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Civil Liberties

Civil Liberties



Slideshow prepared for a lecture on Civil Liberties for PS 101 American Government at the University of Kentucky, Fall 2007. Dr. Christopher S. Rice, Lecturer.

Slideshow prepared for a lecture on Civil Liberties for PS 101 American Government at the University of Kentucky, Fall 2007. Dr. Christopher S. Rice, Lecturer.



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    Civil Liberties Civil Liberties Presentation Transcript

    • Which of the following civil liberties would you be most willing to sacrifice in the interest of promoting national security?
      • Freedom of speech
      • Freedom of the press
      • Freedom to carry a firearm/gun
      • Freedom of assembly
      • None of the above
    • Civil Liberties Dr. Christopher S. Rice
    • Civil Liberties Individuals’ freedoms and legal protections that cannot be denied or hindered by the actions of government.
    • Embodied in Bill of Rights as prohibitions against government actions that threaten freedom.
    • Liberties in the Constitution
      • Writ of Habeas Corpus
      • Prohibition on Bills of Attainder
      • Prohibition on ex post facto laws
      • Prohibition on states from impairing the obligation of contracts .
    • Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)
    • Rights of Property in Human Beings
    • Argued Founders believed blacks had no rights whites were compelled to respect.
    • The Fourteenth Amendment, preventing states from “abridg[ing] the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” was enacted:
      • during Thomas Jefferson’s administration.
      • soon after the Civil War.
      • during Lyndon Johnson’s administration.
      • in the wake of the Civil Rights movement.
    • Civil War Amendments
      • 13 th Amendment – outlawed slavery
      • 14 th Amendment – reversed Dred Scott; Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses
      • 15 th Amendment – States couldn’t deny right to vote based on “race, color or previous condition of servitude.”
    • On paper vs. reality…
      • Civil Rights Cases of 1883 – Equal Protection clause did not include racial discrimination by private parties.
      • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) – States could require separation of the races on intrastate railways if “equal” facilities for the races were provided.
    • Incorporation The process used by the Supreme Court to protect individuals from actions by state and local government by interpreting the due process clause of the 14th Amendment as containing selected provisions of the Bill of Rights.
    • Freedom of Speech
    • Gitlow v. New York (1925)
    • Schenck v. United States (1919) “Clear and Present Danger” Test
    • Limitations on Speech
      • Speech mixed with conduct may be restricted under certain conditions.
      • Symbolic Expression
      • Use of profanity or “fighting words”
      • Hate Speech has generally not been as restricted.
    • Limitations on free speech
      • Imminent-lawless action test – Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969): can’t incite harmful actions
      • Libel – published false and harmful information
      • Slander – spoken false and harmful information
      • Classified information – national security documents
    • Limitations on free speech
      • Certain types of obscenity
      • “ Fire!”
      • Where you may protest
      • Any others?
    • The right to privacy, while not specifically listed in the Constitution, was first upheld in which court case?
      • Griswold v. Connecticut
      • US v. Miller
      • Doe v. Bolton
      • Cox Broadcasting v. Cohn
    • Right to Privacy?
    • Right to Privacy
      • 3 rd Amendment – prohibition against quartering of soldiers in our homes.
      • 4 th Amendment – prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.
      • 1st Amendment Rights
      • 9th Amendment – Protection of non-enumerated rights.
    • Right to Privacy
      • Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) – ruled a right to privacy exists as basis for striking down laws making birth control illegal.
      • Roe v. Wade (1973) – also decided on the basis of this right to privacy.
      • Lawrence and Garner v. Texas (2003) – Court decided 6-3 that Texas sodomy laws violated due process clause of 14 th Amendment. (“State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.”
    • “ Strict Constructionism”