New Bill O' Rights

Stephen R. Johgart (
Sun, 07 Mar 1993 08:41:10 -0800 (PST)

Brother Deacon Blues uploaded this to the Grateful Dead area on GEnie; I
thought it was fun stuff, and that folks would enjoy (or perhaps "enjoy"
isn't exactly it):
Category 18, Topic 2
Message 430 Thu Feb 11, 1993
A.FABBRO [Deacon Blues] at 02:33 EST

Thought I'd pass this on--

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The following was written by John Perry Barlow, a lyricist for the
Grateful Dead and a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier


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Bill 'o Rights Lite

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

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
preferenced persons; or the right of the people to peaceably
assemble, unless such assembly is taking place on corporate or
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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 uninfringed,
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

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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
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forfeited shall be dedicated to the discretionary use of law
enforcement agents without just compensation.

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

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
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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

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