Presentation on theme: "Civil Liberties Your rights as Americans. What are civil liberties? Civil liberties are the personal rights and freedoms that the federal government cannot."— Presentation transcript:
Civil Liberties Your rights as Americans
What are civil liberties? Civil liberties are the personal rights and freedoms that the federal government cannot abridge, either by law, constitution, or judicial interpretation. These are limitations on the power of government to restrain or dictate how individuals act.
Founding Documents Declaration of Independence - 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. Constitution – framers believed in natural rights
Writ of Habeas Corpus Art. 1, Sec. 9 Produce the body Requires government officials to present a prisoner in court and to explain to the judge why the person is being held
Ex Post Facto Laws after the fact Being charged for committing a crime, that wasnt a crime when the person committed the action
Bills of Attainder Legislative act that punishes an individual without judicial trial Court should decide guilt, not Congress
Bill of Rights 1.Free speech, press, assembly, petition, religion 2.Right to bear arms 3.Prohibits quartering soldiers 4.Restricts illegal search and seizures 5.Provides grand juries, restricts eminent domain (gov cant take private property unless compensation), prohibits forced self-incrimination, double jeopardy (cant be charged for the same crime twice)
Bill of Rights 6. Outlines criminal court procedure 7. Trial by jury 8. Prevent excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment 9. Amendments 1-8 do not necessarily include all possible rights of the people 10. Reserves for the states any powers not delegated to Fed. Gov by Constitution
+ 1…the 14 th Amendment The Bill of Rights was designed to limit the powers of the national government. In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution and its language suggested that the protections of the Bill of Rights might also be extended to prevent state infringement of those rights. – The amendment begins: All persons born or naturalized…are citizens…No state shall....deprive any person, of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. – Also includes equal protection clause (next slide) – The Supreme Court did not interpret the 14th Amendment that way until 1925 in Gitlow v. New York.
14 th Amendment privileges and immunities – Constitution protects all citizens Due process – prohibits abuse of life, liberty, or property of any citizen, state rights were subordinate to Fed rights Equal protection clause – Constitution applies to all citizens equally
14 th Amendment (cont) In 1925, the Court ruled in Gitlow v. New York that states could not abridge free speech due to the 14 th Amendment's Due Process Clause. This was the first step in the development of the incorporation doctrine whereby the Court extended Bill of Rights protections to restrict state actions. Not all of the Bill of Rights has been incorporated. For example the 2nd and 3rd amendments have not been incorporated.
The 1 st Amendment….Freedom of Religion, Speech & Press The First Amendment states that: Congress shall make no law 1. respecting an establishment of religion, 2. or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…
The Founding Fathers & the 1 st Amendment While not all of the founders endorsed religious freedom for everyone, some of them notably Jefferson and Madison, cherished the right of all individuals to believe as they pleased. (Tommy J was a deist…) Many of the colonies and later states had established religions. After independence all but TWO of the former colonies had declared themselves Christian states. Non-Christian minorities were rarely tolerated (Jews could not hold office in Massachusetts until 1848).
What establishment historically meant… means that the Government will create and support an official state church…often – tax dollars support that chosen church. – that churchs laws become the law of the land. – the Nations leader usually appoint the leading clerics. – often other religions are often excluded.
US point of view of establishment They asked, Should we establish a religion or not? Thomas Jefferson wrote that there should be a wall of separation between church and state. Tommy J rocks!!!!
Religion…as a result Establishment clause – prohibits the govt from establishing an official church Free exercise clause – allows people to worship as they please
Separationists vs. Accomodationists How high should the wall between church and state be? Separationists argue that a high wall should exist between the church and state. Accomodationists contend that the state should not be separate from religion but rather should accommodate it, without showing preference.
Judicial Review Marbury v. Madison The power of the Supreme Court to judge the constitutionality of a law
Legislative Action Sometimes laws can guarantee rights Ex. Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Supreme Court and the Establishment Clause The Supreme Court has held fast to the rule of strict separation between church and state when issues of prayer in public school are involved. In the early 1960s, the Court ruled that official lead prayer and bible reading is unconstitutional. In Engel v. Vitale, (1962) the Court ruled that even nondenominational prayer could not be required of public school children
School Prayer In Lee v. Weisman (1992), the Court continued its unwillingness to allow prayer in public schools by finding the saying of prayer at a middle school graduation unconstitutional.
Lemon v. Kurtzmani.e. the Lemon Test In 1980, this Lemon Test was used to invalidate a Kentucky law that required the posting of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms. In 1971, the Court ruled that New York state could not use state funds to pay parochial school teachers salaries. To be Constitutional the challenged law must 1. Have a secular purpose 2. Neither advance nor inhibit religion 3. Not foster excessive government entanglement with religion.
Free Exercise Clause "Congress shall make no law.....prohibiting the free exercise thereof (religion)" is designed to prevent the government from interfering with the practice of religion. This freedom is not absolute. Several religious practices have been ruled unconstitutional including: – snake handling – use of illegal drugs – Polygamy Violation of social duties or subversive of good order Nonetheless, the Court has made it clear that the government must remain NEUTRAL toward religion.
