27 Amendments Explained (Part 2)

Welcome back to our explanation covering all 27 amendments to the Constitution. We covered the first six in our previous post, and still have a long way to go to round out our summaries. Remember, the first ten belong to the Bill of Rights. Here is a list of the subsequent amendments…

Seventh Amendment: A rather short amendment, outlining that each person is allowed a trial by jury when it comes to certain civil cases involving common law.

Eighth Amendment: One of our favorite amendments, establishing that there is a prohibition on any excessive fines or bails. It also prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishment on citizens via law enforcement, etc.

Ninth Amendment: This amendment is a bit odd because all it does it does is reserve the rights of people which are not mentioned by the Constitution.

Tenth Amendment: The Tenth Amendment is directly targeted towards American citizens. Ratified in 1791, this amendment claims that any powers not in the hands of the federal government are left up to the people and the states.

Eleventh Amendment: This amendment gives a lot of power to state laws. In effect, this amendment laid out the precedent that law suits leading to legal changes in other states to not apply in other states. Each state has the sovereignty to keep or makes its own laws, despite changes in other states at the state level.

Twelfth Amendment: The Twelfth Amendment made adjustments to how presidents and vice presidents were elected by members of the Electoral College. Before this amendment, votes were cast by electors for president and vice president separately. Now they are a conjoined vote.

Thirteenth Amendment: This was the amendment that abolished slavery and involuntary solitude. However, it also notes that slavery was acceptable as a form of punishment for crimes. However, it did not give African Americans the right to vote, or to anything regarding equal status.

Fourteenth Amendment: Ratified in 1868, this amendment defines things like American citizenship, outlines equal protection for citizens, due process, and also touches upon some of the issues regarding post-war struggles with the Confederacy.

Explanation of the Constitutional Amendments is continued in Part 3 of this series.