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The Dynamic Nature of Civil Liberties

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Presentation on theme: "The Dynamic Nature of Civil Liberties"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Dynamic Nature of Civil Liberties

2 The Bill of Rights– Then and Now
Civil Liberties: the legal constitutional protections against the government The Bill of Rights: first 10 amendments, which protect basic liberties, such as religion and speech

3 The Bill of Rights—Then and Now

4 Criminal Due Process The Fourth Amendment The Fifth Amendment The Sixth Amendment The Eighth Amendment

5 The Bill of Rights—Then and Now
The Bill of Rights and the States Written to restrict the national government “Congress shall make no law…” Barron v. Baltimore (1833) Most have been “incorporated” through the 14th Amendment, and now restrict state and local governments First Amendment protection of speech first incorporated to states in Gitlow v. New York (1925)

6 Incorporation Until 20th century, Bill of Rights did not apply to states. 14th Amendment’s due process clause raises questions. Begins to apply after Gitlow v. New York (1925). Case is first step in incorporation doctrine. Not all guarantees have been incorporated. Selective incorporation of fundamental freedoms.

7 The Bill of Rights—Then and Now

8 Freedom of Religion The Establishment Clause
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion…” Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) Secular legislative purpose Neither advance nor inhibit religion No excessive government “entanglement”

9 First Amendment: Free Exercise
Government cannot interfere with religious practice. Is not absolute; necessity can outweigh freedom. Still, laws must be neutral toward religion.

10 Freedom of Expression Free Speech and Public Order
Speech is limited if it presents a “clear and present danger.” Schenck v. US (1919) Permissible to advocate the violent overthrow of government in abstract, but not to incite anyone to imminent lawless action Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) Speech is generally protected in public places, but usually not on another’s private property.

11 Protected Speech Court will rarely tolerate prior restraint.
Court also protects symbolic speech. Hate speech also receives growing protection.

12 Symbolic Speech Symbolic Speech
Definition: nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband Generally protected along with verbal speech Texas v. Johnson (1989): Burning the American flag is symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment.

13 Free Speech May Interfere with other Civil Liberties
Free Press and Fair Trials Is extensive press coverage of high profile trials (OJ Simpson; Martha Stewart) permissible? The public has a right to know what happens; trial must be open to the public. The press’ own information about a trial may not be protected. Yet, some states have passed shield laws to protect reporters.

14 Commercial Speech Definition: communication in the form of advertising
Generally the most restricted and regulated form of speech (Federal Trade Commission) Regulation of the Public Airwaves Broadcast stations must follow Federal Communication Commission rules. Regulation must be narrowly tailored to promote a compelling governmental interest. United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group (2000)

15 Unprotected Speech These types of speech are without social value.
Libel, or false written statements. Slander, or untrue spoken statements. Fighting words, or words that breach the peace. Obscenity, which varies by jurisdiction.

16 Freedom of Assembly Right to Assemble Right to Associate
Generally permissible to gather in a public place, but must meet reasonable local standards, such as fire codes and apply for permits Balance between freedom and order Right to Associate Freedom to join groups or associations without government interference NAACP v. Alabama (1958)

17 First Amendment: Assembly
Assembly and petition have been controversial. Tied closely to speech and press. If speech crosses line, protection may not exist.

18 Right to Bear Arms Common National, State, and Local Gun Laws
Restrictions on owning and carrying handguns. Background checks Limited the sale of certain types of weapons. Requirements that guns be stored in a fashion to prevent their theft or children from accessing and firing them. Courts have usually upheld these.

19 Individual or Collective Right?
Militia Clause: Many advocates of gun control argued that the Second Amendment applied only to the right of states to create militias. District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) Individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia. Use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

20 Defendants’ Rights

21 4th Amendment Searches and Seizures
Probable Cause: when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested Unreasonable searches and seizures: evidence is obtained in a haphazard or random manner, prohibited by the Fourth Amendment Exclusionary Rule: the rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into trial if it was not constitutionally obtained Mapp v. Ohio (1961)

22 5th Amendment Self-Incrimination
Definition: when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court Police must inform suspects of these and other Fifth Amendment protections upon arrest. Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Protection from coerced confessions and entrapments

23 Fifth Amendment Prevents self-incrimination and double jeopardy.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966) is landmark case. Miranda rights inform suspects of right to silence.

24 6th Amendment The Right to Counsel Trials
The state must provide lawyers in most criminal cases (Sixth Amendment). Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) Trials Plea bargaining: a bargain between the prosecution and defense for a defendant to plead guilty to a lesser crime; 90 percent of cases end here and do not go to trial Juries generally consist of 12 people, but unanimity is not always needed to convict. The Sixth Amendment also guarantees a “speedy and public” trial.

25 8th Amendment Cruel and Unusual Punishment
The Eighth Amendment forbids cruel and unusual punishment. The death penalty is not cruel and unusual. It is “an extreme sanction, suitable to the most extreme crimes.” Gregg v. Georgia (1976) The death penalty’s use and application varies by state.

26 8th Amendment Continued
Protects against cruel and unusual punishment. Most common application is the death penalty. Briefly unconstitutional for a period in 1970s. Used at varying rates and forms in different states. Minors and mentally retarded are excluded. Growth of innocence projects and DNA evidence. 2008 case upholds constitutionality of lethal injection.

27 Right to Privacy Created by the courts from penumbras of constitution.
Applied first to contraception. Extended to abortion in Roe v. Wade (1973). Also applied in some homosexual rights cases. Right to die movement also uses right to privacy.

28 The Right of Privacy Roe v. Wade Undue Burden

29 Civil Liberties and Terrorism
Virtually all civil liberties have been affected. USA Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act. Place limitations on free speech rights. Increase law enforcement’s search capabilities. Attempt to deny habeas corpus rights to defendants. Allow for use of techniques such as water-boarding.

30 Figure 5.1- Methods of Execution

31 Gun Control

32 Summary Civil liberties are expressed in the Bill of Rights.
These are the individual’s protections—for religion, expression, assembly, and the accused—against the government. Legislatures and courts constantly define what the Bill of Rights protects in practice.

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