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"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  (an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence)  

1) Unalienable Rights apply to ALL men, regardless of your station in life

2) Said Rights are bestowed upon you by your Creator (your God, whomever you deem that to be)

3) Unalienable Rights are above the reach of government. They are not given by government; they cannot be bought, sold, transferred, taken away nor denied

4) The Bill of Rights is, essentially, a codification of those Rights


Of that document, Thomas Jefferson (the primary author) wrote:

"The Declaration of Independence . . . [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man."


"The first official action of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. "While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. No duty rests more imperatively upon the courts than the enforcement of those constitutional provisions intended to secure that equality of rights which is the foundation of free government." Cotting v. Godard, 183 U.S. 79 (1901)

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