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Presentation on theme: "YOUR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AS AMERICANS The 1 st Amendment."— Presentation transcript:


2 Central Question When are citizens justified in disobeying laws they feel are unfair or unjust?

3 The Bill of Rights The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to our Constitution. Added in 1791, these amendments place strict limits on how the government can use its power over the people. The Bill of Rights protects our Civil Liberties. Civil Liberties – the freedoms we have to think and act without government interference or fear of unfair treatment.

4 The First Amendment Protects five expressed freedoms. 5 Freedoms: Speech, Religion, Press, Assembly, and Petition. Discussion: Why do you think the founders named these freedoms first? Why did they need to name these specifically?

5 1. Freedom of Speech In some countries, people can be arrested for criticizing the government or voicing unpopular ideas. 1 st Amendment protects our right to say what is on our mind, in public or in private, without fear of punishment It covers: face to face conversations, radio/TV broadcasts, protests, and other expression. Expression can include: Art, music, clothing, and other forms Discussion: Is Internet communication considered “Speech” and protected under the 1 st Amendment?

6 Limits to Free Speech Slander: Spoken lies that harm a persons reputation. Libel: Printed lies that harm a persons reputation Any speech that endangers the safety and security of Americans Any speech that immediately leads to criminal activities or efforts to overthrow our government by force Disturbing broadcasts

7 2. Freedom of Religion The 1 st amendment prohibits congress from establishing an official religion in the U.S., favoring one religion over another, or treating people differently because of their personal beliefs. Discussion: Why did the founders include the freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights?

8 3. Freedom of the Press Allows Americans to express themselves in print as well as speech. Protects: books, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and computer networks. Ensures that American people are exposed many viewpoints. Censorship: banning printed materials, films, or broadcasts because they contain alarming or offensive ideas The government cannot censor the press.

9 4. Freedom of Assembly The 1 st amendment protects our right to gather in groups for any reason, as long as the assembly is peaceful. It also protects our right to form and join social clubs, political parties, labor unions, and other organizations. Discussion: Does the 1 st amendment protect people who join groups dedicated to the violent overthrow of the US government?

10 5. Freedom to Petition Petition – a formal request that expresses your ideas to the government The 1 st amendment protects our right to petition the government Forms of petition: written statement signed by many people, letter, email Discussion: Why do we need this freedom?

11 Group Activity Analyzing Court Cases: You Need – Case Study Handout, Organizational Chart, Pencil, Notebook Paper Do NOT Write on Case Study Handout Directions: 1. Read your case study 2. Discuss the questions for your case study 3. Answer the questions (on your paper for notebook assignment) 4. Present your findings to the class

12 We Do Mr. Jones was the boss of a major automobile manufacturer in Alabama. During the previous election, Mr. Jones backed a Republican candidate who was running for the Senate. Despite Mr. Jones endorsement, an Independent was elected to the office. One day, Mr. Jones decided to email his senators to complain about a proposed policy. When Mr. Jones sent his email, he received a response from the senators office, which stated, “Because you endorsed a Republican candidate for Senate, we will not hear your request.” Mr. Jones decided to file a complaint in court, believing his 1 st Amendment rights were violated. 1. Which expressed freedom did Mr. Jones believe to be violated? 2. How did the Senators action violate 1 st Amendment 3. What reason did the Senator provide for rejecting Mr. Jones’ proposal? 4. Should the court require Senators to read all mail from constituents?

13 Remember the Central Question When is the government justified in limiting 1 st amendment freedoms?

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