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The Bill of Rights and Current Issues. The First Amendment Freedom of Religion Freedom of Religion Freedom of Speech Freedom of Speech Freedom of the.

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Presentation on theme: "The Bill of Rights and Current Issues. The First Amendment Freedom of Religion Freedom of Religion Freedom of Speech Freedom of Speech Freedom of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Bill of Rights and Current Issues

2 The First Amendment Freedom of Religion Freedom of Religion Freedom of Speech Freedom of Speech Freedom of the Press Freedom of the Press Freedom of Assembly Freedom of Assembly Freedom of Petition Freedom of Petition

3 Freedom of Religion “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Establishment Clause: What is the government prohibited from doing in order to prevent it from “establishing” religion? Establishment Clause: What is the government prohibited from doing in order to prevent it from “establishing” religion? Free Exercise Clause: What limits can the government place on the “free exercise” of religion? Free Exercise Clause: What limits can the government place on the “free exercise” of religion?

4 Establishment Clause Issues Public (government) schools have been a focal point in Establishment Clause issues Public (government) schools have been a focal point in Establishment Clause issues School Prayer School Prayer Creationism/Intelligent Design Creationism/Intelligent Design Vouchers to parochial (religious) schools Vouchers to parochial (religious) schools Bible classes Bible classes

5 Other Establishment Clause Issues “Christmas” and other religious holiday issues “Christmas” and other religious holiday issues Nativity scenes, Christmas trees, etc… on public property and in public schools Nativity scenes, Christmas trees, etc… on public property and in public schools “In God We Trust” on money “In God We Trust” on money …One Nation, Under God…. …One Nation, Under God….

6 Free Exercise Issues What type of religious practices can/should the government prohibit? What type of religious practices can/should the government prohibit? Use of drugs in religious ceremonies Use of drugs in religious ceremonies Faith healing children Faith healing children Dress Code Issues: Islamic Headwear Dress Code Issues: Islamic Headwear

7 Free Speech Issues Discussion: What limits should be placed on speech? Discussion: What limits should be placed on speech? “Symbolic speech” (S.C Group: Tinker vs. Des Moines) “Symbolic speech” (S.C Group: Tinker vs. Des Moines) Slander: Saying something untrue and harmful about someone Slander: Saying something untrue and harmful about someone

8 Free Speech Issues Continued Discussion: Should it be legal for people to say things that cause someone to become violent? Discussion: Should it be legal for people to say things that cause someone to become violent? Symbolic Speech: Symbolic Speech: Flag Burning (S.C. Group-Johnson Case) Flag Burning (S.C. Group-Johnson Case) Passive Protests Passive Protests Dress Codes Dress Codes

9 Unprotected Speech Incitement to illegal activity and/or imminent violence Incitement to illegal activity and/or imminent violence Slander/Libel/Defamation (Libel is written slander) Slander/Libel/Defamation (Libel is written slander) Obscenity (S.C. Group: Miller Case) Obscenity (S.C. Group: Miller Case) Threats and intimidation (assault) Threats and intimidation (assault) False advertising (Fraud) False advertising (Fraud)

10 Free Press Issues Libel Libel How can tabloids print such obvious lies about celebrities? How can tabloids print such obvious lies about celebrities? Celebrities have less protection since they have voluntarily given up some privacy. They must show “malice” (intentional harm) to win a libel case Celebrities have less protection since they have voluntarily given up some privacy. They must show “malice” (intentional harm) to win a libel case

11 Free Press Issues If a reporter writes a story about a crime and uses a confidential source should that reporter be forced to tell the authorities who that source was if the source has evidence of the crime? If a reporter writes a story about a crime and uses a confidential source should that reporter be forced to tell the authorities who that source was if the source has evidence of the crime? What could happen if the reporter reveals the source? What could happen if the reporter reveals the source? What could happen if the reporter doesn’t reveal the source? What could happen if the reporter doesn’t reveal the source? Shield laws: State laws protecting reporters from having to reveal confidential sources Shield laws: State laws protecting reporters from having to reveal confidential sources

12 Free Assembly Issues City Curfews: Why do these laws exist? City Curfews: Why do these laws exist? Should teenagers be singled out for curfews? Should teenagers be singled out for curfews? Protest Rules: The government can regulate the time, place, and manner of a protest but can’t regulate the subject Protest Rules: The government can regulate the time, place, and manner of a protest but can’t regulate the subject Should Rev. Fred Phelps be allowed to protest at military funerals? Should Rev. Fred Phelps be allowed to protest at military funerals?

13 Second Amendment 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.

14 Second Amendment Should people have the right to own guns? Should people have the right to own guns? How about handguns and automatic weapons? How about handguns and automatic weapons? Conceal and carry laws Conceal and carry laws Supreme Court Decision: U.S. vs. Miller (1939) Supreme Court Decision: U.S. vs. Miller (1939) No individual right to own weapons-up to the states and Congress. No individual right to own weapons-up to the states and Congress.

