- Slides: 36
Understanding Civil Liberties AP Government
Civil Liberties • “Civil Liberties” : The legal constitutional protections against the government…our liberties (freedoms) protected by the Bill of Rights • The Bill of Rights: The First 10 amendments, which protect basic liberties, such as religion and speech. • These freedoms are NOT absolute. They are limited by the rights of others.
What were the Founder’s Original Intent of the Bill of Rights? Have the interpretations of these rights changed over time? Can we limit a person’s speech when it puts the nation at risk? Where does ones person’s rights begin and other’s end? May an individual practice a religious ritual that violates the rights of others, in particular their own child? May an individual yell “fire” in a crowded theater when no such emergency exist? Do you have the right to say “under God” in public schools?
Is this what our Founders meant by giving individuals “freedom of speech” and “right to assemble” under the 1 st Amendment? Supporters of the West. Boro Baptist Church picketing a funeral of soldier who died in Iraq
The case stems from the death of 15 -month-old Ava Worthington whose bronchial pneumonia and blood infection could have been cured with antibiotics. The only treatment she received was prayer and anointing with oil. Is this what the Founder’s meant by Freedom of Religion? Her parents are charged with manslaughter and criminal mistreatment using a 1999 Oregon law created in large part due to the high number child deaths among the kids at the Worthington's Oregon City church, the Followers of Christ. Oregon Parents to Stand Trial in Daughter’s Faith-Healing Death, 2009 Read more: http: //blog. beliefnet. com/news/2009/06/oregon-parents-to-stand-trial. php#ixzz 1 ih. K 4 q. Gk. B
Understanding Civil Liberties • Civil Liberties and the Scope of Government In deciding between freedom and social order, the United States generally chooses freedom (liberty). Civil liberties limit the scope of government.
People are supporters of these rights in theory, but their support often falters when it comes time to put those rights into practice. Free press v. a fair trial Free speech v. public order
The Bill of Rights—Then and Now Bill of Rights originally put into place to restrict only the federal government as every state had its own bill of rights. Most of the Bill of Rights now “incorporated” into states rights’ also. Most Amendments have been “incorporated” through the 14 th Amendment, and now apply to the state and local governments as well.
Marbury v. Madison, 1803 Outgoing President John Adams tried to appoint a number of Federalist loyalists to to judicial positions but some of the appointments had not been delivered by the time Thomas Jefferson took office. Jefferson instructed his Secretary of State James Madison stop delivery on the appointments, including that of William Marbury, who sued. Landmark case that established the Supreme Court's right to rule on constitutional questions (Judiciary Act of 1789) Under John Marshall’s Court, the decision expanded the power of the Supreme Court by giving them “judicial review” (power of the courts to review laws and rule on a law’s constitutionality) To left, a portrait of plaintiff William Marbury.
Barron v Baltimore (1833) The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution's Bill of Rights restricts only the powers of the federal government and not those of the state governments The Bill of Rights and the States: Written to restrict the national government “Congress shall make no law…” Overturned by Gitlow v New York
Key Clauses of the 14 th Amendment Four principles were asserted in the text of the 14 th amendment. They were: State and federal citizenship for all persons regardless of race both born or naturalized in the United States was reaffirmed. No state would be allowed to abridge the "privileges and immunities" of citizens. No person was allowed to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without "due process of law. ” **this clause used for incorporation**
Key clauses of the 14 th Amendment (cont. ) • No person could be denied "equal protection of the laws”; only place mentioning “equality” in the Constitution • Over time, numerous lawsuits have arisen that have referenced the 14 th amendment. • The fact that the amendment uses the word state in the Privileges and Immunities clause along with interpretation of the Due Process Clause has meant that states as well as federal power is subject to the Bill of Rights.
Gitlow v. New York (1925) First Case of Selective Incorporation. Incorporating Bill of Rights into States Rights Established precedent (example to be followed on similar cases in the future) on incorporating the Bill of Rights (applying them to the states instead of just the federal government) Court ruled the States must respect some First Amendment rights and cannot deny freedom of speech (even if it is criminal anarchy). Freedoms of speech and press were “fundamental personal rights and liberties protected by the due process clause of the 14 th amendment.
First Amendment: 1791: Freedom of Religion, Press, Speech And Assembly
Does Freedom of Speech include this? Tinker v Des Moines—yes Morse v Frederick —No Does this limit or protect your freedoms? What would the Founding Father’s think?
FREEDOM OF RELIGION Establishment Clause: Prohibits Congress from making laws establishing any religion. This clause is at the center of the debate over prayer in school and federal funding to private religious schools.
• The Establishment Clause “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion…” Separation between church and state No official state religion States must be firmly committed to position of neutrality. Freedom of Religion
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971): Allowed federal funding of parochial schools provided that the money neither advances nor inhibits religious teaching and is used for administrative purposes. Engel v. Vitale (1962): School prayer? NO. Forbid the practice of prayer in school as a violation of the Establishment Clause and a breaching of the separation of church and state. Student religious groups cannot be denied access to school buildings for the purpose of meeting or worship if other groups are also allowed access
Free Exercise Clause: A First Amendment right that guarantees the freedom to practice or not practice any religion The Court has upheld that the government cannot infringe on people’s beliefs, but it can regulate religious activity to a certain degree State laws ban religious practices that conflict with other laws, but they cannot forbid religious worship itself.
