Incorporation of the Bill of Rights

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    Applying the Bill of Rights to the States

  • The Bill of Rights

    The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, having been ratified by the required number of States, are enacted. These 10 Amendments comprise the Bill of Rights.
  • Bill of Rights only applies to federal government.

    In the case of Barron v. Baltimore, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Bill of Rights does not apply to the States, but only to the federal government.
  • Freedom of Speech limits state government authority

    In Gitlow v. New York, the US Supreme Court ruled that through 14th Amendment certain rights in the Bill of Rights limit not just the federal government but state governments as well —specifically the First Amendment freedom of speech.
  • Freedom of Religion applies to the States.

    In the case of Cantwell v. Connecticut, the US Supreme Court held that the government has no role in determining religious truth, and that the First Amendment protects the peaceful expression of religious beliefs fom infringement by state governments.
  • The Eighth Amendment applies ot the States.

    In Robinson v. California, the Supreme Court extends the 8th Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment ot the States.
  • 7th Amendment right to counsel applies to States.

    In Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court holds that felony defendants have a right to counsel when tried in State courts.
  • The 2nd Amendment applies to the States.

    In McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court decided that the right to "keep and bear arms" in the Second Amendment applies to the states.