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English Bill of Rights

The 1689 English Bill of Rights was a precursor to our Bill of Rights and is referred to in our law. For example, it is referred to in Scalia’s Heller opinion.  The bill outlined specific constitutional and civil rights and ultimately gave Parliament power over the monarchy.

  • The monarchy cannot rule without consent of the Parliament.
  • Freedom to elect members of Parliament.
  • Freedom of speech in Parliament.
  • Freedom from royal interference with the law.
  • Freedom to petition the king.
  • Freedom to bear arms for self-defense.
  • Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment and excessive bail.
  • Freedom from taxation by royal prerogative, without the agreement of Parliament.
  • Freedom of fines and forfeitures without a trial.
  • Freedom from armies being raised during peacetimes.
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