Presentation on theme: "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."— Presentation transcript:
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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
The majority decides how the government operates. So abortion, the rights of the accused, gun control, separation of church and state -- are all decided by the majority. Problem: tyranny of the majority and the victimized minority
But some rights are so sacred that they cannot be violated by anyone, even the majority Individual rights have expanded dramatically in the last 40 years to now include abortion, the rights of the accused, separation of church and state and gun control These issues are no longer entirely decided by elected officials but now by unelected judges
Originally the Constitution did not include free speech, free press, free exercise of religion, right to a speedy and public trial, protection from cruel and unusual punishment There was widespread concern that this newly created federal government (with its army and ability to tax) would oppress So the founders agreed to supplement the Constitution with a Bill of Rights – aimed at protecting INDIVIDUAL rights from the FEDERAL government
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights They are civil liberties – protections against government The Bill of Rights establishes another element of limited government – the belief that the people are free because the government is not
Rights are relative not absolute There are limits on all rights: Free speech: speech that would cause imminent unlawful acts, child pornography, speech that would disrupt the learning environment in schools Free press: articles that would falsely damage a private persons reputation Search and seizure: police need a warrant unless...
The Bill of Rights initially only applied to the federal government Because almost all law enforcement was at the state level, that meant the Bill of Rights was limited in its impact But with the addition of the 14 th amendment after the Civil War the Bill of Rights protections began to be applied to the state governments No state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law