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Civil Liberties: First Amendment Freedoms. Chapter 19 Section 1 The Unalienable Rights. “I disagree profoundly with what you say, but I would defend with my life your right to say it.” Voltaire. Vocabulary. Civil Liberties – protection against the government

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Civil Liberties: First Amendment Freedoms

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Civil Liberties: First Amendment Freedoms

Chapter 19

Section 1

The Unalienable Rights

“I disagree profoundly with what you say, but I would defend with my life your right to say it.”Voltaire


  • Civil Liberties – protection against the government

  • Civil Rights – positive acts of the government

  • Alien – a person who is not a citizen of the country where they live


  • Due Process Clause – no state can deprive a person of basic liberties

  • Process of incorporation – the 14th Amendment merged with the Bill of Rights

Major Court Cases

  • Some of the major court cases are known by name recognition

  • Miranda v. Arizona

  • Marbury v. Madison

  • But there are hundreds of other decisions which have resulted in additional rights for all of us

Goal of the Constitution

  • The framers outlined a formal government plan in the Constitution

  • Their goal was to guarantee personal freedoms

  • The power of the government is limited

  • Personal freedoms are also limited

Ratification of the Constitution

  • After the Constitution was sent to the states for ratification, several states would not approve it without a Bill of Rights

  • These rights were the first to ensure basic liberties.

Ratification of the Constitution

  • About 200 suggestions were given to James Madison.

  • After discussion, revisions, and consolidations, the Bill of Rights were written and approved.

Civil Liberties

  • The rights people have as human beings.

  • They include freedom of religion, speech, press and fair trials against government.

  • Remember that England tried to infringe on each of these during colonial times.

Civil Rights

  • The rights people have to further their individual growth

  • They include assistance by the government prohibiting bias based on race, sex, religious beliefs or national origin.

Limited Government

  • Our Constitution restricts the power of our government

  • Our government only has the powers that we, the citizens, give to it.

Individual Rights

  • Individuals have the right to do anything they want, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others

  • People may not pollute, instigate a riot, or create a dangerous atmosphere

Your Rights

  • No one has complete freedom to do what ever they wish

  • You may not

    • Yell “fire” in a theater

    • Speed down a highway

    • Hit another person

Your Rights

  • Your rights end where another person’s rights begin.

  • You may not use obscene language in public or incite others to commit a crime

Schenck v. US, 1919

  • Charles Schenck was charged with encouraging men to avoid enlistment during WWI.

  • The USSC found Schenck a “clear and present danger” under the Espionage Act

Sam Sheppard Trial

  • Sheppard was accused of killing his wife (like in The Fugitive)

  • The national newspapers covered the story

  • Sheppard received a new trial where he was found not guilty

Individual Rights

  • The USSC has used the 14th Amendment to ensure the rights of individuals

  • It has stated that no state can deprive freedoms from an individual

14th Amendment

  • The Due Process Amendment, makes sure that everyone is treated fairly under the law

  • Not everyone agrees with the decisions that afford these protections.

Individual Rights

  • ApolloMedia Corporation v. United States 1999

    • The USSC upheld a federal law that makes it illegal for anyone to send obscene and intentionally annoying e-mail via the internet

Should people be allowed to…

  • Have a parade for Nazis?

  • Promote Communism?

  • Suspend students without a hearing?

  • Deny interracial dating and marriage to students in college?

9th Amendment

  • Americans have additional rights other than those provided for in the Bill of Rights.

  • The 9th amendment gives people more rights than those written.

  • Ex. – right to marry who you choose, career choices, etc.

Civil Liberties: First Amendment Freedoms

Chapter 19

Section 2

Freedom of Religion


  • Establishment Clause – the government is not permitted to establish a religion

  • Parochial – church-related

  • Free Exercise Clause – the guarantee that everyone can believe as they choose

Separation of Church and State

  • One of the frequently argued aspects of the Constitution

  • Should cities display a cross, menorah, or nativity scene?

  • Should kids pray in school?

  • Should tax dollars be given to private, parochial schools?

Separation of Church and State

  • Should “under God” be part of the pledge or on our money?

  • Should church property be tax exempt?

  • Should the 10 Commandments be displayed in courthouses?

Establishment Clause

  • The government is prohibited from

    • Establishing a religion

    • Interfering with religion

Separation of Church and State

  • The government does not avoid religion –

  • They swear oaths

  • They pray at meetings

  • The Pledge and currency use the word God

Separation of Church and State

  • The courts have been asked to hear cases regarding religion

  • Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 1925 – gives parents/students the choice to attend parochial schools rather than mandatory public school.

Separation of Church and State

  • Everson v. Bd of Education, 1947 decided that it was permissible for taxpayers to support bus transportation to parochial schools. (based on safety for children)

Can students be released for religious instruction during school time?

  • McCollum v. Bd of Education, 1948 – religious instruction may not be heldin a schoolfacility

  • Zorach v. Clauson, 1952 – allowed release time for religious instruction

What about Prayers in school

  • Through the 1960s and 1970s, it was common to hear Christian prayers being recited in schools and see religious symbols frequently displayed.

