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Civil Liberties PowerPoint Presentation
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Civil Liberties

Civil Liberties

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Civil Liberties

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  1. Civil Liberties • Civil liberties are freedoms that protect the individual from government to a certain extent. Civil liberties set limits for government so that it cannot abuse its power and interfere with the lives of its citizens. • Common civil liberties include freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, and additionally, the right to due process, to fair trial, to own property and to privacy.

  2. History • The Constitution was written in the summer of 1787. • Before the Constitution could be adopted it had to be ratified by the states. • The biggest concern was the lack of protection against the government • James Madison promised that a “Bill of Rights” would be added after the Constitution was ratified. • That promise helped to get the Constitution ratified.

  3. The first 10 amendments to the Constitution, known as the “Bill of Rights” , were ratified in December of 1791. • The rights are designed to protect the people from the government.

  4. Amendment I (1791) • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  5. Establishment Clause Thomas Jefferson

  6. Establishment Clause • Prevents the government from establishing an official religion (an official church) or giving preference to a religion. • This gives us our “separation of church and state” • In 1947 the SC ruled, “neither a state nor the federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will, or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion” • Is there a complete separation from Church and state?

  7. Free Exercise Clause

  8. Amendment I (1791) • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  9. Free Exercise Clause • We have the “freedom to believe but not necessarily the freedom of action • “We have the right to swing our arms up to the point of another man’s chin” • When can we be punished for our religion?

  10. Freedom of Speech

  11. Amendment I (1791) • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  12. Marketplace of ideas • We allow all speech, even offensive speech. • Fight speech with more speech rather than censorship.

  13. Marketplace of Ideas

  14. Types of Speech • Pure Speech • Symbolic speech

  15. Symbolic Speech

  16. Where do we have free speech? Public Forum • Any place that has been traditionally used for speech like a public park or street • The Government cannot deny the content of a speech in a public forum • Government can regulate time, place and manner of speech in a public forum

  17. Limitations on Free Speech

  18. Obscenity • Anything that depicts sex or nudity in a way that violates societies standard of decency. • The average person would find that the work has an obsessive interest in sex. • The work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, a type of sexual conduct prohibited by law” (Child Pornography) 4. The work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

  19. Defamation • Damaging someone’s reputation through false information • Slander is defamation through the spoken word

  20. Fighting Words • Threats • Abusive or insulting language known as fighting words. • The Supreme Court ruled that they have a direct tendency to cause acts of violence.

  21. Commercial Speech • Ads and commercials are not fully protected. The Government can regulate false ads or adds for illegal products or services.

  22. Speech in Special Places • Speech may be restricted in some places if it interferes with the purpose of the facility. (schools, prisons, court houses, military bases)

  23. Clear and Present Danger • You can be punished for your speech if it causes an immediate threat of criminal action. • Insighting a riot is also a crime. • Can’t be punished if say “Lets overthrow the Government” • Can be punished if say “Blow up the courthouse at 9 pm tonight”

  24. Clear and Present Danger

  25. Amendment I (1791) • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  26. Freedom of the Press

  27. Limitations on Free Press • There are very few limitations. Why is that?

  28. Prior Restraint • Government preventing something from being published because they feel it will cause harm. • Almost never allowed

  29. Amendment I (1791) • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  30. Peaceably Assemble • We have the right to assemble as long as it is peacefully. We don’t have the right to riot or block streets. • Public AreasWe have the right to assemble in a public forum but Gov’t. can regulate time, place and manner. • Private Areas • We do not have the right to assemble in a private place. • You can’t hold an assembly on my lawn without my permission, that is trespassing.

  31. Peaceably Assemble

  32. Amendment I (1791) • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  33. petition the government • A right left over from England. In England the parliament wouldn’t give money for the king unless he answered complaint of the people. One of the complaints in the Declaration of Independence was that the king failed to hear petitions from the colonies.

  34. 2nd Amendment • 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.

  35. District of Columbia v Heller • Argued March 18, 2008—Decided June 26, 2008 • In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home

  36. McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) • The Court held that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution applies to the states.

  37. McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) • The Court held that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution applies to the states.

  38. 14th Amendment • The Bill of Rights protected the people from the US government, now it also applies to the state. • Selective Incorporation: • The rights would be incorporated on a case by case basis rather than all at once. • Periodic, step by step incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the states.

  39. Third Amendment • Third Amendment:No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

  40. Fourth Amendment • Fourth Amendment:The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papersand effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  41. What does the 4th Amendment protect? • Privacy • It protects our persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.

  42. Reasonable Expectation of Privacy • This applies to everywhere in which we can reasonably expect to have privacy • Homes, phone calls, cars, backpacks, etc. • It is an unreasonable search if a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and the government lacks probable cause. • Drug dog “sniff” • Garbage?

  43. What is probable cause? • A good reason to believe that a crime has been committed or there is evidence to be found. • More than a hunch but less than absolutely sure. • Must be something articulable • articulable: capable of being expressed, explained, or justified

  44. Exclusionary Rule • Any evidence obtained illegally can’t be used in court.

  45. What is a warrant? • A warrant is permission from a judge to search

  46. What must a warrant include? • “What” is being searched for and “Where” police can search

  47. when is a warrant needed? • A warrant is always needed to search a home

  48. How do police obtain a warrant? • Police present probable cause to a judge and that judge then grants a warrant.