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Constitutional Study Guide
Transcript of Constitutional Study Guide
Two clauses incorporated in this amendment guarantee freedom of religion: the establishment clause and free exercise clause. The free exercise clause prohibits the government from interfering with a person's religion, in most cases. The establishment clause is saying the government cannot make an official religion of the land.
Freedom of expression is mostly used in the form of speech. This means citizens can express themselves without the interference or restraints of government, in most cases. The Supreme Court has decided the government can prohibit or censor any freedoms that may cause a breach of peace or violence.
The Right of Freedom of Press is not very different from speech. it allows an individual to express themselves through publication of their works. This is also censored to a certain extent.
The right to assemble allows individuals to assemble for peaceful and constitutional purposes. This right also implies the right to association and belief; these rights are also implied in the fifth and fourteenth amendment. The government can prohibit people from joining groups that do and promote illegal activities. But also, the right to associate also prohibits the government from making a group register its members. It also prohibits the government from denying past group members from government benefits. The government cannot make individuals express themselves, believe certain beliefs, or belong to specific groups. The right to petition the government for a complaint guarantees people the right to ask the government to fix mistakes through the courts or through other actions. The right to assemble and petition work together, because it allows people to ban together and ask for changes in the government process. The 2nd Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected to the militia. It allows individuals to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense.
Gun control advocates hold that the 2nd Amendment is no longer valid given that it was primarily created to protect organized state militia units, which no longer exist.
Others believe that the right to bear arms is a basic/ natural right, on same level as rights given by the 1st amendment Cases :
U.S. vs Cruikshank (1876)- Regarded the Colfax Massacre where an armed group of whites killed 80+ black men. The Court held that the right to bear arms existed before the Constitution. Additionally, the Court held that because the right to bear arms was independent of the Constitution, and that it guaranteed that the right shall not be infringed by Congress, the fed. govt. had no power to punish a violation of the right by a private individual; rather, citizens had "to look for their protection against any violation by their fellow-citizens" of their right to bear arms to the police power of the state.
District of Columbia vs Heller (2008)- Handgun possession is banned under District of Columbia Law. Special Police Officer was denied the right to register a handgun to keep in his home. The court held that the total ban on handguns violated the individual right to possess firearms under the second amendment.
McDonald vs Chicago (2010)- Chicago resident wanted to purchase a handgun for personal home defense, however due to Chicago's then ban on handgun registrations he was unable to. The court ruled that the 2nd Amendment was incorporated by the due process section of the 14th Amendment and individuals therefore had the right to keep firearms in their homes for self-protection, a right greater than the states’ power to restrict it. This amendment prohibits the fed. govt. from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments.
Naturally, there is a significant difference between the impact of a $25,000 fine on the wealthy and the impact on the poor.
The 8th amendment is a living document that has clearly been affected by societal changes. Our definition of cruel and unusual is much different that people's definitions in the 1800s.
"Cruel and unusual punishments" dealt with the Crimes Act of 1790 which mandated death penalty for treason. Cases:
Furman vs Georgia (1972)- Henry Furman (26) was a poor African-American who had broken into the Micke's household. Mr. Micke had woken up and seen Furman downstairs who then proceeded to shoot and kill Mr. Micke. Furman was sentenced to death. However, his lawyer argued that the death penalty in Georgia violated the 8th amendment. The Surpreme Court reversed Furman's conviction, agreeing that it was "cruel and unusual". This case required states to prevent random, racial, and unfair results by guiding juries to apply the death penalty fairly. As a result, most states re-wrote their death penalty laws.
