assumption of innocence before guilt means the government cannot indefinitely put you in prison without a trial. It has nothing to do with what "public opinion" judges you as; in fact, the 1st amendment allows for people to have whatever public opinion they want.

  • Gerald Grenier

    4. Marriage: While the constitution doesn't define who can get married, however it does defines all citizen have equal protection under law. Hence if you're going to proved 100+ legal benefits to married couples, equal protection means it must be available option to all couples.

  • Mitch Burns

    First, although no taxation without representation is not in the constitution, it is practiced. It is for this very reason that US territories like Puerto Rico are not subject to federal taxes. Second, although it is not in the constitution, the supreme court did rule that marriage was to be between one man and one woman. This wasn't even done to stop gays as no one really knew that was a thing back then. It was done to stop the at the time polygamist Mormons, more specifically, the then territory of Utah from gaining statehood. Suspiciously after being denied statehood on grounds of polygamy the church abounded the practice almost immediately after, and were then allowed to make Utah a state. Coincidence?

  • Stephanie Cuellar

    Please NO Shenanigans. We Atheists have a hard enough time getting people to understand that freedom of Religion also means freedom from religion. Being tolerant of the nonreligious would be cool too.

  • Wretched Fretched

    It's Life, Liberty and the PURSUIT of Happiness. It's a play on words. Happiness is a carrot on a string in this instance.

  • Ken Ciolek

    I'm learning to not believe everything I hear or see…I read my king james bible and that is one wise and smart book…that's for sure…go ahead out do Him….you better believe it….man is in a habit of crucifying things he doesn't understand

  • Henri Papineau

    "No Taxation without Representation" was the argument from the colonists separation from England. It was that we were being taxed with no representation in the British Parliament.

  • E B

    Actually, the Declaration of Independence is legally binding. Congress retroactively declared the Declaration of Independence as one of four Organic Laws of the United States. https://adask.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/the-organic-laws-of-the-united-states-of-america/amp/

  • Adam Flannigan

    #5 Now does everyone understand why some people are very concerned about the federal reserve?

    #3 The whole of Revolutionary thought was based on common law. In fact, when Jefferson was called out for not actually saying anything fundamentally different from the common thought in the Declaration of Independence, he said that he didn't set out to say anything fundamentally different, but to properly state what everyone already knew.

  • Hal Salz

    'No taxation without representation' yes, this is a major reason we freed ourselves from your imperialism. It doesn't say that in the constitution, correct. But i vote for the people who draft laws for taxation. The colonies had no say in British parliament so that point is complete moot

  • Hrothgar Devaitos

    About your "unrestricted free speech" comment. Yes it is. The 14th amendment reads as such:

    "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the
    jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State
    wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall
    abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;
    nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property,
    without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its
    jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    Meaning that the states CANNOT make laws against the freedom of speech, since they are bound by the first amendment, and this amendment, in a similar way that congress is, since the freedom of speech is a RIGHT.

    Which, of course, makes the vast majority of gun control laws ALSO illegal.

  • Bruce Grubb

    The problem with this video is the Constitution doesn't exist in a vacuum; the Supreme Court pays a HUGE role in how it is applied.

    Take the Unrestricted Freedom of Speech; because they receive federal money public universities are subject to the constitution. See Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 354 U.S. 234, 250 (1957), Keyishian v. Board of Regents, State Univ. of N.Y., 385 U.S. 589 (1967), Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 180 (1972), Papish v. Board of Curators of University of Missouri, 410 U.S. 667 (1973) and Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263 (1981).

    Separate of Church and state: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" This was expanded to the states via cases like Sherbert v. Verner (1963), Engel v. Vitale (1962), Epperson v. Arkansas (1968), and Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972).

  • Corin Price

    9 & 10 are in the declaration of independence rather than the constitution, not sure how anyone ever thought any of the things mentioned were in the constitution, I remember studying the document in school, not sure how most Americans skipped that class

  • Logan O'Hartigan

    Yeah I'll listen to some fog breather on what my laws mean and what's in them. Also these are constraints against the government based on what is seen as basic human rights, not granted rights in which do not exist

  • Robert Coutinho

    Paper money is definitely controlled by the Constitution. Only Congress can authorize the production of legal US currency. In addition, since all taxes and fees owed to the US government must be paid in dollars, the paper money has inherent value–you need to get some of the stuff to pay your taxes.

  • daniel chenault

    #9: The Founding Fathers were mosty Deists (today would lkely be called agnostics) but had to cater to the poulation which ws overwhelmingly religious in many ways. So, yes, a deity is mentioned.
    In 1796 The United States entered into a contract called The Treaty of Tripoli. In this legally binding document it is stated in clear, unambiguous terms that the United States is secular, not a religious state, Christian or otherwise.
    I consider the issue settled on that alone.

  • tracy rodgers

    Come on Americans… He is British after all! Most Americans do know their rights but get confused with the Constitution! So don't get mad at Simon! He is a great guy!

  • Arch3r666

    I may be extremely late to the party, but the mention of trading by sexual favors and "chickens", but in Chinese, the same word to use chickens is also the same as prostitutes… unsure if intentional or not, but that was a laugh when I heard it

  • alanr4447a

    There have been U.S. laws passed describing strict regulations that also stipulate that things must not "appear to" violate the requirements, even when not literally doing so, which in practice translates to "if we THINK you're guilty, then you ARE guilty!", so "innocent until proven guilty" becomes pretty much of a sham.

  • Karen Entzminger

    Since when should we put any trust in a video narrated by a Brit about American government (That doesn't include Alistair Cook, David and Richard Attenborough, or Stephen Fry!)? Distinguish between the federal government and states' rights, and stop being sarcastic when putting forth totally outrageous examples. I am definitely an Anglophile, but this was a rather disrespectful regard for the U.S. Constitution, a great document considering the historical times.

  • Clifford Hodge

    The government should have no involvement with marriage; it should remain a creature of religion. The legal concern has to do with the transfer of wealth, not marriage per se, and that can be handled easily if the government provides a simple form, not unlike a marriage certificate, in which two people designate each other as the ones who stand in the position of spouse for purposes of inheritance and probate laws.

  • 123chugchug

    Last paragraph in article VI The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by the Oath or Affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

  • Doc Brown

    At this point it doesn't matter what is or is not in, the gov will do anything to you and get away w it, there's no actual check and balances or anyone that can make the most corrupt nation actually obey it's own laws which the gov sees as more like suggestions written by long dead ppl. Doesn't even matter if you were born here, you can be deported to where ever your great great great grandfather came from.

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