- I. THE BILL OF RIGHTS
- A. Civil Liberties are individual legal and Constitutional protections against the government for purposes of maintaining democracy.
- 3. Cases become difficult when liberties conflict (free press v. public trial or free speech v. public order)
B. The Bill of Rights – the first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
- 1. At first only protected citizens from the federal government, but later applied parts to state governments via the 14th Amendment (due process clause).
- II. FREEDOM OF RELIGION
- A. The First Amendment includes two statements about religion – 1. the establishment clause, and 2. the free exercise clause.
- 1. The Establishment Clause –
- 2. Thomas Jefferson said that the 1st Amend. “created a wall of separation between church and state.”
- a) Does government funding of private religious schools violate the establishment clause?
- b) Does prayer in public schools violate the establishment clause? (Engel v. Vitale & Pennsylvania v. Schempp) The Supreme Court ruled that voluntary prayer when done as part of classroom exercises violates the establishment clause.
- *The majority of the public has never supported this decision.
4. The Free Exercise Clause –
a) Free exercise of religious beliefs sometimes clash with other laws. (Amish case Yoder v. Wisconsin, right of parents to keep kids out of public schools)
- III. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
A. The question of whether freedom of expression is absolute has been difficult for courts to decide.
- 1. There are times when speech must be controlled. (ex. Yelling fire in a crowded theater)
2. The Courts have also had to decide what kinds of activities constitute speech.
- B. The next question courts have had to answer regarding protected speech is when can the government censor what is said? (before or after?)
C. Prior Restraint –
- 1. Near v. Minnesota – Sup Ct (1931) struck down prior restraint.
D. Efforts to define obscenity have perplexed the courts for years.
E. Libel & Slander:
- 1. Neither is protected by the 1st Amendment
F. Symbolic Speech – consists of actions that express opinion.
- G. Commercial Speech –
H. Free Speech v. Public Order: Wartime exceptions Scheneck v. U.S., 1919 –
- I. Free Press v. Free Trial – can a trial be fair if press coverage makes it impossible to find an impartial jury?
J. Freedom of Assembly
- IV. RIGHTS OF DEFENDANTS
- A. The 4th, 5th, 6th, & 8th Amendments generally are applied to criminal justice cases.
B. The 4th Amendment is specific in forbidding unreasonable searches and seizures
Poisonous Tree doctrine)
- a) Does it let the guilty go free?
C. The 5th Amendment prohibits forced self incrimination.
- 1. Suspects cannot be compelled to provide evidence that can be used against them.
- 2. Miranda v. Arizona, 1966,
D. The 6th Amendment – Although the 6th assures a right to council, it was not applied to in non-federal cases until Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963.
- 1. It also ensures a speedy and fair trial, which includes:
- 2. About 90% of all criminal cases end in a plea bargain
E. The Eighth Amendment forbids cruel and unusual punishment, but does not define the phrase.
1. As a general rule, the punishment must fit the crime.
- See – 3 Strikes Rule
- 1. As a general rule, the punishment must fit the crime.
- V. THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY
A. Today’s technology has raised questions about ethics and the Constitution.