Hudson vs McMillain (1991): Louisiana inmate, Hudson, sued the guards in Federal District Court for violating his 8th Amendment by excessively beating him. The Supreme Court ruled that an inmate beaten by prison guards does not need to demonstrate “significant injury” in order to establish that his/ her 8th Amendment protection from cruel and unusual punishment has been violated. To establish an 8th Amendment violation, the Court must show that the use of force was “wanton and unnecessary.” According to the Court, this conclusion was consistent with the “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society”. 3rd Amendment Quartering Troops (1791) Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company v. Sawyer In your house, you have the right to privacy Connecticut found contraceptive illegal and this was changed due to the right of marital privacy stated in the 3rd Amendment Limited the power of the president (Harry Truman at the time) to seize private property Griswold v. Connecticut Soldiers cant quartered in any house during peacetime The Grand Jury needs to have sturdy evidence to bring the accused person to trial, including criminal indictments investigation
The accused person cant be convicted again for the same crime as stated in the double jeopardy clause
Armed services have to follow the military law and can be tried in martial court, citizens can be put under this in a time of natural disaster or war
There is a rule of construction that he court cannot give several punishments during one case unless they are "clear and definite"
Self Incrimination Clause (otherwise known as "pleading the 5th") where the accused person has the right to remain silent Offenses that are not related to the military are not punishable under military law Miranda v. Arizona 1966 O'Callahan v. Parker Miranda was not told that he could have an attorney present or that he could remain silent and therefore admitted to a kidnap, although all he was charged for was theft. chief justice Earl Warren ruled that law enforcement must inform the criminal with this information while being arrested:
They have the right to remain silent
They have the right to speak to an attorney
They can have an attorney present while being questioned
They can have a court appointed attorney if they cant afford a private attorney
And that anything they say can and will be held against them in court (remember 21 Jump Street :) 9th Amendment Powers Reserved to the People 1791 10th Amendment 1791 11th Amendment Suit against States 12th Amendment- Election of the President and Vice-President(1804) This Amendment resulted from the issues that arose in the Election of 1800. It requires separate designation of presidential and vice-presidential candidates, each of whom have to meet the same qualifications. The 12th Amendment also explains the rest of the process by which ties are broken and makes sure that there will always be someone in position to replace the president. Additionally, the Habitation Clause within this Amendment holds that the President and Vice-President cannot be legal residents of the same state. The rights to the people are not limited to the ones expressed in the Constitution In this case the topic is contraceptives and the marital privacy that comes with the issue was debated as to whether or not it was covered in the 9th amendment or anywhere else in the constitution. Although not expressed, martial privacy is a right Roe v. Wade Concerns the right of choice with abortion
Justice O'Douglas stated that "The 9th Amendment obviously does not create federally enforceable rights"
The US Supreme Court ruled in favor saying its "broad enough to encompass a women's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy" Griswold v. Connecticut 6th Amendment 6th Amendment Court Cases: Law suit against states, stays in state court
Chrisholm v. Georgia 1743 Without this amendment states would lose authority
South Carolina state conflict lead into a debt conflict in Georgia
States can choose to bring lawsuits to the federal court 13th Amendment: Fourteenth Amendment 15th Amendment- The Right to Vote (1870) Ratified during Reconstruction, this Amendment prohibits each govt. in the U.S. from denying a citizen the right to vote based on the citizen's “race, colors, or previous condition of servitude.” 16th Amendment- Income Taxes(1913) This Amendment authorized Congress to impose income taxes without the taxing restrictions originally written in the Constitution. The ratification of this Amendment was the direct result of the Court's decision in 1895 in the Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co case. Fourteenth Amendment Court Cases Seventeenth Amendment and Court Cases 19th Amendment Women's Suffrage Full Faith and Credit Clause The Full Faith and Credit Clause is a clause in the first section of the Constitution that requires judges to recognize and enforce decrees and judgments from other state courts. This clause is typically used to enforce marriage/divorce certificates, child custody rulings, restraining orders, money judgments and criminal convictions . Election of 1800
At this time the presidential candidate with the second most votes became vice-president.
Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr ran as running mates. Both received the same number of electoral votes, therefore the election was decided in the House of Representatives where each state received a single vote. Alexander Hamilton secured the presidency for Thomas Jefferson after an intense campaign. Cases:
Quinn vs U.S. & Meyers vs Anderson (1915)- This case dealt with the provisions of state constitutions that set qualifications for voters, such as the grandfather clause and literacy tests. The Oklahoma constitution allowed an exemption to the literacy requirement for those voters whose grandfathers had either been eligible to vote prior January 1, 1866 or were then a resident of “some foreign nation” or were soldiers. This case declared the grandfather clauses in Maryland and Oklahoma constitutions to be “repugnant to the 15th amendment”. This resulted in similar constitutional provisions in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia. Pollock vs Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. (1895)- The Farmers' Loan & Trust Company was an investment bank that bought stocks and bonds and properties. Under the new law, it had to pay an income tax on its profits, including income gained from property and bonds. In reaction to this income tax, Charles Pollock, an investor who owned shares in the company, devised a plan to challenge the tax act. With full support of Farmers' Loan, Pollock filed a lawsuit in a New York federal district court against the company to prevent it from paying the tax. Pollock claimed that the tax act violated the Tax and Spending Clause of Article I of the Constitution. The court ruled in favor of Pollock by finding the general income tax provision of the act unconstitutional. Eighteen years later came the birth of the 16th Amendment. Hans v. Louisiana There is a sovereign immunity to actions brought by citizens of the defendant of state Edelun v.Jordan (1974) Federal courts cannot give money relief to aid sued state officials Bond v. US Poisoned her friend that was pregnant with her husbands baby
Issue was regarded through the postal Service
She was charged with 6 years in jail and a fine by federal court
The issue should have gone to the state court first due to states rights and she would have gotten 3 years less in jail without a fine Powers that are not given to the federal government or prohibited to states are given to the states or the people National League of Cities v. Usery Provisions that included minimum wage protection for nearly all state employees
It was struck down by the court because in the 10th Amendment states get to choose what salary to pay their employees New York v. U.S. Radioactive Waste policy Act provision was revoked by the Court because the federal government cannot change the states to make them "take the title" of their waste because it leads to federal processes within the details of the provisions. August 18th, 1920 Women have the right to vote and congress can enforce this through legislation
Secretary of state Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification Breedlove v. Suttles This right applies to both sexes and its force triumphs over wavering issues such as poll taxes In Case no one knows:
Seneca Falls convention
National and American Women Suffrage Association
included women like Lucy Stone, Julie Howe,Susan B Anthony and Stanton.
The movement emphasized the switch from propoganda to political action
Until then women ballots got ignorned and now the voting system has a more justified outlook on the countries standings
1918 jailed suffragists were released and the appellate court ruled the arrests illegal
Also President wilson declared himself in support of suffragism Advise and Consent Clause Anytime a President enters into a treaty or certain foreign relations, it must be with the advise and consent of the Senate 1st Amendment Court Cases Schenck vs. United States (1919): Schenck printed and passed out leaflets during the World War I that encouraged men to resist the draft and then he was convicted by the Government for violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Schenck pled innocent and fought against the Government because he claimed the first amendment protected his actions. However the Supreme Court voted 9-0 that he was not protected by the first amendment for his actions. They did this due to Schenck posing “clear and present danger’ to enlistment process of the armed forces during the war. Espionage Act of 1917 limited the freedom of speech reasonably during wartime and it was further limited in the case of
Gitlow vs. New York (1925): This case was about the First Amendment freedom of press and speech and also the Fourteenth amendment. Benjamin Gitlow, a founder of Communist Party USA, published a “Left Wing Manifesto” and was then convicted by the New York government under its Criminal Anarchy Law. He was convicted for encouraging the illegal overthrow of government through violence. Gitlow argued he was protected by the First Amendment and that the state law violated his rights. According to the Fourteenth Amendment, the Bill of Rights has been ruled by the courts, to agree on all levels of government. However the courts ruled the Criminal Anarchy Law constitutional even after what the fourteenth amendment mentioned. Gitlow was then convicted as guilty due to “clear and present danger”, “bad tendency”, and promoting violence to overthrow a government.
