Presentation on theme: "Civil Liberties The Bill of Rights. 1st Amendment Guarantees Freedom of Religion Freedom of Speech Freedom of Press Freedom of Assembly Freedom of Petition."— Presentation transcript:
Civil Liberties The Bill of Rights
1st Amendment Guarantees Freedom of Religion Freedom of Speech Freedom of Press Freedom of Assembly Freedom of Petition
Speech Rich history in the U.S Thoughts most important, words in the middle, actions and deeds least protected. Originally intended to protect against prior restraint. Adams tries with Alien and Seditions acts to limit criticism of government. Huge outcry prevented further attempts to limit speech.
Selective incorporation – states began to prosecute people who published articles critical of governmental policies. North – positive information about slaver was prohibited. South – Anti-slavery sentiments were prohibited. Gitlow v. New York tied 1 st Amendment to states.
WWI – Espionage Act limited speech. Schenk v. U.S. (1919) – “clear and present danger) Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) – direct incitement test – promoting illegal action is protected unless breaking a law is intended and likely.
No “prior restraint” Extends to symbolic speech – symbols, signs Hate speech is ok unless it incites violence Unpopular speech is protected. Not protected – libel and slander Fighting words – incite violence Obscenity
2 nd Amendment Added so that citizens could maintain militias. D.C. v. Heller (2008) – right to own a firearm for personal use. In recent years much legislation about gun ownership at all levels of gov’t. Some talk about eliminating this amendment.
Rights of Criminal Defendents Writ of habeas corpus – prisoner cannot be held without a hearing before a judge to prove cause. Ex post facto – makes and act illegal after it occurs. Bills of attainder – punish an accused without a trial. Written into the Constitution.
4 th Amendment Protects against illegal search and seizure. Police must have a search warrant or probable cause. Police can search the person arrested, items in plain view, places or things that the arrested person could touch or reach. No warrant – person must be about to commit a crime or if consent is given. Applies to arrests as well.
5 th Amendment Cannot be forced to testify against yourself. Eminent domain – must pay just compensation. No double jeopardy Must be informed of Constitutional Rights. Miranda v. Arizona (1966) – police lust give rights before questioning.
Exclusionary rule – prosecutors cannot use evidence obtained in an illegal search. Mapp v. Ohio (1961) – extend exclusionary rule to states. Recently Supreme Court has made exceptions if police can be shown to have acted in “good faith”.
6 th Amendment Speedy and public trials Impartial juries Trial in state where crime was commited. Notice of charges Right to confront witnesses and have favorable witnesses Right to an attorney
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) – extends right to counsel to poor and to cases in state courts. Lawyers must prepare for clients trial and sentencing.
8 th Amendment Prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. No excessive bail or fines Gregg v. Georgia (1976) and McCleskey v. Kemp (1987) – death penalty is not cruel or unusual punishment. McCleskey also says inmates cannot raise new issues on appeal. Some limits to death penalty for mentally handicapped and minors.
Right to Privacy Not specifically guaranteed but has been inferred by other amendments. Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) – extends to married couples right to use contraception. Roe v. Wade (1973) – applies right to privacy to abortion. Extremely controversial
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) – allows states to prevent use of state funds for abortion clinics and prohibits state employees from perfoming abortions. Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) – states can limit abortions as long as they do not place and “undue burden” on women. Federal partial birth abortion law has also been upheld.
2003 – Supreme Court prevents criminalization of private sexual behavior.
Combating Terrorism USA Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act Limitations placed on Bill of Rights. Sedition, broad searches without warrants, imprison enemy combatants without due process rights or probable cause. MCA – rules on illegal incarceration, torture, writs of habeas corpus, and trial by jury are limited.