Presentation on theme: "“Your rights as Americans”"— Presentation transcript:
1 “Your rights as Americans” Civil Liberties“Your rights as Americans”
2 What are civil liberties? Civil liberties are the personal rightsand freedoms that the federal government cannot abridge, either by law, constitution, or judicial interpretation.• These are limitations on the power ofgovernment to restrain or dictate howindividuals act.
3 Founding DocumentsDeclaration of Independence - “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.”Constitution – framers believed in natural rights
4 Writ of Habeas Corpus Art. 1, Sec. 9 “Produce the body” Requires government officials to present a prisoner in court and to explain to the judge why the person is being held
5 Ex Post Facto Laws “after the fact” Being charged for committing a crime, that wasn’t a crime when the person committed the action
6 Bills of AttainderLegislative act that punishes an individual without judicial trialCourt should decide guilt, not Congress
7 Bill of Rights Free speech, press, assembly, petition, religion Right to bear armsProhibits quartering soldiersRestricts illegal search and seizuresProvides grand juries, restricts eminent domain (gov can’t take private property unless compensation), prohibits forced self-incrimination, double jeopardy (can’t be charged for the same crime twice)
8 Bill of Rights 6. Outlines criminal court procedure 7. Trial by jury 8. Prevent excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment9. Amendments 1-8 do not necessarily include all possible rights of the people10. Reserves for the states any powers not delegated to Fed. Gov by Constitution
9 + 1…the 14th AmendmentThe Bill of Rights was designed to limit the powers ofthe national government.• In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment was added to theConstitution and its language suggested that the protections of the Bill of Rights might also be extended to prevent state infringement of those rights.– The amendment begins: “All persons born or naturalized…are citizens…No state shall....deprive any person, of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.“– Also includes equal protection clause (next slide)– The Supreme Court did not interpret the 14th Amendment that way until 1925 in Gitlow v. New York.
10 14th Amendment“privileges and immunities” – Constitution protects all citizensDue process – prohibits abuse of life, liberty, or property of any citizen, state rights were subordinate to Fed rightsEqual protection clause – Constitution applies to all citizens equally
11 14th Amendment (con’t)In 1925, the Court ruled in Gitlow v. New York that statescould not abridge free speech due to the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause.• This was the first step in the development of theincorporation doctrine whereby the Court extended Billof Rights protections to restrict state actions.• Not all of the Bill of Rights has been incorporated. Forexample the 2nd and 3rd amendments have not beenincorporated.
12 The 1st Amendment….Freedom of Religion, Speech & Press The First Amendment states that: “Congress shall make no law1. respecting an establishment of religion,2. or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…”
13 The Founding Fathers & the 1st Amendment While not all of the founders endorsed religiousfreedom for everyone, some of them notablyJefferson and Madison, cherished the right of allindividuals to believe as they pleased. (Tommy J was a deist…)• Many of the colonies and later states had established religions. After independence all but TWO of the former colonies had declared themselves “Christian states.”• Non-Christian minorities were rarely tolerated(Jews could not hold office in Massachusetts until1848).
14 What “establishment” historically meant… means that the Government will create and support an official state church…often– tax dollars support that chosen church.– that church’s laws become the law of the land.– the Nation’s leader usually appoint the leading clerics.– often other religions are often excluded.
15 US point of view of establishment They asked, “Shouldwe establish a religionor not?”• Thomas Jeffersonwrote that thereshould be “a wall ofseparation betweenchurch and state.”Tommy J rocks!!!!
16 Religion…as a result“Establishment” clause – prohibits the gov’t from establishing an official church“Free exercise” clause – allows people to worship as they please
17 Separationists vs. Accomodationists How high should the wallbetween church and statebe?Accomodationistscontend that the stateshould not be separatefrom religion but rathershould accommodate it,without showingpreference.Separationists argue that ahigh “wall” should existbetween the church andstate.
