The ACLU is the guardian of our civil liberties. The questions we are asked most often involve whether or not a citizen’s particular grievance involves a violation of constitutional rights.
If you believe your freedom or rights, as protected by the following amendments of the constitution, are being violated, and you are a resident of Western North Carolina, then the WNC ACLU might be able to help you.
Please read through the following amendments to see that your issue falls under on of these amendments. For more information email Shelagh Rebecca Kenney at the state ofice.
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
FIRST AMENDMENT. 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.
SECOND AMENDMENT. 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.
THIRD AMENDMENT. 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.
FOURTH AMENDMENT. 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.
FIFTH AMENDMENT. 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 offense 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.
SIXTH AMENDMENT. 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 defense.
SEVENTH AMENDMENT. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by a 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.
EIGHTH AMENDMENT. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
NINTH AMENDMENT. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
TENTH AMENDMENT. 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. The first Ten Amendments, the original Bill of Rights, were passed by Congress on September 25, 1789, and ratified by the states on December 15, 1791.
Later Amendments Affecting Civil Liberties
THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Ratified December 6, 1865.
FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT. 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. Ratified July 9, 1968.
FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Ratified February 3, 1870.
NINETEENTH AMENDMENT. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Ratified August 18, 1920.