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banner Sunday, 20 February, 2000, 16:36 GMT
Bill of rights
The collective term for the first 10 amendments of the US constitution establishing the fundamental rights of individual citizens.

The amendments act as a mutually reinforcing set of rights and limit the powers of federal and state governments.

Acts of Congress or laws ruled to be in conflict with these rights - and therefore unconstitutional - may be declared void by the US Supreme Court.

The Bill of Rights arose because only a very few individual rights were specified in the original main body of the constitution.

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