*** By John Perry Barlow
With quiet efficiency, our understanding of the first 10 amendments
to the constitution has been profoundly revised by the state and Federal
judiciary during the last couple decades, sparing us the untidy
political melee of a constitutional convention.
In light of these changes, a new Bill of Rights,
based on current case law, might look something like what follows.
Congress shall encourage the practice of Judeo-Christian religion by its
own public exercise thereof and shall make no laws abridging the freedom
of "responsible" speech, unless such speech is in a digitized form or
contains material that is copyrighted, classified, proprietary or deeply
offensive to non-Europeans, non-males, differently-abled or
alternatively preference persons; or the right of the people to
peaceably assemble, unless such assembly is taking place on corporate or
military property or within an electronic environment; or to petition
the Government for a redress of grievances, unless those grievances
relate to national security.
A well-regulated Militia having become irrelevant to the security of the
State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms against each other,
shall nevertheless remain un-infringed, excepting such arms as may be
afforded by the poor or those preferred by drug pushers, terrorists and
organized criminals, which shall be banned.
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without
the consent of the owner, unless that house is thought to have been used
for the distribution of illegal substances.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, may be
suspended to protect public welfare. Upon the unsupported suspicion of
law enforcement officials, any place or conveyance shall be subject to
immediate search, and any such places or conveyances or property within
them may be permanently confiscated without further judicial proceeding.
Any person may be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous
crime involving illicit substances, terrorism or upon any suspicion
whatever; and may be subject for the same offense to be twice put in
jeopardy of life or limb, once by the state courts and again by the
Federal judiciary; and may be compelled by various means, including the
forced submission of breath samples, bodily fluids or encryption keys to
be a witness against himself, refusal to do so constituting an admission
of guilt, and may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
further legal delay; and any private property thereby forfeited shall be
dedicated to the discretionary use of law enforcement agents without just
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy and private plea bargaining session before pleading guilty. He is
entitled to the assistance of underpaid and indifferent counsel to
negotiate his sentence, except where such sentence falls under Federal
mandatory sentencing requirements.
In suits at common law, where the contesting parties have nearly
unlimited resources to spend on legal fees, the right of trial by jury
shall be preserved.
Sufficient bail may be required to insure that dangerous criminals
will remain in custody, where cruel and unusual punishments are usually inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage
others which may be retained by the Government to preserve public order, family values or national security.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the Departments
of Justice and Treasury, except when the states are willing to forsake Federal financing.
Reprinted without permission. Stolen from a web site of a guy who copied it out of September 1993 Playboy (Carrie Westcott Centerfold!), who reprinted with permission from the Wed, Jan 27 1993 New York Times. hmmm does that cover my ass enough to keep the lawyers off my butt?
*John Perry Barlow, a former
lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and is co-founder of
the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Dog busted for solicitation
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