Guiding Principles

Bill of Rights

Housed at the National Archives, the amendments ratified December 15, 1791, form what is known as the "Bill of Rights."

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Guarantees the freedom of religion, speech, and the press; protects the right of assembly and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Protects the right to keep and bear arms.

Guards against the forced quartering of troops in any house, without the consent of the Owner.

Protects the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Guarantees a trial by jury and "due process of law", and guards against double jeopardy (being charged twice for the same offense) and self-incrimination, and protects against seizure of private property for public use without just compensation.

Outlines the rights of the accused, including the right to have a "speedy and public" trial; the right to be informed of the charges made against you; the right to call witnesses in your defense; and the right to have an attorney in your defense.

Lays out the rules of common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States.

Protects against "cruel and unusual punishments", such as excessive bail, excessive fines imposed, or cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Ensures that the individual rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution are secure -- that is, that these rights should not be automatically infringed upon because they are omitted from the Constitution. 

Limits the power of the Federal Government by reserving for the States all powers that are not explicitly granted to the Federal Government by the Constitution, nor denied to the States.

DoD Principles

  1. Civil liberties are fundamental rights and freedoms protected by the Constitution of the United States.
  2. Protect the privacy and civil liberties of DoD employees, members of the Military Services, and the public to the greatest extent possible, consistent with its operational requirements.
  3. Consider appropriately privacy and civil liberties in the review, development, and implementation of new or existing laws, regulations, policies, and initiatives.
  4. Not maintain information on how an individual exercises rights protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, including the freedoms of speech, assembly, press, and religion, except when:
    • Specifically authorized by statute;
    • Expressly authorized by the individual, group of individuals, or association on whom the record is maintained; or
    • The record is pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement, intelligence collection, or counterintelligence activity.

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