Civil • Liberties • What are they? • Where are they found?
Civil Liberties • Are protections given to individuals against action of the government. • Usually the protections are written in a Constitution.
Civil Liberties • American civil liberties are set down in the Bill of Rights, as the first ten amendments are known.
Civil Liberties • They include freedoms of: • religion • speech & press • assembly
Civil Liberties • They also include protections: • against arbitrary searches • unfair trials • cruel punishments
Civil Liberties • Interpreting what these rights mean is not easy. • The job of doing that in the U.S. falls to the Supreme Court.
Civil Liberties • For example, the court has decided that one’s right to free speech does not include the right to yell “fire” in a crowded theater.
Civil Liberties • In the end, interpreting the meaning of American civil liberties is a complicated balancing act between the needs of society and that of the individual.