18 Judicial Review Marbury v. Madison The power of the Supreme Court to judge the constitutionality of a law
19 Legislative Action Sometimes laws can guarantee rights Ex. Civil Rights Act of 1964
20 The Supreme Court and the Establishment Clause The Supreme Court has held fast to the rule ofstrict separation between church and state whenissues of prayer in public school are involved.•In the early 1960s, the Court ruled that officiallead prayer and bible reading is unconstitutional.•In Engel v. Vitale, (1962) the Court ruled thateven nondenominational prayer could not berequired of public school children
21 School Prayer In Lee v. Weisman (1992), the Court continued its unwillingness to allowprayer in publicschools by finding thesaying of prayer at amiddle schoolgraduationunconstitutional.
22 Lemon v. Kurtzman—i.e. the Lemon Test In 1971, the Court ruled thatNew York state could notuse state funds to payparochial school teachers’salaries.• To be Constitutional thechallenged law must1. Have a secular purpose2. Neither advance nor inhibitreligion3. Not foster excessivegovernment entanglementwith religion.In 1980, this LemonTest was used toinvalidate a Kentuckylaw that required theposting of the TenCommandments inpublic schoolclassrooms.
23 Free Exercise Clause"Congress shall make no law.....prohibiting the free exercise thereof (religion)" is designed to prevent the government from interfering with the practice of religion.• This freedom is not absolute.• Several religious practices have been ruled unconstitutional including:– snake handling– use of illegal drugs– Polygamy ‘Violation of social duties or subversive of good order”Nonetheless, the Court has made it clear that the government must remain NEUTRAL toward religion.
24 “See You At the Pole” Student participation in before - or after - schoolevents, such as "see youat the pole," ispermissible.• School officials, actingin an official capacity,may neither discouragenor encourageparticipation in such anevent.
25 Equal Access to Schools 1984 Congress passed Equal Access Act publichigh schools receiving gov’t funds must allow student groups to meet regardless of religious or political content if other non-curricular clubs also meet• Westside Community Schools v Mergens 1990-upheld Act “Crucial difference between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clause protects”.
26 Still 1st Amendment…Freedom of Speech In the United States we each have the right tospeak our mind (within some broad limits).• In this section we will discuss– The history of speech in the United States– Prior Restraint– Politically Correct and Hate Speech– Symbolic Speech– Libel and Slander– The Internet
27 Free SpeechDOES NOT mean that you can “say anything you want”… but pretty closeRestrictionsThreat to national security—this now includes saying things like…”I’m glad they didn’t find the bomb in my bag”—while in line at the airport!Libel – false written statement attacking someone’s character, with intent to harmObscenity – not protected, hard to define – Ex. Pornographic materialSymbolic speech – action to convey a message
28 Alien & Sedition Acts (1798) These acts were designed to silencecriticism of the government.• They made it a criminal offense to publish“any false, scandalous writing against the government of the United States.”• A new Congress allowed the acts to expire before the Supreme Court had a chance to rule on the Constitutionality of the laws.
29 War and Freedom of Speech During the Civil War, President Lincoln suspended the free press provision of the First Amendment.• President Lincoln also ordered the arrest of editors of two New York newspapers. Congress support him.
30 Espionage Act (1917)In World War I anti-German feelings ran high. Anything German was renamed –such as Sauerkraut to LibertyCabbage.• This law curtailed speech andpress during World War I.• The law made it illegal to urgeresistance to the draft, and evenprohibited the distribution of antiwar leaflets.• Nearly 2,000 Americans were convicted under the Espionage Act.
31 Espionage Act Con’tSchenck v. United States (1919) the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Schenck (a secretary of the Socialist Party) for interfering with the draft.• The bad tendency test was used by theCourt. Engaging in speech that had atendency to induce illegal behavior was not protected by the 1st Amendment.
32 Clear and Present Danger Test Holmes sought to allow limits on the 1stAmendment.• Justice Holmes defined the “Clear and Present Danger” test in the Schenck case.• “Even the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a manfalsely shouting fire in a crowdedtheatre.” Justice Holmes.
33 Debs v US (1919) In Debs the Court upheld the conviction of Eugene V. Debs (a Socialists candidate for the U.S. Presidency) because his anti-war speeches had the “tendency” to obstruct recruitment efforts.