Freedom of Religion • The Free Exercise Clause Prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion Some religious practices may conflict with other rights, and then be denied or punished • Employment Division v. Smith (1988) • Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993)
Freedom of Religion Free Exercise Clause- right to practice your own religion Reynolds v. US (1878) – Free Exercise Clause Supreme Court held that religious duty was not a suitable defense to a criminal indictment. George Reynolds was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, charged with bigamy in the Utah Territory. Reynolds had argued that as a Mormon, it was his religious duty as a male member of the church to practice polygamy if possible. The Supreme Court recognized that under the First Amendment, the Congress cannot pass a law that prohibits the free exercise of religion. However it argued that the law prohibiting bigamy did not fall under this. The fact that a person could only be married to one person had existed since the times of King James I of England in English law on which United States law was based. Restricted/banned polygamy
FREEDOM OF PRESS Commercial speech on radio and television are regulated by the FCC. The broadcast media have less freedom than do print media.
Prior Restraint—freedom of PRess Definition: a government preventing material from being published; censorship; unconstitutional The Constitution forbids “prior restraint” which is government censorship of the press. • ***Near v Minnesota (1931) Prior restraint is granted only in situations where national security might be compromised. May be permissible during wartime Selective Incorporation of First Amendment Freedom of Press
Commercial Speech • Definition: communication in the form of advertising Generally the most restricted and regulated form of speech (Federal Trade Commission) • Regulation of the Public Airwaves Broadcast stations must follow Federal Communication Commission rules. Regulation must be narrowly tailored to promote a compelling governmental interest. United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group (2000)
Free speech and public order Speech is limited if it presents a “clear and present danger. ” Schenck v. US (1919) Permissible to advocate the violent overthrow of government in abstract, but not to incite anyone to imminent lawless action Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) Speech is generally protected in public places, but usually not on another’s private property.
Free press and fair trials Journalists seek full freedom to cover all trials; public has the “Right to Know” although they at times keep their sources confidential Branzburg v Hayes 1972 ruled the right to fair trial preempts reporters right to protect sources Is extensive press coverage of high profile trials (OJ Simpson; Oscar Pistoras) permissible? The public has a right to know what happens; trial must be open to the public. The press’ own information about a trial may not be protected. Yet, some states have passed shield laws to protect reporters.
Is extensive press coverage of high profile trials (OJ Simpson; Oscar Pistoras) permissible? The public has a right to know what happens; trial must be open to the public. The press’ own information about a trial may not be protected. Yet, some states have passed shield laws to protect reporters.
obscenity No clear definition on what constitutes obscenity Justice Potter Stewart: “I know it when I see it. ” Miller v. California (1973) stated that materials were obscene if the work: appeals “to a prurient interest in sex” showed “patently offensive” sexual conduct lacks “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value” Decisions on obscenity are based on local community standards.
Libel and slander Libel: the publication of false or malicious statements that damage someone’s reputation Slander: the same thing, only spoken instead of printed New York Times v. Sullivan (1964): statements about public figures are libelous only if made with reckless disregard for truth. Private individuals have lower standard to meet to win libel lawsuits.
Tinker v. Des Moines, 1969; SYMBOLIC SPEECH Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, (1969) resulted in a decision defining the constitutional rights of students in U. S. public schools. The Courts held that students were entitled to the protection of the 1 st Amendment (freedom of speech (including symbolic) unless that speech disrupted the learning process. The Tinker test is still used by courts today to determine whether a school's (Pictured here are Mary Beth Tinker, leader of the movement, and her mother) disciplinary actions violate students' First Amendment rights.
Freedom of Expression Is this protected speech? No. Morse v. Frederick (2007). Students could be suspended for unfurling banner held to advocate the use of illegal drugs
TEXAS V JOHNSON, 1989; SYMBOLIC SPEECH In protest to Ronald Regan’s Administration, Gregory Johnson burned an American flag in front of the Dallas City Hall. Johnson was sentenced to a year in jail and a fine of $2, 000. The Supreme Court decided, 5 -4, that desecrating a flag is an act of expression protected by the First Amendment. The Court found that flag burning was political speech which is the “principle underlying the First Amendment. ” An expression of free speech can not be prohibited under the basis that society views it as offensive.
Freedom of assembly includes the right to protest, picket, or hold a demonstration. The right to establish groups of people with similar political interests from political parties to the KKK is protected under the first amendment. FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY
Freedom of Assembly • Right to Assemble Generally permissible to gather in a public place, but must meet reasonable local standards, such as fire codes and apply for permits Balance between freedom and order • Right to Associate Freedom to join groups or associations without government interference NAACP v. Alabama (1958)
To Review 1 st Amendment • Can the State of Illinois establish its own religion? • Can George Washington H. S. endorse just one religion? • Can St. Francis de Sales (parochial school) receive state funding to use for religious purposes? • What is the clause that prohibits this? • Is my freedom of speech protected if I plan to overthrow the government in an “abstract” form? • Is my freedom of speech protected if what I say incites a riot or presents a clear and present danger for others? • The High Court usually chooses freedom of our rights over social order. Agree?