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Amendments to the Constitution

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1 Amendments to the Constitution
Ch. 4 Amendments to the Constitution

2 The Bill of Rights The Bill of Rights, which was added to the Constitution in 1791, protects our civil liberties the freedoms we have to think and act without government interference or fear of unfair treatment The first 10 amendments

3 The First Amendment The 1st Amendment protects five basic freedoms:
Religion Speech Press Assembly Petition

4 Freedom of Religion Congress may not establish a official religion, favor one religion over another, or treat people differently because of their beliefs People may practice their faith as they wish Thomas Jefferson referred to it as a, “wall of separation between church and state

5 Freedom of Speech In some countries, people can be jailed for criticizing the government or voicing unpopular ideas. We are guaranteed the right to say what is on our minds, privately or publicly, without fear of punishment Freedom of speech includes conversations, radio, and T.V.; also protects forms of expression ex. Tinker v. Des Moines (1965)

6 Freedom of Press As American citizens, we are free to express ourselves in print or other media. Media includes radio, T.V., and computer networks (blogs) The government can not practice censorship, or ban printed materials or film because they contain offensive ideas Also are prohibited from banning information before it is published or broadcast.

7 Freedom of Press 1733, John Peter Zenger, publisher for the New York Weekly Journal was arrested and imprisoned for criticizing Gov. William Crosby (NY). Zenger’s lawyer argued that only a free press to criticize could prevent the government from abusing its power. There are some restrictions: you can not publish materials that can harm a person’s character or reputation; if its based on fact, its fair game

8 Freedom of Assembly We may gather in groups for any reason, as long as the assemblies are peaceful. Government can make rules about when and where activities can be held but cannot ban them outright. We may freely join clubs, political parties, unions and other organizations as we wish.

9 Freedom of Petition We all have the right to petition the government
We can express our ideas and complaints about government action Ex. Complain about the traffic situation on Brawley School Road. Get other like minded people to sign a petition (written request) to pressure leaders into action

10 Limits to the 1st Amendment
The Supreme Court has decided that the 1st Amendment is not an absolute freedom and has to be limited in scope to protect safety and security. You may not say anything that may provoke a riot. You may not write or speak in a way that leads to criminal activities or any effort to overthrow the government

11 Limits to the 1st Amendment
People should use civil liberties responsibly and not interfere with the rights of others. Ex. You are free to assemble but not in the middle of 150 You may criticize government officials but you can not spread lies that can harm a person’s reputation. Doing so is a crime called slander if lies are spoken, and libel if lies are printed.

12 Limits to the 1st Amendment
The First Amendment was never intended to give people unlimited freedom or allow them to do whatever they want. The rights of one individual must be balanced against the rights of others and the community When there is a conflict, the rights of the community will always come first, or society would break apart.

13 Other Protections within the Bill of Rights
The 2nd amendment is often debated. Some believe it only allows states to keep an armed militia. Others believe it guarantees the right of all citizens to “keep and bear arms.” The courts have generally ruled that government can pass laws to control, but not prevent, the possession of weapons by individuals

14 The Third Amendment The 3rd Amendment states that soldiers may not move into private homes without the owners’ consent. Soldiers had done this in colonial times The government is responsible for quartering soldiers during war and during peacetime.

15 Other Guarantees in the Bill of Rights: Rights of the Accused
The right to fair legal treatment is just as important to our civil liberties. Without these protections, government could ransack our homes, drag us to jail, and hold a trial without you responding to the charges. The 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments prevent this from happening

16 The Fourth Amendment The fourth amendment protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures. Cannot search your home or property without probable cause. If police believe you have committed a crime, they can ask a judge for a search warrant – court order allowing law enforcement officials to search a suspect’s home or business and take evidence. Ex. Mapp v. Ohio (1961)

17 The Fifth Amendment The fifth amendment gives us protections in a few ways: - states that no person can be put on trial for a serious federal crime without an indictment, a formal charge by a group of citizens called a grand jury, who review the evidence. An indictment does not mean guilt, but it indicates that the person may have committed a crime

18 The Fifth Amendment (cont.)
protects a person from double jeopardy people can not be tried and judged for the same crime twice. Ex. O.J. could not be tried again in California for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman when he was acquitted the first time.