34 Libel and SlanderLibel is a written statement that defames the character of a person.• Slander is spoken words that defame the character of a person.• In the United States, it is often difficult to prove libel or slander, particularly if “public persons” or “public officials” are involved.– Actual malicious intent must be provedNY Times v Sullivan 1964
35 Obscenity and the 1st Amendment Efforts to define obscenity have perplexed courts for years. Public standards vary from time to time, place to place and person to person.• Work that some call “obscene” may be “art” to others. Justice Potter Stewart once said hecouldn't define obscenity, but "I know it when Isee it." The ambiguity of definition still existsand is becoming even more problematic withthe Internet.• No nationwide consensus exists that offensivematerial should be banned—even some porn.
36 Obscenity con’tThe courts have consistently ruled that states may protect children from obscenity (Osborne v. Ohio,1991); while adults often have legal access to the same material.– BUT Court struck down Child Pornography Prevention Act in Ashcroft v Free Speech Coalition. The act wasaimed at restricting minors viewing pornography atlibraries• Although the Supreme Court has ruled that “obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press” (Roth v. United States,1957) it has proven difficult to determine just what is obscene.
37 Miller v CaliforniaMiller concerned bookseller Marvin Miller's conviction under California obscenity laws for distributing illustrated books of a sexual nature.• In Miller, the Court's decision stated that obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment.
38 The “Three Pronged Test” for Obscenity In order to meet the definition of obscene material articulated in this case, three conditions must be met as determined in Miller V California 1973:1. whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient (unwholesome interest or desire) interest2. whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law.3. whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific
39 What Types of Speech are Protected? Symbolic speech--symbols, signs, and othermethods of expression. The Supreme Court hasupheld as constitutional a number of actionsincluding:– An example of protected symbolic speech would bethe right of high school students to wear armbands toprotest the Vietnam War (Tinker v. De MoinesIndependent Community School District, 1969).– flying a communist red flag– burning the American flag
40 Protection—even when burning a flag Burning the Americanflag is a form ofprotected symbolicspeech.• The Supreme Courtupheld that right in a5-4 decision in Texasv. Johnson (1989).
41 What Types of Speech are Protected? Pentagon Papers Prior Restraint – a government action thatprevents material from being published.• The Supreme Court has generally struckdown prior restraint of speech and press(Near v. Minnesota, 1931).• In NYT v. United States (1971) the Courtruled that the publication of the top-secret Pentagon Papers could notbe blocked.
42 What Types of Speech are Protected? Hate Speech – hate speech is the newfrontier.Campus speech codes, city ordinances,and the Communications Decency Act are just a few examples.
43 Politically correct speech This controversy grew out of the movement colleges to ban offensive speech.• Incidents in which reprimanded students have challenged the college’s code of speech have been challenged successfully by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
44 2nd Amendment The 2nd Amendment states that • "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."• This amendment has been hotly contested in recent years particularly since the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School.• The Court has not incorporated this right, norhave they heard many cases about it.
45 3rd AmendmentCovered mostly under right to privacy…when was the last time your family made up the guest room for a US military soldier (that wasn’t related to you)?
46 4th Amendment The 4th Amendment’s general purpose – is to deny the government the authority to make general searches.• The Supreme Court has interpreted the 4th to allow the police to search– The person arrested– Things in plain view of the accused– Places or things that the person could touch or reach,or which are otherwise in the arrestee’s “immediatecontrol.”
47 Search and Seizure 4th Amendment Freedom from “unreasonable search and seizure”Prevent police abuseEx. Mapp v. Ohio
48 4th Amendment con’tProvides protection against “unreasonable” searches and seizures• Requires search warrants-probable cause• Allows “Stop and Frisk”-warrant lesssearches only with reasonable suspicion• Testing for drugs and HIV?
49 Due Process 5th and 14th Amendment Forbids national AND state gov to “deny any person life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”Procedural – fair trialSubstantive – fundamental fairnessExclusionary rule—evidence gathered in violation of the Constitution cannot be used against a defendant
50 Bill the BulwarkWhat does the “fruit of thepoisonous tree” refer to?
51 Rights of Criminal Defendants Are the due process rights and theProcedural guarantees provided by theFourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments
52 Self-incrimination 5th Amendment No one “shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.”Miranda v. Arizona 1966
53 5th Amendment The 5th Amendment states that “No person shall be …compelledin any criminal case tobe a witness againsthimself.• So criminals cannotbe required to take thestand in a trial.
