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                                                       PRINTER'S NO. 243



No. 230 Session of 2001

           FEBRUARY 5, 2001


                                     AN ACT

     1  Designating December 15 of each year as "Bill of Rights Day."

     2     WHEREAS, On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was
     3  ratified by three-fourths of the states making the Bill of
     4  Rights the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the
     5  United States of America; and
     6     WHEREAS, The Bill of Rights specifies the basic rights that
     7  all Americans hold so dear:
     8                             ARTICLE I
     9     Freedom of Religion, Speech and Press. Right of Petition.
    10  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
    11  religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging
    12  the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the
    13  people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for
    14  a redress of grievances.
    15                             ARTICLE II
    16     Right of People to Bear Arms. A well regulated Militia, being
    17  necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the

     1  people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
     2                            ARTICLE III
     3     Quartering of Troops. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be
     4  quartered in any house, without consent of the Owner, nor in
     5  time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
     6                             ARTICLE IV
     7     Persons and Houses to be Secure From Unreasonable Searches
     8  and Seizures. The right of the people to be secure in their
     9  persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable
    10  searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants
    11  shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
    12  affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be
    13  searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    14                             ARTICLE V
    15     Trials for Crimes. Compensation for Private Property Taken
    16  for Public Use. No person shall be held to answer for a capital,
    17  or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or
    18  indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land
    19  or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in
    20  time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject
    21  for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or
    22  limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a
    23  witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or
    24  property, without due process of law; nor shall private property
    25  be taken for public use, without just compensation.
    26                             ARTICLE VI
    27     Rights of Accused Persons in Criminal Prosecutions. In all
    28  criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
    29  speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and
    30  district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which
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     1  district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to
     2  be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be
     3  confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory
     4  process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the
     5  Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
     6                            ARTICLE VII
     7     Rights in Civil Suits. In Suits at common law, where the
     8  value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of
     9  trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury,
    10  shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States,
    11  than according to the rules of the common law.
    12                            ARTICLE VIII
    13     Excessive Bail, Fines and Punishments Prohibited. Excessive
    14  bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor
    15  cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
    16                             ARTICLE IX
    17     Reserved Rights of People. The enumeration in the
    18  Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny
    19  or disparage others retained by the people.
    20                             ARTICLE X
    21     Powers not Delegated, Reserved to States and People. The
    22  powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,
    23  nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States
    24  respectively, or to the people;
    25  and
    26     WHEREAS, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the Constitution of
    27  the United States, was the eighth state to ratify the Bill of
    28  Rights.
    29     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    30  hereby enacts as follows:
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     1  Section 1.  Bill of Rights Day.
     2     In recognition of the Bill of Rights, the first ten
     3  amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America,
     4  which was ratified on December 15, 1791, December 15 of each
     5  year is hereby designated as "Bill of Rights Day." The Governor
     6  is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation each year
     7  recognizing the significance of the Bill of Rights in our lives
     8  and calling upon the people of this Commonwealth to commemorate
     9  the day with appropriate ceremonies and educational activities.
    10  Section 2.  Effective date.
    11     This act shall take effect immediately.

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