What about Prayers in school

  • The USSC has consistently ruled against any visible forms of religion in school.

  • This now includes moments of silence and student led prayers at sporting events.

What about religious classes?

  • Almost any organization which has a sponsor may use school facilities to hold meetings, religious groups may as well

  • Churches may rent facilities during non-school times.

Evolution or Creationism?

  • Should schools teach the theory of evolution, that God created earth or both?

  • Epperson v. AR, 1968 – USSC struck down a law outlawing teaching the scientific theory of evolution.

Aid for Parochial Schools?

  • Should private schools get tax dollars for books, tests, equipment and supplies?

  • Yes, students must have them. Tax dollars cannot pay for teacher salaries

Lemon v. Kurtzman – Lemon Law

  • 1. Aid must be clearly secular, not religious

  • 2. Aid must not advance or inhibit religion

  • 3. Aid must avoid ‘excessive entanglements’ between government and religion

Manger or Menorah?

  • Nativity scenes may not be displayed on public land

  • Menorahs may because of the limited number of symbols representing Chanukah

Prayers at State Meetings?

  • Can a chaplain begin a government meeting with a prayer?

  • Yes, they volunteer and adults are not easily indoctrinated.

Can I have 2 Wives?

  • The Mormons challenged Utah law over their practice of polygamy.

  • They lost.

Other Decisions

  • Schools can require vaccination of students

  • States can prohibit the use of poisonous snakes in rituals

  • Businesses can disregard ‘Blue Laws’ and open on Sunday

Other Decisions

  • States cannot discriminate on marchers but can require parade permits.

  • The Air Force can deny an Orthodox Jew from wearing a yarmulke on duty

Other Decisions

  • Businesses can deny employment based on prior drug use.

  • The military can draft people who have religious objections

Other Decisions

  • Wisconsin v. Yoder, 1972 – Amish children do not have to attend school after 8th grade

  • McDaniel v. Paty, 1978 – unemployment benefits not available to someone who quits over religious beliefs

Other Decisions

  • Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, FL, 1993 – outlawed animal sacrifices as part of church services.

Other Decisions

  • Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 1940 – students are required to recite the Pledge.

  • WV Bd. Of Education v. Barnette, 1943 – compulsory flag salute is unconstitutional

Freedom ofSpeech and Press

Chapter 19

Section 3


  • Libel – false and malicious use of the printed word

  • Slander – false and malicious use of the oral word

  • Sedition– an attempt to overthrow the government by violent acts

  • Seditious Speech – advocating/urging sedition behavior


  • Prior restraint – the courts cannot restrain speech BEFORE it occurs

  • Shield law – laws that give reporters some protection against revealing the sources of their information

  • Symbolic speech – transfer of ideas through some means besides speech

  • Picketing – walking in front of a business to encourage others not to work or patronize the establishment

Can you say anything?

  • No, words can be dangerous so people do not have complete freedom to say anything they like

  • They cannot yell “fire” in a theater or joke that they have a bomb in their luggage at the airport

  • Freedom of speech ends where other people’s rights begin

14th Amendment

  • People are guaranteed the right to free expression, written, spoken and any other means

  • People are guaranteed the right to a full, wide-ranging discussion of public affairs

  • You have the right to have their say and hear other people

14th Amendment

  • Some forms of expression are not protected under the Constitution

  • You may not jeopardize another persons health or safety

  • You may not libel or slander another

  • You may not use obscene words, print obscene material or use false advertising

1ST Amendment

  • Seditious speech is not protected

  • The Sedition Acts under John Adams were unconstitutional

  • Anyone convicted of violating the Alien or Sedition Acts were pardoned by Thomas Jefferson

Sedition Act of 1917

  • During WWI, the Espionage Act made it a crime to interfere with the military draft, obstruction of recruiting, hinder the sale of government bonds or speak/write anything bad about the US

  • More than 2,000 people were convicted of violating the Espionage Act

Schenck v. United States, 1919

  • Charles Schenck, with the Socialist Party, attempted to disrupt the military draft by passing out leaflets encouraging men to resist the draft.

  • Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the majority opinion

Schenck v. United States, 1919

  • Holmes established the “clear and present danger” rule

  • No one may communicate ideas which generate a criminal act.

Smith Act, 1940

  • During WWII Congress passed the Smith Act, making it a crime to advocate the overthrow of the govt

  • In 1951, the Supreme Court heard Dennis v. United States

  • It was decided that it was also illegal to communicate ideas to overthrow the government

Yates v. United States, 1957

  • Overturned the Smith Act

  • It is not illegal to belong to the Communist Party or urge others to join

  • It is still illegal to urge someone to do something criminal

January 11, 2011

Objectives: To develop a better understanding of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Question: Where in the Constitution does it say “Separation of Church and State”?

Agenda: Read pages 560-567

Notes/ Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier.


  • “I don’t know how to define obscenity, but I know it when I see it.” US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart

  • The 1st and 14th Amendments do not protect obscenity, but people cannot agree what obscenity is.


