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Civil Liberties

Chapter 4
by

Nicholas Antonucci

on 7 February 2017

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Transcript of Civil Liberties

Civil Liberties
Chapter 4
Civil Liberties in the American Legal System
Civil Liberties
are constitutionally established guarantees that protect citizens, opinions, and property against arbitrary government interference.
In contrast,
Civil Rights
reflect positive acts of government (in the form of constitutional provisions or statutes) for the purpose of protecting individuals against arbitrary or discriminatory actions.
Liberties
and
freedoms

are a pair of terms are considered interchangeable
The first ten amendments to the Constitution explicitly limited the power of legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the
National Government
.
The Bill of Rights is the legal safeguard that prevents the government from arbitrarily depriving citizens of life, liberty, or property
The First Amendment is an early constitutional amendment that specifically places
limits on Congress
The freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights are
broad principles
.
The
national government
is the level of government the framers of the Constitution seek to restrict in power with the Bill of Rights.

The Supreme Court has selectively incorporated some of the Bill of Rights and applied them to state action through the Fourteenth Amendment.

In
1925
the Supreme Court actually begin
the process of incorporation.
Notice:
Stand Your Ground laws are
MOST
prevalent in the South.
Washington, DC's gun control laws were overturned in a 2008 Supreme Court decision that hinged on an interpretation of the Second Amendment.
What was the S.C. Case?
.
In its 2010
McDonald v. Chicago
decision about the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment is incorporated under the
Fourteenth Amendment
.
Speech, Assembly, Petition, and the Press
as a means of political expression is guaranteed under the Constitution.
The case
Lemon v. Kurtzman
saw the Supreme Court rule against the subsidization of parochial schools through cigarette taxes.












According to the Lemon test, for a state law to not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment, it must
not entangle the government excessively in religion
.
Freedom
is a state of being capable of making decisions without external control.

Liberty
, on the other hand, is freedom which has been granted to a people by an external control.
The
marketplace of ideas
is a concept that argues that true and free political discourse requires a forum for free and unrestrained political discussion
The conflict between the Constitution's competing goals of protecting freedom and ensuring order is MOST evident in the
Alien and Sedition Acts
During the Civil War, the
writ of habeas corpus
was the legal right that President Abraham Lincoln suspended as a means of silencing political dissidents
Schenck v. United States
is the legal case that established the clear and present danger test in relation to free speech.

Gitlow v. New York
established the
bad tendency test
, which made it easier to punish citizens for speech content.
The 1969 legal case
Brandenburg v. Ohio
marked a reversal of the Supreme Court's traditional position and also saw the establishment of the
imminent lawless action test
.
Picketing, flag burning, or wearing an armband are all examples of symbolic speech
The legal case
Texas v. Johnson
concerned the burning of the American flag and led to a series of legal challenges
False
written statements
that harm the reputation of another person are known as
libel
.
Spoken words
that are known to be false and harmful to a person's reputation are an example of
slander
.
The Miller v. California case

saw the Supreme Court develop a
three-part test
to legally define obscenity, or indecent or offensive speech.
The principle of
prior restraint
, established in the case of
Near v. Minnesota
, relates to censorship.
The Constitution bars the government from establishing a
national religion
, from favoring one group over another, and from interfering with individual religious practices.
The
right to privacy
is inherent in many of the other
constitutional guarantees.
1973
saw the passage of
Roe v. Wade
, which first established abortion rights in the United States.
The
1961
decision in
Mapp v. Ohio
extended exclusionary rules of search and seizure to state court proceedings
Miranda v. Arizona
legally established personal liberties of the the right to counsel and information on charges against oneself.
The
1972
legal case
Furman v. Georgia
saw the Supreme Court suspend the use of the death penalty.
The practice of transferring custody of suspected terrorists to other nations for imprisonment and interrogation is known as
rendition
.
"The Constitution says we shall not establish a religion-Congress shall not establish a religion. It doesn’t say states couldn’t establish a religion."

Jeff Sessions - Senate speech, March 10, 2016
Full transcript