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The Third Amendment

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By Tim Guidera - bio | email 

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Some amendments seemed a little more pertinent when they were written than they do now. But the Third Amendment is the reason we can take for granted that the government cannot require us to house soldiers in our homes.

A real sign of the time from which is came, the amendment was largely a response to British troops being quartered in the colonies against the protests of the colonists. And that is one reason why it has never been addressed by the Supreme Court in over 200 years.

"Actually, in the Declaration of Independence, one of the arguments against or indictments of King George III is about the quartering of troops,'' said Dr. Richard Pacelle, the head of Georgia Southern University's Political Science Dept. "So it made it into the Constitution and pretty far up. When (the forefathers) put in the First Amendments, they wanted that first, and then the second. And so, to put it in third, they considered it to be rather important. But, historically, it has had almost no significance. Really, we don't see the forcible quartering of troops very often.''

Prior to the Third Amendment, colonists were not only required to quarter British soldiers, they had to pay the expenses of housing the troops. Colonists believed this violated English common law against taxation without consent.

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