19 The Fifth Amendment (cont.)
Protects the accused by giving them the right to remain silent Prevents authorities from threatening, torturing, or coercing people into a confession. Cannot force people to testify against themselves Protection against self-incrimination ex. Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

20 The Fifth Amendment (cont.)
States that no one may be denied life, liberty, or property without due process Must follow established legal procedures

21 The Fifth Amendment (cont.)
Limits the government’s power of eminent domain – the right of the government to take private property for public use If your house lies in the way of a proposed government works project, government must give you fair price for it. Limits this process.

22 The Sixth Amendment Guarantees additional rights to people accused of crimes. - requires accused people to be told the charges against them (writ of habeas corpus) - requires that the accused be allowed a trial by jury, unless the accused chooses a judge instead (bench trial)

23 The Sixth Amendment (cont.)
If the accused asks for a jury trial, it must be speedy and public, with jurors being impartial. If possible the trial should take place in the same area in which the crime took place.

24 The Sixth Amendment (cont.)
The accused have the right to hear and question witnesses who testify against them. They also have the right to call witnesses in their own defense Accused people are entitled to a lawyer/counsel Supreme Court ruled that if a person can not afford a lawyer, the government must provide one and pay his/her fees ex. Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)

25 The Seventh Amendment The 7th amendment concerns civil cases – lawsuits involving disagreements among people rather than crimes. Guarantees the right to a jury trial in civil cases involving more than $20. It does not require a jury trial however.

26 The Eighth Amendment The Eighth Amendment forbids any excessive bail and excessive fines Before trial, the accused may stay in jail or pay bail, a security deposit. Bail is returned if the person comes to court for trial; it is forfeited if the person fails to appear. Bail must meet the severity of the crime; judge weighs various factors of the individual

27 The Eighth Amendment (cont.)
Also forbids any cruel and unusual punishment Many people disagree on what types of punishments are cruel and unusual but generally agree that punishment should be proportional to the crime committed. Ex. Furman v. Georgia (1972) Garotte

28 The Ninth Amendment The 9th Amendment states that citizens have other rights beyond those listed in the Constitution. Ex. people’s right to privacy –this is not listed in the Constitution

29 The Tenth Amendment The 10th Amendment says that any powers the Constitution does not specifically give to the national government are reserved to the states or to the people. Prevents Congress and the President from becoming too strong They have only the powers the people give them.

30 Extending the Bill of Rights
At first the Bill of Rights applied only to adult, white males. Also applied only to the national government and not to the states or local governments Later amendments and court rulings made the Bill of Rights apply to all people and level of governments

31 Civil War Amendments The 13th , 14th, and 15th Amendments are also known as the Civil War Amendments because they extended civil liberties to African-Americans during that time period

32 13th Amendment (1865) officially outlawed slavery, freeing thousands of African Americans

33 Civil War Amendments Even after freeing the slaves, this did not guarantee them full rights After the Civil War, many southern states passed “black codes” that excluded African Americans from certain jobs, limited property rights, and placed many restrictions on their lives.

34 Civil War Amendments The 14th Amendment (1868) remedied this situation by defining citizens as “anyone born or naturalized in the United States” which included African Americans Requires all states to grant citizens “equal protection of the laws”

35 Civil War Amendments Over the years this clause has been used to benefit women, the disabled, and other groups whose rights have not been protected fairly. The 14th amendment also nationalized the Bill of Rights by forbidding state governments from interfering with the rights of citizens.

36 Civil War Amendments The last of the Civil War amendments, the 15th amendment (1870) says that no state may take away a person’s voting rights on the basis of race, color, or previous enslavement. The amendment was clearly intended to guarantee suffrage –the right to vote – to African Americans. Keep in mind, it applied only to men Various states had the power to decide whether women could vote. Still regardless of race, women could not vote in most federal or state elections

37 Later Amendments Gradually, the Bill of Rights came to cover all Americans equally and limited the power of government at all levels. Additional amendments would extend the rights of Americans to participate fully in the democratic process (voting rights)

38 The Seventeenth Amendment
According to Article I of the Constitution, the people were to elect members of the House of Rep., but the state legislatures were to choose members of the Senate. Ratified in 1913, this amendment allowed voters to elect their senators directly. Gave Americans a greater voice in their government

