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Civil Liberties PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Civil Liberties. Freedoms enjoyed by individuals in a democratic society Basic guarantees to make own choices, select own goals and means to achieve those goals. Rights are not absolute. E.g., free speech only goes so far Liberty v. security tradeoff Government needs to limit some freedoms

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Civil Liberties

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Civil liberties l.jpg

Civil Liberties

  • Freedoms enjoyed by individuals in a democratic society

  • Basic guarantees to make own choices, select own goals and means to achieve those goals


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Rights are not absolute

  • E.g., free speech only goes so far

  • Liberty v. security tradeoff

  • Government needs to limit some freedoms

  • Where does liberty stop?

  • Where should government authority end?

  • How do we set limits on government?


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Restricting Government

  • Bill of Rights

  • Only applied to the national government

    • States had their own set of ind rights

  • Selective Incorporation

    • Applied Bill of Rights to the states via the due process clause of the 14th Amendment


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Freedom of Religion

  • Myth – it’s cultural; got this tradition from the Puritans

  • Reality – They wanted to be free to impose their form of Christianity.


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1st Amendment and the Establishment of Religion

  • Teachers can’t:

    • Lead a prayer

    • Read the Bible

    • Display the 10 Commandments

    • Have clergy lead a prayer

  • Students cannot use school property to lead prayers (e.g. at sporting events)

  • Why?

  • What about vouchers?


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Free exercise of religion

  • Liberty subject to some restrictions by government

  • Mormons and plural marriage

  • JW’s and passing out literature

  • Religious groups can use school property for religious meetings


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Freedom of Expression

  • Speech, press, assemble, and petition government

  • Regulations?

  • Absolutists – minimal regulations

  • Preferred freedoms doctrine

  • Balancing test – pragmatic, weighs competing values on a case by case basis (no absolute rights)


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Should we limit speech?

  • Clear and present danger test - will this cause a substantive evil?

  • Schenck (1919) might persuade soldiers not to fight

  • Bad tendency rule – Speech might bring about an evil at some point in time

  • Burning flags, burning crosses


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Unprotected Speech

  • Obscenity is not protected, but what is obscene?

  • Community standards and the average person

  • Difficult to enforce

  • But there is a test:

  • Average person thinks it is offensive

  • Depicts sexual conduct

    3. Lacks serious literary, artistic, political, scientific value


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Privacy

  • Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) – marital privacy

  • Roe v. Wade (1973) - abortion

  • Webster (1989) – public funding of abortions

  • Casey (1992) – Counseling before an abortion

  • Court favors right of free expression ove privacy


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What is not private?

  • Bank accounts, government can get your bank statements

  • M.D.s can’t assist patients in suicide

  • Ideology trumps rights

  • E.g., liberal women are very much against porn

  • E.g., conservatives want homosexual sex acts deemed as crimes


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Criminal Procedure

  • Why protect people from government prosecution?

  • Fourth Amendment: search and seizure

  • Fifth: due process/protections from coerced confessions/double jeopardy

  • Sixth: fair, speedy, public trial, jury of peers, confront accusers/witnesses, have counsel

  • Eighth: prohibits cruel and unusual punishment


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Mapp v. Ohio (1961)

  • Exclusionary rule – protects from unreasonable search and seizure

  • Inevitable discovery

  • Trend of weakening the exclusionary rule

  • Is this troubling?


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Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)

  • Right to counsel

  • A huge unfunded mandate for states and counties

  • Miranda (1966) - Right against self incrimination


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