The Bill of Rights


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This PowerPoint details the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and explains the rights and privileges that are granted to citizens, protecting them from expansive government power.

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The Bill of Rights

  1. 1. The Bill of RightsStephen HilgerU.S. Government
  2. 2. Learning Goals• Understand the origins of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist comprise that created the Bill of Rights• Familiarize yourself with the rights guaranteed to citizens by the Bill of rights• Realize how the Patriot Act violates many of citizens’ rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
  3. 3. Origins• The Original Constitution did not include the Bill of Rights, an outrage to many who feared a strong central government, particularly the Anti-Federalists• The Bill of Rights were added as amendments (changes) to the Constitution to garnish broader support in the ratification process.
  4. 4. Anti-Federalist Sentiment • “Ought not a government, vested with such extensive and indefinite authority, to have been restricted by a declaration of rights? It certainly ought. So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessaryThe Anti-Federalists wrote under this Constitution than underunder the pen name of those of the States, are wilfullyBrutus, a Roman Senator endeavoring to deceive, and towho assisted in the lead you into an absolute state ofassassination of Cesar, the vassalage.” Brutus Anti-famous dictator Federalist 84
  5. 5. 1 Amendment st• Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  6. 6. Establishment Clause• Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.• Cannot favor a particular religion over another, nor favor religious groups over nonbelievers or vice versa. – President Kennedy’s Catholic Background
  7. 7. Free Exercise Clause• On the flip side, citizens are guaranteed the free exercise of their religious beliefs• You can believe whatever you want, but practice may be limited if it infringes on the legitimate rights of others• Use of Peyote, Employment Division v. Smith, 1990 - Denied unemployment benefits because Native American Smith tested positive for using Peyote, an illegal drug, even though it was for religious purposes
  8. 8. When is Freedom of Speech Limited?• Free Speech Limited if it presents a “clear and present danger”• “”The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such nature as to create a clear and present danger.” Justice Oliver Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Wendell Holmes Schenk vs. United States
  9. 9. What is a “clear and present danger?” • Can’t Shout Fire! In a crowded theater if there isn’t one and claim protection. • Permissible to advocate the violent overthrow of government in abstract, but cannot incite anyone to imminentJustice Holmes used the example of lawless action“Shouting Fire in a Crowded Theatre” asan example of is considered “Clear and • Limited if on privatePresent Danger.” property, like a shopping center
  10. 10. Freedom of Speech• More than just face to face communication• The Internet, TV and Media• Clothing, Music and Art• Symbolic Speech, such as burning an American Flag or Contrary to popular belief, the wearing a wristband in burning of an American flag is protected under the 1st protest Amendment. 11
  11. 11. Freedom of the Press• The government cannot censor material, simply because it disagrees with the views of material or it is deemed obscene to the public. – Can be allowed during times of war.• Freedom of the press serves as a major “check” against the government overstepping its power. – Sometimes called the “Fourth Branch” of Government
  12. 12. Freedom of Assembly • You have the right to associate (form groups) – Redress the government on an issue of your choosing – Not all assemblies protected, those that promote lawless action, “terrorists, conspiracies, gangs” – Are hate groups protected?
  13. 13. Second Amendment• A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.• Early American Colonists viewed weapons as essential for homesteading and forming a militia to defend the colonies.• Discussion Question: What is the purpose of the second amendment in modern society?
  14. 14. Third Amendment • No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. • Direct response to King George and the forced quartering of British troops
  15. 15. Defendants’ Rights• The 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Amendments• Criminal Justice system must follow certain procedures. If you don’t have a standard of procedures danger of falling into a police state (totalitarian regime). – Criminal Justice personnel are limited by the Bill of Rights. – Rooted in Anti-Federalists belief that there weren’t enough protections against government power, including law enforcement – Failure to follow the guidelines of these rights generally invalidates a conviction.
  16. 16. 4 Amendment th• The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  17. 17. Search and Seizures• Searches and Seizures – Must establish Probable Cause: The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. – Need a search warrant served or “consent” to arrest or take evidence • Warrant acts as a “check” of the Judiciary on the Executive Department – Exclusionary Rule: The rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into trial if it was not constitutionally obtained.
  18. 18. The Patriot Act• Third-party holders of your financial, library, travel, video rental, phone, medical, church, synagogue, and mosque records can be searched without your knowledge or consent, providing the government justifies it by saying it is trying to protect against terrorism.
  19. 19. Patriot Act, Section 205• Section 205- Permits the government to obtain intelligence surveillance orders that identify neither the person nor the facility to be tapped. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and seizure, which require government to state with particularity what it seeks to search or seize.•
  20. 20. 5 Amendment th• No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime…, nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation
  21. 21. The Right to Remain Silent• “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”• Entrapments, “forced confession,” may be ruled unconstitutional• Discussion Question: When pulled over for speeding, why do you think the Officer asks you how fast you are going?
  22. 22. 6th Amendment• In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime The state must provide lawyers in most shall have been criminal cases. (Gideon vs. Wainwright) committed
  23. 23. Cruel and Unusual Punishment • The Eighth Amendment forbids cruel and unusual punishment. – “The Punishment must fit the crime” – What is considered cruel and unusual is key – The Death Penalty • Varies from state to state • Cannot be mandatory
  24. 24. Guantanamo Bay • In Guantanamo Bay, Afghan prisoners among other were water boarded, considered a torture by many. These prisoners are also held indefinitely without legal rights. • Discussion Questions: Is Water boarding a Cruel and Unusual Punishment? • Do foreign prisoners have rights in the U.S. Judicial System?
  25. 25. Reserved Rights• 9th- The enumeration • 10th- The powers not in the Constitution, of delegated to the United States by the Constitution, certain rights, shall not nor prohibited by it to the be construed to deny states, are reserved to the or disparage others states respectively, or to the people. retained by the people • Amendments seen as a major win for Anti- Federalists, as they protected state’s authority over other matters not listed in the Constitution.
  26. 26. The Right to Privacy• Is There a Right to Privacy? – Definition: The right to a private personal life free from the intrusion of government. – Not explicitly stated in the Constitution – Implied by the Fourth Amendment (Griswold vs. Connecticut) – It is debatable as to how far that right of privacy extends.
  27. 27. The Right to Privacy • Controversy over Abortion – Roe v. Wade (1973) – Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) – Protections of those seeking an abortion – Rights of protesters Figure 4.1