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Civil Liberties. 1st amendment freedoms. Ist amendment--Religion-- Establishment Clause. Jefferson’s “wall between Church and State” School Prayer: can students pray at school? Engel v Vitale (1962) “govt has no business leading or writing prayers”

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Civil Liberties

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Civil Liberties

  • 1st amendment freedoms


Ist amendment--Religion-- Establishment Clause

  • Jefferson’s “wall between Church and State”

  • School Prayer:

  • can students pray at school?

  • Engel v Vitale (1962)

  • “govt has no business leading or writing prayers”

  • 2000 Texas students speaking at request of school officials cannot lead prayer at football games

  • 2001 USSC ok’s Virginia’s moment of silence

  • In CA, state efforts to pass moment of silence laws have failed, but some school boards have passed it


Ist amendment--Religion-- Free Exercise Clause

  • Flag Salute cases (1940, 1943)

  • state should not force patriotic acts on religiously dissenting minorities


Ist amendment--Free Speech--political speech

  • Alien and Sedition Acts (1798)

  • Schenk v US (1919)

  • clear and present danger test--largely dormant for 50 years

  • Texas v Johnson (1989)

  • flag burning is protected symbolic speech


johnson arrested


free speech--location

  • Ct. says US constitution grants no free speech rights on private property, such as malls

  • state constitutions may grant such rights (California and 6 others)


Ist amendment--Free Speech--libel and slander

  • NY Times Co. v Sullivan (1964)

  • “actual malice”

  • Hustler Magazine v Falwell (1988)

  • public figures need thick skin


Ist Amend--Free Speech--obscenity

  • Different standards for different media

  • Under the Warren Ct.:

  • no protection for “obscenity”

  • national standards

  • “utterly without” redeeming value

  • Miller v California (1973)

  • local community standards

  • an average person find the material “patently offensive”

  • “dominant theme of the material taken as a whole”

  • but today: porn allowed for “consenting adults,” little to be done anyhow


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