54 6th Amendment The 6th Amendment Guarantees a right to counsel. • In the past this meant that a defendant could hire andattorney.• Since most criminals are poor they did not have counsel.• In the case of Gideon v. Wainwright (1963).• In Gideon, a poor man, was accused of a crime anddenied a lawyer.• The Court ruled unanimously that a lawyer was anecessity in criminal court, not a luxury. The state mustprovide a lawyer to poor defendants in felony cases.
55 8th AmendmentThe 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.• The 8th is most often used in arguing death penalty cases? Some of the major death penalty cases are:– Furman v. Georgia (1972) the Court ruled that the death penalty constituted unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment when it was imposed in an arbitrary manner.– Mckleskey v. Kemp (1987) the Court rules that the death penalty – even when it appeared to discriminate against African Americans – did not violate the constitution.– McKleskey v. Zant (1991) the Court made it more difficult for death row inmates to file repeated appeals.– Hill v Mc Donough (2006)-Can appeal using civil rights
56 Right to PrivacyThe Supreme Court has also given protection to rights not specificallyenumerated.• The Court has ruled that though privacyis not specifically mentioned in theConstitution, the Framers expectedsome areas to be off-limits to government interference.
57 Right to Privacy Not in the Constitution Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)Roe v. Wade (1971)Yahoo and Google – search and s?Cell phone conversations?
58 Right to Privacy In Roe v. Wade (1973) The Supreme Court ruled that a Texas law prohibiting abortion violated a woman's constitutional right to privacy.• Since Roe, a number of other cases on abortion have been decided, in general they have limited abortion rights in some way.• Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) -upheld fetal viability tests• Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992) - Pennsylvania was allowed to limit abortions as long as they did not pose 'an undue burden' on pregnant women.
59 Right to Privacy based on Sexual orientation The Court has declined to extend privacy rights toprotect homosexual acts.• In 1986, the Court upheld a Georgia law againstsodomy in a 5-4 decision in the case of Bowers v.Hardwick.• However, in 1996, the Court ruled that a state could notdeny rights to homosexuals simply on the basis ofsexual preference• 2003 Court stuck down Texas sodomy laws asunconstitutional- ruled they have “respect for theirprivate lives”
60 Right to Privacy Right to Die In 1990, the Court heard the case Cruzan byCruzan v. Director, Missouri Department ofHealth.• In a 5-4 ruling, the Court rejected a right toprivacy in such cases but argued that living wills,written when competent, were constitutional.• In 1997, the Court ruled that there was noconstitutional right to assisted suicide.
61 Right v. Right?? Most cases are not simple They often pit two rights against each otherEx. – freedom of press v. national security
62 The process of extending the protections of the Bill of Rights by means of the Fourteenth Amendment to apply to the actions of the state governments is known asA. judicial reviewB. incorporationC. broad constructionD. federalismE. stare decisis
63 The Supreme Court has ruled which of the following concerning the death penalty? A. a state may not impose the death penalty on a noncitizenB. Lethal injection is the only constitutionally acceptable method of executionC. Females may not be executedD. The death penalty is not necessarily cruel and unusual punishmentE. The death penalty violates the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution
64 Both Gitlow v New York and New York Times v Sullivan are US Supreme Court cases that dealt with which of the following amendments to the US Constitution?A. First AmendmentB. Second AmendmentC. Fourth AmendmentD. Fifth AmendmentE. Fifteenth Amendment
65 Brown v Board of Education of Topeka (1954) was a significant Supreme Court ruling because it A. placed limitations on the federal government and affirmed the rights of people and of the statesB. made it illegal for members of the Communist party to be schoolteachersC. upheld laws allowing for the internment of ethnic groups during wartimeD. applied the freedom of press provisions of the First Amendment to the states by means of the Fourteenth AmendmentE. held the “separate but equal” concept to be a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
66 According to the clear and present danger test, speech may be restricted A. when in incites violent actionB. when it lacks a political purposeC. whenever the US is at warD. if it is deemed offensive to religious organizationsE. if the writer or speaker is not a citizen of the US