Near v Minnesota (1931): The main question “can government censor press, or any freedom of expression?” came up when the popularity of yellow journalism caused Minnesota to pass a law. The law, the 1925 Public Nuisance Law, banned the publication of “malicious, scandalous, or defamatory” articles. In 1927, J.M. Near printed an article in a Minneapolis newspaper, which bashed local officials. The city if Minneapolis used the Public Nuisance Law against him and stopped his paper, then his case made it all the way to the Supreme Court level. A 5-4 vote in the court voted the Public Nuisance Law unconstitutional. The case said censorship is a violation of the First amendment, unless it is related to national security. Fourth Amendment: It is a natural right for people to be able to protect their privacy, in terms of themselves, houses, material possessions, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Therefore, no violations made nor warrants issued shall be issued unless under reasonable causes that also specifically describe the area being searched, the people to be involved, and they must be supported by Oath or affirmation (must be testified as true statements.) Fourth Amendment Court Cases: •Mapp vs. Ohio (1961): In this specific case, a couple of police officers were given information that there was a suspect in a bombing case, Dollree Mapp. The officers asked for permission to enter her home, were denied, but later came back with a piece of paper as they broke in the door. This case went to the Supreme Court, which had Earl Warren as Chief Justice, during which the court was going through a nationalization process of the Bill of Rights, all starting with the Mapp vs. Ohio case. The Supreme Court determined that the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, was violated and that the possessions seized by the police were not in their jurisdiction or right to do so, therefore utilizing the exclusionary rule, in which because the evidence obtained was procured in violation of the 4th Amendment, they were considered useless in court. In conclusion, Mapp vs. Ohio importantly highlighted the exclusionary rule in the Amendment.
•New Jersey vs. T.L.O (1985): This specific case occurred when a high school vice principal caught two students smoking in a restroom. After denying that she was smoking, the administrator seized T.L.O.’s purse in which he found incriminating evidence such as: cigarettes, rolling papers, a pipe, marijuana, and other items. After being sentenced by local juvenile court to probation for a year, the State Supreme Court overruled the decisions, stating that the Fourth Amendment had been violated in the taking of her purse. The US Supreme Court eventually ruled that because the students were under a school setting, their rights as children are not the same as those of adults and the school officials have responsibility to maintain order and conduct necessary for education. Therefore, the vice principal’s search was considered reasonable under the definition that there was enough suspicion. This was very important in later cases such as Bethel School District vs. Fraser, where schools have a little more jurisdiction over students attending such establishments. This amendment is about the criminal justice system and its structure. It guarantees the accused the right to a "speedy and public" trial by the jury. This means they will not be held in prison for a long period of time before being told what crime they committed. It also makes sure their trial is fair and that their trial is held in the area their crime was committed. If the trial is fair, this means it is public and both sides are listened to. Also legal counsels must be provided. If the defendant cannot afford a lawyer, the government must provide one for them. All witnesses, for and against, shall be cross-examined to also be a part of the trial. The accused shall be informed of the crime and cause of their accusation. They will have the right to a counsel of defense and witnesses in their favor. The judges shall be impartial and not bias throughout the whole process. Miranda vs. Arizona (1966)
Ernesto Miranda was arrested for kidnapping and sexual assault. He signed a written confession, without being told his rights about counsel and protection against self incrimination. He was convicted for twenty years by the court who found him guilty. The Supreme Court was in favor if Miranda due to the conviction without correct procedures and taking away his rights given to him in the sixth amendment.
Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963)
Clarence Gideon was charged in Florida State Court for breaking and entering. He could not afford a lawyer, and then asked for an attorney but the court refused him one. Gideon then defended himself in his trial and was found guilty. The Supreme Court favored Gideon due to Florida violating the sixth amendment and the fourteenth amendment. The sixth amendment guarantees Gideon the right to a fair trial and the right to an attorney or counsel. Slavery and involuntary servitude, besides those of the criminal punishment type justifiable by reasonable convictions, are prohibited within the US, or in any region under US jurisdiction. This also gives Congress power to enforce such prohibition by their legislative powers. Court Case •Butler vs. Perry (1916): In this case, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge brought by someone in Florida who was against the state law that required all able-bodied or capable men between certain ages to work up to 60 hours on public roads. The person being accused argued that this was a mandate for involuntary servitude, which under the Thirteenth Amendment, was prohibited. The Court decided that while it was indeed involuntary, the term “involuntary servitude” was intended to cover forms of compulsory alike to those of African slavery, which would usually produce unfavorable results. Section 1 Anyone who born on American land is guaranteed full American Citizenship and a citizen of the state they live in. No state can take away any of its citizens rights given to them by the constitution All citizens are guaranteed "due process of law" which means states need to pass fair laws. All citizens are guaranteed " equal protection of the laws" which means they cannot discriminate against anyone or any group. These liberties form the civil liberties and the civil rights law. Section 2 This area takes away the three-fifths clause of the original Constitution which was used for slaves for apportioning congressional districts. this amendment made sure every person was considered as one, regardless of race. this also guaranteed all men twenty one years of age or older the right to vote.Section 3 This made it impossible fro the president to allow former leaders of the confederacy to regain power within the United States government after obtaining citizenship rights from the blanket presidential pardon. This amendment required two thirds majority vote in Congress to allow Confederate to regain the rights of a citizen in America. Until approved the leaders were banned from voting in federal elections or holding federal office. Section 4 This prohibited the payment of debts owed to the Confederate States of America and also banned payments to former slaveholders as a make up for their loss of human property.Section 5 Congress has the power to enforce this amendment with appropriate legislation. Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) and Brown vs. Board of Education II (1955)Oliver Brown’s daughter walked a mile to school every day because she had to attend a “Black school. The “white” school was seven blocks away, but she could not enroll. The NAACP supported Brown in the case. The Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to segregate public schools; the fourteenth amendment was not satisfied by just having similar schools and education for the students. The second part of the case is when the courts met again to decide how to carry out their ruling. The Supreme Court decided that the local government had to take care of desegregation. Baker vs. Carr (1962)Charles Baker a citizen, and others, brought their case to their federal court district due to the state depriving them of their rights. They were upset because of the state no reapportioning the federal districts based on population size. They did not agree with the Tennessee Law of 1901 because it has not been revised and was not fair anymore. They did not have equal representation like the fourteenth amendment promises. The court ruled in favor of Baker after the District court dismissed the case. It led to federal courts having control over the legislative apportionment because it was dealing with the constitution and the fourteenth amendment. This case then formed the idea “one person, one vote.” The Senate of the United States is to be made up of two Senators from each State, elected directly by the people, in which the appointees will be in office for tenure of six years. Each Senator will have one vote. States have the right, in case of vacancy in the Senate, to issue rules for elections to fill such vacancies. •Trinsey vs. Pennsylvania (1991): Decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, this case confirmed the validity of special elections determined by the State when a vacancy occurs in the Senate. Upholding this specific part of the Seventeenth Amendment, the Governor of Pennsylvania held a special election in which there was no primary, causing Trinsey to appeal because he wanted to be elected as Senator, but was denied the chance to even compete due to a lack of primaries. The court of appeals denied his appeal because the Seventeenth Amendment clearly states the States have the right to create such special elections, as no one’s rights were fundamentally abused/violated. Establishment Clause: 22nd Amendment: This amendment limits the terms of Presidency to two terms or eight years. This is due to Franklin D. Roosevelt's four term engagement as president of the United States. The presidents before him did not hold office for more than two terms, and Roosevelt's presidency caused problems. This amendment was to make sure that no president is to be invincible or irreplaceable. Also it says that any president who hold office for at least two years is then qualified to run again for a second term and can be reelected one more time. Us Term Limits vs. Thornton (1995)Arkansas made Amendment 73 in 1992, which was the “Term Limitation Amendment” which was created to limit the times a Congress person was elected into office. It set a three term limit to the House of Representatives, and a two term limit to the Senate, because they thought incumbency caused problems. Bobbie Hill sued because she believed it was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled in Favor of Hill, because they said a state cannot put any more regulations on United States Constitution then is already in place. 25th Amendment and Court Cases Section 1 The vice president is the next in line for president if the president is to die, resign , or to be removed from office.Section 2 The president has to appoint a new vice president if there is an opening in that position, but Congress must approve it first. Clinton vs. Jones (1997)
Freytag vs. Commissioner (1991)
Neither case was important to the amendment in changing its interpretations or regulations. (Not many cases go to the Supreme Court on this Amendment) This Clause is part of the first amendment and it prohibits the government from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion." This also does not allow the government to establishing an official religion, or favor one religion over another. This also means that government is prohibited from favoring religion over no religion or vice-versa.
