How does the Bill of Rights protect individual liberties?
The Bill of Rights limits the ability of the government to intrude upon certain individual liberties, guaranteeing freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion to all people. Nearly two-thirds of the Bill of Rights was written to safeguard the rights of those suspected or accused of a crime, providing for due process of law, fair trials, freedom from self-incrimination and from cruel and unusual punishment, and protection against being tried twice in court for the same crime. Since the adoption of the Bill of Rights, only 17 additional amendments have been added to the Constitution. While a number of these amendments revised how the federal government is structured and operates, many expanded individual rights and freedoms.