2 Why?The United States was founded, in part, to ensure individual rights against the power of government.However, these rights can be restricted when they come into conflict with the rights of others.The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment prevents the States from abridging rights guaranteed in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
3 Commitment to FreedomBeginning with the early struggle of colonists to gain and protect their individual rights. Declaration states: “All men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..”
4 Constitution did not have a listing of the rights of the people so then Congress proposed a series of amendments guaranteeing basic rights and liberties known as the Bill of Rights.
5 Civil Liberties vs. Civil Rights Liberties: Are protections against government. Guarantees of the safety of persons, opinions, and property from arbitrary acts of government.Examples: Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech and Press, Guarantee of a fair trial.Rights: positive acts of government that seek to make constitutional guarantees a reality for all people. Examples: Prohibitions of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religious belief, or national origin. Civil Rights Act of 1964.
6 Limited Government = Personal Freedoms The US Government is limited. Each one of our guarantees of personal freedom is either an outright prohibition or restriction on the power of government to do something.
7 Rights are Relative, Not Absolute! The Constitution guarantees many rights to everyone, Still no one has the right to do anything they want that would infringe on the rights of others. Example: Freedom of Speech But this freedom is not protected if it causes harms to others. “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.” -Schenck v United States, 1919:
8 Freedom of press vs Right to a fair trial Rights that ConflictExample: Sheppard v Maxwell, 1966Freedom of press vs Right to a fair trialDr. Sheppard was convicted of murder. His trial was widely covered by the national media.Appeal: Sheppard claimed the highly sensational coverage had denied him a fair trial.Supreme Court overturned Sheppard’s conviction and ordered a new trial.
9 Guaranteed Rights to Whom? Rights are extended to all personsPersons meaning all citizens and aliens (not citizens of the country in which you live in).However some rights are not given to aliens such as the right to travel freely throughout the country is guaranteed to all citizens. Travel is restricted for aliens.
10 Bill of Rights1st Ten Amendments were originally intended as restrictions on the United States Government not on the existing States. Example: 5th amendment says no person can be charged with a capital crime except by a grand jury. However the States are free to use the grand jury to bring accusations of a serious crime.
11 Due Process Clause – Modified 14th Amendment “No State shall .. Deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In other words : No State can deny to any person any right that is basic or essential to the American concept of ordered liberty.Process of incorporation: incorporated most of the guarantees in the Bill of Rights into the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause.Gitlow v New York, 1925: a communist who had been convicted in the State courts of criminal anarchy (several speeches and pamphlet for violent overthrow of gov’t)
12 9th Amendment “ The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”NOWHERE in the Constitution, or anywhere else, is there a complete list of all of the rights held by the American people. 9th Amendment declares there are rights beyond those set out in so many words in the Constitution. Supreme Court has found a number of other rights that are “retained by the people” such as the guarantee an accused person will not be tried on the basis of evidence unlawfully gained, or the right of a woman to have an abortion without the undue interference of the government.
13 Things to RememberThe Bill of Rights grant freedoms to persons of the United States by limiting the national government’s power not the States’ power.Civil Liberties are protections from the government and Civil Rights are positive acts by the government.Rights are relative not absolute. Don’t infringe upon others’ rights.No state can deny any person any right that is essential to ordered liberty- Due Process Clause.9th Amendment claims there are rights beyond those set out in many words of the Constitution.
14 SourcesTextbook: McClenaghan, William A., and Frank Abbott Magruder. Magruder's American Government. Needham, MA: Prentice Hall, Print. Use the following website for help citing your sources: