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Transcript of CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS
I. CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
A. The Bill of Rights
B. FREEDOM OF RELIGION
C. Freedom of Speech
-INCLUDES THE FIRST 10 AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
-INCLUDED TO APPEASE THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS
-ENSURES RIGHTS OF CITIZENSHIP
-ANYONE WHO IS BORN OR NATURALIZED IN THE UNITED STATES IS A CITIZEN
GITLOW V NEW YORK
Benjamin Gitlow was a socialist and was preaching anti-government rhetoric
He was convicted of breaking laws dealing with "anarchy" and was sentenced to prison.
He appealed to the Supreme Court, which upheld his conviction
CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT
1. FREE EXERCISE CLAUSE
- CONGRESS CANNOT UNNECESSARILY RESTRICT THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION
*REYNOLDS V UNITED STATES
-DEALT WITH PRACTICE OF POLYGAMY AS A RELIGIOUS EXERCISE
-SUPREME COURT SAID...POLYGAMY IS NOT ALLOWED
*JACOBSON V MASSACHUSETTS
Henning Jacobson was a Swedish immigrant who
refused to be vaccinated against smallpox, which had reached epidemic proportions at this time.
Massachusetts attempted to force him to be vaccinated...he refused because he said it violated his religious beliefs.
The Supreme Court ruled against him, claiming that the good of the public was more important than his religious beliefs.
HOW DOES THE COURT DETERMINE WHAT VIOLATES RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OR PRACTICES?
THE LEMON TEST
First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion."
2. Establishment Clause
*Engel v Vitale (1962)
-The Constitutionality of mandatory prayer in public schools
-"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country."
-State courts ruled in favor of the prayer
-Supreme Court said NO!
*MCCOLLUM V BOARD OF EDUCATION (1948)
-Constitutionality of allowing VOLUNTARY religious classes to be held in public schools during the school day
-Students who chose NOT to take the classes went to another area of the school to participate in "secular activities"
-The Supreme Court ruled against practice of allowing religious instruction to take place in a public school during the school day because...
1. The school operated on taxes from the public
2. Religious classes in a government funded school constitutes state support of religion
*EDWARDS V AGUILLARD (1987)
-Louisiana passed a law that prevented the teaching of evolution in public schools unless it was accompanied by Biblical creationsim
-A group of parents challenged this law claiming it violated the Establishment Clause
-The Supreme Court struck down the law, claiming that its purpose was not to advance education
1. Types of Speech
-verbal expression of thought or opinion
-expression of thought or opinion using actions
-any speech urging unlawful resistance to government authority
-false speech intended to damage a person's reputation
CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER DOCTRINE
-does the speech in question present a "clear and present danger?"
BAD TENDENCY DOCTRINE
-does the speech in question have a tendency to lead to illegal behavior?
PREFERRED POSITION DOCTRINE
-any law restricting or limiting first amendment freedoms should be presumed unconstitutional unless the government can prove it is necessary
II. Free Speech Cases
Bethel v Fraser (1986)
Matthew Fraser delivered a speech before the student body of his high school promoting the candidacy of his friend for class president.
Fraser's speech included many inappropriate references, and was prohibited by the school principal.
Fraser believed that the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech protected his right to speak freely, even if his speech was lewd and offensive.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the school district, declaring the school had the authority to censor the speech.
Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier (1988)
"Spectrum," the student run newspaper at Hazelwood Central High School, included two articles that were deemed inappropriate by the school principal. The principal pulled the articles and sent the paper to publication
The students on the paper felt their First Amendment rights had been violated and sued the school district.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the school district, declaring the student paper was not a public forum and was under the jurisdiction of the school administration.
Tinker v Des Moines (1969)
In an effort to protest the Vietnam War, John and Mary Beth Tinker, along with a family friend, decided to wear black armbands to school.
The school board heard of the students' plans and voted on a measure that would allow for the suspension of any students who wore these arm bands to school as a form of protest.
The students ignored the school board and wore the black arm bands to school.
The students were suspended and told they could return to school when they would no longer wear the arm bands
The students sued the school district because they felt their freedom of expression was being violated.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the STUDENTS!
D. Freedom of the Press
1. Sheppard v Maxwell (1966)
July 4, 1954
Marilyn Sheppard was murdered in her bedroom
Her husband, Dr. Samuel Sheppard, was immediately suspected of the murder
Dr. Sheppard was questioned in a local high school gymnasium, which was packed with reporters and other people
Sheppard was indicted, arrested, and charged with the murder
Sheppard was eventually convicted of murdering his wife
The Constitutional issue of the case was: when does the freedom of the press interfere with the right to a fair trial?
The Supreme Court decided to overturn Sheppard's conviction, and offered suggestions on how to avoid this problem in the future
The Supreme Court ruled that gag orders can be used in certain cases to preserve the 6th amendment
2. New York Times v United States (1971)
Can the government censor materials published by the press?
Daniel Ellsberg (military analyst) copied more than 7,000 documents concerning the United States involvement in the Vietnam War
He gave these documents to the New York Times, and eventually the Washington Post, which began publishing the documents
The United States government gained a court order to prevent the New York Times from publishing the papers
The paper sued the United States government, claiming use of "prior restraint"
The Supreme Court eventually ruled in favor of the NEWSPAPERS, claiming the government did not have the authority to censor the information published in public newspapers