39 The Nineteenth Amendment
The Constitution did not grant nor deny women the right to vote. This decision was left for the states under the reserved powers granted to them by the 10th amendment. Some territories such as Wyoming allowed women to vote in 1869, national support for women’s suffrage was slow. Women’s suffrage movement started around 1848 in NY 19th Amendment (1920) established women’s right to vote in all elections

40 The Twenty-third Amendment
Because Washington, D.C. is a district and not a state, the people who lived there were not initially allowed to vote in national elections. 23rd amendment (1961) established that citizens of D.C. may vote for the President and Vice President, just as other Americans do.

41 The Twenty-fourth Amendment
The 15th amendment gave African Americans the right to vote, but many had trouble exercising the right Many southern states had poll taxes, requiring voters to pay a sum of money before casting a ballot. This was a financial burden for African Americans and poor whites; no pay, no vote. 24th Amendment (1964) made poll taxes illegal in national elections and then two years later, made them illegal in state elections

42 The Twenty-sixth Amendment
Throughout history, a young man could fight and die for his country at the age of 18, but was unable to vote for leaders until the age of 21. Constitution does not state an age minimum, this was established by the states. 26th Amendment (1971) during the Vietnam War, Americans were guaranteed the right to vote at the age of 18. Lowered age minimum from 21 to 18.

43 The Civil Rights Struggle:
After the Civil War, African Americans routinely faced discrimination, or unfair treatment based on prejudice against a certain group. “Jim Crow” laws passed in the south required the social separation of the races which was known as segregation. It would take more than 100 years for African Americans to secure their civil rights – the rights of full citizenship and equality under the law.

44 “Separate but Equal” “Jim Crow” laws had mandated the “separate but equal” status for blacks in America. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

45 Beginning to Change Executive Order 9981 (1948) from President Harry Truman ordered an end to segregation in the nation’s armed forces. The biggest victory for equality of rights came with the decision in 1954.

46 Brown Decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS (1954)
NAACP lawyers successfully argued that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. It violated the 14th Amendments principle of “equal protection under the law”

47 Montgomery Bus Boycott
In 1955, one year after the Brown decision, an African American woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. Arrested for violating Alabama’s segregation laws.

48 Montgomery Bus Boycott
Her arrest spurred the local African American community to organize a boycott of the Montgomery, AL bus system. A year later, Supreme Court ruled that public bus segregation was unconstitutional. Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gained national prominence from their actions

49 Peaceful Protests Dr. King was a Baptist minister and one of the main leaders of the civil rights movement. His ability to speak and his belief in non-violent resistance helped move the cause. King helped organize marches, boycotts, and demonstrations that opened people eye’s to the treatment of blacks and that change was needed.

50 Peaceful Protests Students were known for staging “sit-ins” at lunch counters that served only whites African Americans and whites sympathetic to the cause were “Freedom Riders” who traveled together on buses to protest segregation King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” was and still is inspirational to those who hope for racial equality.

51 Civil Rights Act of 1964 In response to the growing demand for government action, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law prohibited discrimination in: - public facilities - employment - education - voter registration

52 Civil Rights Act of 1964 It banned discrimination by race, color, gender, religion, and national origin. Strengthened the 14th Amendment

53 Other Steps to Equality
Ratification in 1964 of the 24th Amendment to protect African Americans when it came to registering and voting; banned poll taxes in America. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 ensured all citizens the right to vote, regardless of race.

54 Affirmative Action In the 1970’s, the federal government created programs that were intended to make up for past discrimination. These programs encouraged the hiring and promoting of minorities and women, and the admission of more minority students to colleges.

55 Affirmative Action From the beginning, affirmative action has been controversial. Critics complain that affirmative action programs give preferential treatment to women and minorities, amounting to discrimination against men and whites. “reverse discrimination”

56 Racial Profiling The struggle for equal rights continues today.
Each year, the federal government receives more than 75,000 complaints of workplace discrimination. Many people are subject to racial profiling

57 Racial Profiling Racial profiling is being singled out as suspects because of the way they look. Some Americans are also victims of hate crimes – acts of violence based on a person’s race, color, national origin, gender, or disability.

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