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Protecting Individual Freedoms

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Presentation on theme: "Protecting Individual Freedoms"— Presentation transcript:

1 Protecting Individual Freedoms
Due Process of Law

2 Due Process of Law There are two amendments to the Constitution that guarantee due process of law. The 5th Amendment says that the Federal Government cannot take away from anyone "life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The 14th amendment makes this true for all states, too.

3 Due Process of Law What due process really means is that the government must follow procedures and act fairly in dealing with people accused of crimes. In other words, it must follow the rules. This protection is called procedural due process. A procedure is a certain way of doing things. Rochin V. California was a 1952 case involving procedural due process. In this case, Rochin was a suspected drug dealer. Acting on a tip, three Los Angeles police officers forced their way into Rochin's room. Then, the officers jumped Rochin to stop him from swallowing some capsules. They were unsuccessful, so they raced Rochin to the hospital and had his stomach pumped to get back the evidence. The capsules turned out to be morphine, a drug that is illegal without a perscription. Rochin was tried and convicted under the States drug laws. Drug Dealer 

4 Due Process of Law The Supreme Court saw the case differently. It ruled that the police had violated the 14th amendment. It said that getting evidence in this way was almost torture, and the officers broke the rules of due process. Fair procedures do not mean very much if the laws they protect are unfair. The supreme court began to recognize that idea in the late 1800's. Today, due process is not only fairness in the ways the government enforces the law. It is also protection from unfair laws. This protection is called substantive due process.

5 Due Process of Law The supreme court supported substantive due process in a 1925 case, Pierce V. Society of Sisters. Roman Catholics brought this suit against an Oregon law that said certain Oregon children had to attend public schools. The Court ruled that the law violated the 14th amendment because freedom of religion guarantees. It said the law was unfair because parents may want their children to attend private schools run by religious groups. In this case, it did not say Oregon enforced the law unfairly. Instead, it said the law itself was unfair.

6 Due Process of Law Each state must protect the rights of individuals. It must also act to protect and promote the public health, safety, morals, and general well being of all the people. The power the state has to take this action is called police power. These power for example allows states through their police to give tests to drivers when they may be drunk. States must carefully balance the rights of the individual against the well being of all. Driving crazy because you are drunk. Police Radar DUI / DWI

7 Due Process of Law The Constitutions guarantees of due process have also led to a right of privacy for Americans. People in the United States have the right to be free from unwanted governmental intrusions into their privacy. The Supreme court defined this right of privacy in Stanley V. Georgia in 1969.

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