15 Fourth Amendment Issues The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

16 What Does 4 th Amendment Mean? Police must have “probably cause” to search someone and must get a warrant to do so. Police must have “probably cause” to search someone and must get a warrant to do so. Probably Cause: The police being able to see, hear, smell, feel, or taste evidence of a crime. Probably Cause: The police being able to see, hear, smell, feel, or taste evidence of a crime. Exclusionary Rule: Evidence obtained illegally can’t be used in trial. Exclusionary Rule: Evidence obtained illegally can’t be used in trial.

17 Warrant and Probable Cause Exceptions Vehicle (probable cause needed) Vehicle (probable cause needed) Consent to a search Consent to a search Plain View Plain View Open Fields Open Fields Borders Borders Airports Airports Public Schools: Must have “reasonable suspicion” ( a good reason) Public Schools: Must have “reasonable suspicion” ( a good reason)

18 Warrant and Probable Cause Exceptions Stop and Frisk Stop and Frisk Hot Pursuit Hot Pursuit “Honest Mistakes” and “Good Faith” Searches “Honest Mistakes” and “Good Faith” Searches Emergency Situations (Fires, accidents, etc…) Emergency Situations (Fires, accidents, etc…)

19 Warrant and Probable Cause Exceptions (Continued) Prisons, probation, and parole Prisons, probation, and parole Drug-Testing for some public employees and public school students (extra credit opportunity) Drug-Testing for some public employees and public school students (extra credit opportunity)

20 Fourth Amendment Issues Supreme Court Group: California vs. Greenwood Supreme Court Group: California vs. Greenwood Is your garbage protected by the Fourth Amendment? Is your garbage protected by the Fourth Amendment?

21 Right to Privacy-Abortion Abortion: Roe v. Wade decision Abortion: Roe v. Wade decision First Trimester: No limit to abortion First Trimester: No limit to abortion Second Trimester: Limits okay if they are there to protect the mother’s health Second Trimester: Limits okay if they are there to protect the mother’s health Third Trimester: Abortion not protected unless it’s needed to protect the mother’s health. Third Trimester: Abortion not protected unless it’s needed to protect the mother’s health. Should abortion be a protected right? Should abortion be a protected right?

22 Fourth Amendment Issues Terrorism and domestic spying Terrorism and domestic spying Patriot Act: Is it okay for the government to read your s, listen to your phone conversations, and/or track your movie, book, and video game purchases if it might make Americans safer? Patriot Act: Is it okay for the government to read your s, listen to your phone conversations, and/or track your movie, book, and video game purchases if it might make Americans safer?

23 Fifth Amendment Issues You have the right to remain silent…. You have the right to remain silent…. (Miranda warnings) No self-incrimination (“I plead the 5 th ) No self-incrimination (“I plead the 5 th ) Torture: Is okay to force someone to incriminate themselves if it might make Americans safer? Torture: Is okay to force someone to incriminate themselves if it might make Americans safer? Due Process: Must be given in order to remove someone’s life, liberty, or property Due Process: Must be given in order to remove someone’s life, liberty, or property

24 Fifth Amendment Issues Eminent Domain: Government can take private property for public use. A recent Supreme Court ruling expanded this to include private use. Eminent Domain: Government can take private property for public use. A recent Supreme Court ruling expanded this to include private use. Double Jeopardy: You can’t be tried twice for the same offense-Good Stufflebeam Story Double Jeopardy: You can’t be tried twice for the same offense-Good Stufflebeam Story Grand Jury: Charges crimes sometimes Grand Jury: Charges crimes sometimes

25 Exceptions to Double Jeopardy Rule Convicted person appeals and gets a new trial Convicted person appeals and gets a new trial Federal and State Courts Federal and State Courts Mistrial or Hung Jury Mistrial or Hung Jury

26 Sixth Amendment: Rights of the Accused Speedy and Public Trial Speedy and Public Trial Jury Trial Jury Trial Defense Defense Confront witnesses Confront witnesses Attorney Attorney Issue: Detainees and Secret Prisons Issue: Detainees and Secret Prisons

27 Eighth Amendment: No Cruel or Unusual Punishment Is capital punishment “cruel” or “unusual?” Is capital punishment “cruel” or “unusual?” Torture Issue Torture Issue

28 Other Amendment Issues Ninth: There may be other rights (abortion?) Ninth: There may be other rights (abortion?) Tenth: Other rights belong to the states Tenth: Other rights belong to the states Fourteenth: Equal Protection Clause (Gay rights?) Fourteenth: Equal Protection Clause (Gay rights?)


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