Some government regulation on religions allowed and sometimes unavoidable. Due to the Establishment clause being open for interpretation, it is hard to limit the government action in some areas. For example , government funds textbooks for religious schools. Also the government has intervened when there is overly religious public displays on public land for the holidays. Engel vs. Vitale (1962)This court case decided if prayers and bible readings can take place in schools or other formed of public teaching areas. At the New York Board of Regents School District, the kids were required to say a prayer in their public school. Parents of ten of the students in New Hyde Park challenged this as a violation to the first amendment and establishment clause. The district argued it was their way of training the schools. The parents did not like that idea; it went against their beliefs and violated the separation of religion from the government. The New York Court of Appeals favored the school district, however the Supreme Court ruled for the parents. It was a violation of the freedom of religion and establishment clause incorporated in the first amendment. Elastic Clause Congress has the power to make all laws, which are deemed a necessity and reasonable, for carrying into the execution of the powers and all other powers enumerated in the Constitution. •McCulloch vs. Maryland (1819): Under Chief Justice John Marshall, the Supreme Court debated on the issue of whether or not Congress had the right or power to establish a national bank, which was being protested in Maryland. Marshall ruled that Congress does have the power due to the necessary and proper clause, as the national bank was a necessity at the time for Congress and followed the guidelines of the Constitution. Because of this case, there was a broad interpretation for the elastic clause on the specific meaning/diction of the words “necessary and proper” for the US government, specifically Congress to have. Supremacy Clause The Constitution, Federal Statutes, and US treaties reign supreme in the US, making federal law overrule or more regarded than state laws or constitutions. •McCulloch vs. Maryland (1819): Under Chief Justice John Marshall, the Supreme Court debated on the issue of whether or not, when the state of Maryland raised the tax on the national bank, it was constitutional or not to have a state tax overrule a federal or national establishment. Reasoning that if taxes were to be allowed on the national bank by the state, this would make the state’s laws more “supreme” over the federals, thus giving the power to destroy the national bank. In violation of the supremacy clause, Marshall ruled it was unconstitutional as the federal laws and clauses, in this case the Elastic Clause which validated the establishment of the national bank, must be supreme over state laws/constitutions, increasing the federal government power. Commerce Clause: Congress is allowed to regulate commerce with foreign nations, between states in the US and with some Native Indian tribes. This clause is usually paired with the Necessary and Proper Clause, in which a broad expansion of powers is usually sought. •Gibbons vs. Ogden (1824): This court case expanded the powers of Congress to regulate Interstate commerce, in which, federally, Gibbons has the right to navigate the waters of New York, while Ogden also believes he has the indirect power from the State of New York to navigate the waters as well. The Supreme Court advocates that Gibbons was right, saying that Ogden, getting navigation powers from Fulton and Livingston, who were given it by the State of NY, had inferior power in this battle of interstate commerce. Commerce Clause Cont. •Wickard v. Filburn (1942): This case specifically helped the Supreme Court recognize the authority the federal government has in regulating economic activity. A farmer, Filburn, was ordered to destroy some of his crops and pay restitution because he did not comply with the US government’s limits on wheat production, even though he had no intention of selling such wheat. The Court determined that this was an infringement on the limit and that Congress; since this dealt with interstate commerce in that the surplus of wheat affect the overall commerce of wheat. Therefore, because Congress has the authority to regulate commerce, the Supreme Court used that as its reasoning. •United States vs. Lopez (1995): in a case where a student was convicted of bringing a weapon on school campus and was accepted in certiorari, in which the Supreme Court chose to hear the case, the Supreme Court had to defend their statement that said the incident somehow affected interstate commerce. Originally, it stated that the outcome of violence from the gun would lead to higher insurance, worse publicity, and would detrimentally affect interstate commerce. However, the Court decided against this, restricting the broad view of interstate commerce in order to set some limits on what could and couldn’t be considered commerce. This decision was one that finally made efforts to check or reign in the government’s authority by defining clearly the state and federal powers.