Today’s post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty.
We here at the National Archives noticed that many politicians these days use Twitter to deliver messages. Often this involves using numbers instead of letters, and symbols to convey a complex point in just a few words.
So we asked our readers: “what if the authors of the Bill of Rights only had 140 characters per amendment?” Last week we started counting down from Amendment X and we’ve posted the winning results below.
Archivist David Ferriero picked the pithiest tweets and the winners will receive a reproduction of the Bill of Rights, compliments of the National Archives eStore. You have three chances left to play! Today we’re tweeting the Second Amendment, and tomorrow we’re tweeting both the First Amendment and giving out a prize to the person who can best summarize the ENTIRE Bill of Rights in just 140 characters. Use #BillofRights to play and to follow along!
|Amend||Original Text||Twitter Version||Winner|
|X||The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.||Power to the People! (conditions apply, void where prohibited)||@azaroth42|
|IX||The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.||Standard rights still apply.||@jwt3K|
|VIII||Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.||Moderation in all things, including: bail, fines and punishment.||@gavroche|
|VII||In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.||Liable? Ask your peers. “Here, the people rule.”||@MikeGwaltney|
|VI||In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.||Trials: quick, fair, local, and explicit.||@THEbrianmurphy|
|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.||Due process required to protect life, liberty, property||@kellyinkansas|
|IV||The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable 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.||Don’t seize me big bro! or search me, without a warrant.||@swanroad|
|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.||
|II||A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.||
His piece, my piece, your peace, our peace.
|I||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.||
Praying, pontificating, publishing, populating, petitioning – perfectly permissible.
|Bill of Rights||Amendments I – X||
Free to be Me.