See You At the Pole Student participation in before - or after - school events, such as "see you at the pole," is permissible. School officials, acting in an official capacity, may neither discourage nor encourage participation in such an event.
Equal Access to Schools 1984 Congress passed Equal Access Act public high schools receiving govt funds must allow student groups to meet regardless of religious or political content if other non-curricular clubs also meet Westside Community Schools v Mergens 1990- upheld Act Crucial difference between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clause protects.
Still 1 st Amendment…Freedom of Speech In the United States we each have the right to speak our mind (within some broad limits). In this section we will discuss – The history of speech in the United States – Prior Restraint – Politically Correct and Hate Speech – Symbolic Speech – Libel and Slander – The Internet
Free Speech DOES NOT mean that you can say anything you want… but pretty close Restrictions Threat to national securitythis now includes saying things like…Im glad they didnt find the bomb in my bagwhile in line at the airport! Libel – false written statement attacking someones character, with intent to harm Obscenity – not protected, hard to define – Ex. Pornographic material Symbolic speech – action to convey a message
Alien & Sedition Acts (1798) These acts were designed to silence criticism of the government. They made it a criminal offense to publish any false, scandalous writing against the government of the United States. A new Congress allowed the acts to expire before the Supreme Court had a chance to rule on the Constitutionality of the laws.
War and Freedom of Speech During the Civil War, President Lincoln suspended the free press provision of the First Amendment. President Lincoln also ordered the arrest of editors of two New York newspapers. Congress support him.
Espionage Act (1917) In World War I anti-German feelings ran high. Anything German was renamed – such as Sauerkraut to Liberty Cabbage. This law curtailed speech and press during World War I. The law made it illegal to urge resistance to the draft, and even prohibited the distribution of antiwar leaflets. Nearly 2,000 Americans were convicted under the Espionage Act.
Espionage Act Cont Schenck v. United States (1919) the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Schenck (a secretary of the Socialist Party) for interfering with the draft. The bad tendency test was used by the Court. Engaging in speech that had a tendency to induce illegal behavior was not protected by the 1 st Amendment.
Clear and Present Danger Test Holmes sought to allow limits on the 1st Amendment. Justice Holmes defined the Clear and Present Danger test in the Schenck case. Even the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre. Justice Holmes.
Debs v US (1919) In Debs the Court upheld the conviction of Eugene V. Debs (a Socialists candidate for the U.S. Presidency) because his anti- war speeches had the tendency to obstruct recruitment efforts.
Libel and Slander Libel is a written statement that defames the character of a person. Slander is spoken words that defame the character of a person. In the United States, it is often difficult to prove libel or slander, particularly if public persons or public officials are involved. – Actual malicious intent must be proved NY Times v Sullivan 1964
Obscenity and the 1 st Amendment Efforts to define obscenity have perplexed courts for years. Public standards vary from time to time, place to place and person to person. Work that some call obscene may be art to others. Justice Potter Stewart once said he couldn't define obscenity, but "I know it when I see it." The ambiguity of definition still exists and is becoming even more problematic with the Internet. No nationwide consensus exists that offensive material should be bannedeven some porn.
Obscenity cont The courts have consistently ruled that states may protect children from obscenity (Osborne v. Ohio,1991); while adults often have legal access to the same material. – BUT Court struck down Child Pornography Prevention Act in Ashcroft v Free Speech Coalition. The act was aimed at restricting minors viewing pornography at libraries Although the Supreme Court has ruled that obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press (Roth v. United States,1957) it has proven difficult to determine just what is obscene.
Miller v California Miller concerned bookseller Marvin Miller's conviction under California obscenity laws for distributing illustrated books of a sexual nature. In Miller, the Court's decision stated that obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment.
The Three Pronged Test for Obscenity In order to meet the definition of obscene material articulated in this case, three conditions must be met as determined in Miller V California 1973: 1. whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient (unwholesome interest or desire) interest 2. whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law. 3. whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific
What Types of Speech are Protected? Symbolic speech--symbols, signs, and other methods of expression. The Supreme Court has upheld as constitutional a number of actions including: – An example of protected symbolic speech would be the right of high school students to wear armbands to protest the Vietnam War (Tinker v. De Moines Independent Community School District, 1969). – flying a communist red flag – burning the American flag
Protectioneven when burning a flag Burning the American flag is a form of protected symbolic speech. The Supreme Court upheld that right in a 5-4 decision in Texas v. Johnson (1989).
What Types of Speech are Protected? Pentagon Papers Prior Restraint – a government action that prevents material from being published. The Supreme Court has generally struck down prior restraint of speech and press (Near v. Minnesota, 1931). In NYT v. United States (1971) the Court ruled that the publication of the top- secret Pentagon Papers could not be blocked.
What Types of Speech are Protected? Hate Speech – hate speech is the new frontier. Campus speech codes, city ordinances, and the Communications Decency Act are just a few examples.
Politically correct speech This controversy grew out of the movement colleges to ban offensive speech. Incidents in which reprimanded students have challenged the colleges code of speech have been challenged successfully by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
2 nd Amendment The 2nd Amendment states that "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." This amendment has been hotly contested in recent years particularly since the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School. The Court has not incorporated this right, nor have they heard many cases about it.
3 rd Amendment Covered mostly under right to privacy…when was the last time your family made up the guest room for a US military soldier (that wasnt related to you)?
4 th Amendment The 4th Amendments general purpose – is to deny the government the authority to make general searches. The Supreme Court has interpreted the 4th to allow the police to search – The person arrested – Things in plain view of the accused – Places or things that the person could touch or reach, or which are otherwise in the arrestees immediate control.
Search and Seizure 4 th Amendment Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure Prevent police abuse Ex. Mapp v. Ohio
4 th Amendment cont Provides protection against unreasonable searches and seizures Requires search warrants-probable cause Allows Stop and Frisk-warrant less searches only with reasonable suspicion Testing for drugs and HIV?
Due Process 5 th and 14 th Amendment Forbids national AND state gov to deny any person life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Procedural – fair trial Substantive – fundamental fairness Exclusionary ruleevidence gathered in violation of the Constitution cannot be used against a defendant
Bill the Bulwark What does the fruit of the poisonous tree refer to?
Rights of Criminal Defendants Are the due process rights and the Procedural guarantees provided by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments
Self-incrimination 5 th Amendment No one shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Miranda v. Arizona 1966
5 th Amendment The 5th Amendment states that No person shall be …compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. So criminals cannot be required to take the stand in a trial.
6 th Amendment The 6th Amendment Guarantees a right to counsel. In the past this meant that a defendant could hire and attorney. Since most criminals are poor they did not have counsel. In the case of Gideon v. Wainwright (1963). In Gideon, a poor man, was accused of a crime and denied a lawyer. The Court ruled unanimously that a lawyer was a necessity in criminal court, not a luxury. The state must provide a lawyer to poor defendants in felony cases.
8 th Amendment The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The 8th is most often used in arguing death penalty cases? Some of the major death penalty cases are: – Furman v. Georgia (1972) the Court ruled that the death penalty constituted unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment when it was imposed in an arbitrary manner. – Mckleskey v. Kemp (1987) the Court rules that the death penalty – even when it appeared to discriminate against African Americans – did not violate the constitution. – McKleskey v. Zant (1991) the Court made it more difficult for death row inmates to file repeated appeals. – Hill v Mc Donough (2006)-Can appeal using civil rights
Right to Privacy The Supreme Court has also given protection to rights not specifically enumerated. The Court has ruled that though privacy is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, the Framers expected some areas to be off-limits to government interference.
Right to Privacy Not in the Constitution Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) Roe v. Wade (1971) Yahoo and Google – search and e-mails? Cell phone conversations?
Right to Privacy In Roe v. Wade (1973) The Supreme Court ruled that a Texas law prohibiting abortion violated a woman's constitutional right to privacy. Since Roe, a number of other cases on abortion have been decided, in general they have limited abortion rights in some way. Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) -upheld fetal viability tests Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992) - Pennsylvania was allowed to limit abortions as long as they did not pose 'an undue burden' on pregnant women.
Right to Privacy based on Sexual orientation The Court has declined to extend privacy rights to protect homosexual acts. In 1986, the Court upheld a Georgia law against sodomy in a 5-4 decision in the case of Bowers v. Hardwick. However, in 1996, the Court ruled that a state could not deny rights to homosexuals simply on the basis of sexual preference 2003 Court stuck down Texas sodomy laws as unconstitutional- ruled they have respect for their private lives
Right to Privacy Right to Die In 1990, the Court heard the case Cruzan by Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health. In a 5-4 ruling, the Court rejected a right to privacy in such cases but argued that living wills, written when competent, were constitutional. In 1997, the Court ruled that there was no constitutional right to assisted suicide.
Right v. Right?? Most cases are not simple They often pit two rights against each other Ex. – freedom of press v. national security
The process of extending the protections of the Bill of Rights by means of the Fourteenth Amendment to apply to the actions of the state governments is known as A. judicial review B. incorporation C. broad construction D. federalism E. stare decisis
The Supreme Court has ruled which of the following concerning the death penalty? A. a state may not impose the death penalty on a noncitizen B. Lethal injection is the only constitutionally acceptable method of execution C. Females may not be executed D. The death penalty is not necessarily cruel and unusual punishment E. The death penalty violates the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution
Both Gitlow v New York and New York Times v Sullivan are US Supreme Court cases that dealt with which of the following amendments to the US Constitution? A. First Amendment B. Second Amendment C. Fourth Amendment D. Fifth Amendment E. Fifteenth Amendment
Brown v Board of Education of Topeka (1954) was a significant Supreme Court ruling because it A. placed limitations on the federal government and affirmed the rights of people and of the states B. made it illegal for members of the Communist party to be schoolteachers C. upheld laws allowing for the internment of ethnic groups during wartime D. applied the freedom of press provisions of the First Amendment to the states by means of the Fourteenth Amendment E. held the separate but equal concept to be a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
According to the clear and present danger test, speech may be restricted A. when in incites violent action B. when it lacks a political purpose C. whenever the US is at war D. if it is deemed offensive to religious organizations E. if the writer or speaker is not a citizen of the US