  • Congress passed an obscenity law prohibiting obscenity from being distributed by mail.

  • In 1957, Roth v. US upheld the law but could not provide an accurate determination of what was obscene.

Miller Test

  • Miller v. CA, 1973 decided that material is obscene if it fulfills each of the following criteria

    • 1. The average person, applying contemporary community standards, and taken as a whole finds the work obscene

Miller Test

  • 2. The work depicts/describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct

  • 3. The work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value

Community Standards

  • The clause regarding community standards is to recognize that something that is found obscene in Oklahoma City may not be considered obscene in San Francisco.

Porn at the Library

  • Can public libraries restrict access to ‘adult’ sites?

  • Yes, if they receive federal funds they must use a filter

  • Most libraries have fought for full access, as censorship conflicts with open access laws.

Prior Restraint

  • If you know the New Tribune is going to print something derogatory about someone, can you prevent them before it is printed?

  • No, if it is deemed to be libelous they can be sued after the fact.

NY Times v. US, 1971

  • The Times planned to print what they knew about the Vietnam War

  • The Pentagon sued to prevent the Times from printing the article

  • The USSC refused to back the Pentagon because the information was embarrassing, not seditious or under the “clear and present danger” clause


  • The USSC has backed school districts, giving them wide latitude when censoring materials and student speech

Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 1988

  • Kathy Kuhlmeier, editor of her school’s newspaper, sued because the principal deleted articles about pregnant students and birth control

  • The USSC sided with the principal, that they have the duty to oversee materials written for students.

The Media

  • Can the government restrict what you see in print, on television, or in the movie theater?

  • Yes and No

The Media

  • Can the government insist that a journalist tell who their sources were?

  • Yes, although they usually do not

  • In an on-going case, Judith Miller, a journalist for the NY Times, spent 87 days in jail for refusing to name her source

  • Many of her stories turned out to be inaccurate, and she later involved in disclosing the identity of a CIA agent.

The Media

  • Journalists insist that shield laws are necessary to get stories, especially from whistleblowers.

  • If the identity of people cannot be protected, people are reluctant to come forward with what they may know.

The Movies

  • The USSC decided that communities can decide whether a motion picture can be seen

  • The rating system has assisted individuals when deciding if they would choose to see a particular movie.

Radio and Television

  • Radio and TV use public purchased wires and equipment, therefore, fall under the guidelines and restrictions of the government

  • The Federal Communication Comm. (FCC) fines individuals, such as Howard Stern, for inappropriate content.

Radio and Television

  • Appropriateness of content changes over time and place.

  • Lucy (I Love Lucy) was not allowed to:

    • Say the word ‘pregnant’, (and she was)

    • Show her and her husband in the same bed unless one foot was on the floor

    • Show a toilet bowl, even on cleaning ads

Radio and Television

  • TV got permission from the FCC to show films like Saving Private Ryan and Shindler’s List

  • Restrictions are becoming more severe after the Janet Jackson, 1/5th of a second, “wardrobe malfunction”

Radio and Television

  • Most ‘live’ radio and TV shows today are on a 7 second delay to make sure no other mistakes occur.

  • Live conversations, or unedited text, are subject to fines if they contain objectionable material.

Final 5

  • Should student speech be limited in symbolic speech? ( ex. Tinker vs. Des Moines) Explain.

January 12, 2011

  • Objectives: To develop a better understanding of Civil Liberties/Rights

  • Agenda: Go over homework

  • Notes

Symbolic Speech

  • Expression by conduct… communicating ideas through facial expressions, body language, or by carrying a sign or wearing an arm band

    • Example: Picketing

      • patrolling of a business site by workers who are on strike

Symbolic Speech (Con’t)

  • Other Symbolic Speech Cases

    • Acts of dissent can be punished if:

      • the object of the protest is within the constitutional powers of the government

      • whatever restriction is placed on expression is no greater than necessary in the circumstance

      • government’s real interest in the matter is not to squelch dissent

  • Flag Burning

    • Courts found it to be constitutional

Commercial Speech

  • Advertising for businesses is sometimes protected

    • Example:

      • Cigarette and drinking commercials during college basketball games

Section 4

  • Freedom of Assembly and Petition

The Constitution’s Guarantees

  • The Constitution protects the right of people to assemble peacefully

    • Gather with one another

Time-Place-Manner Regulation

  • The government is allowed to put reasonable regulation on the right to assemble

  • The government’s regulations must also be content neutral

    • Cannot regulate assemblies on the basis of what might be said there

Public Property

  • Most assemblies, or demonstrations, take place on public property

    • Thus many times, demonstrations are restricted to specific parts of public property, and must give advanced notice

    • In order to help maintain order and control

  • Gregory V. Chicago 1969- Civil Rights

    • As long as demonstrators act peacefully, they could not be punished for disorderly conduct

  • Recent Cases

    • Mostly dealing with abortion and groups trying to dissuade women from having or receiving advice on abortions

Private Property

  • The rights of assembly and petition do not give people a right to trespass on private property, even if they wish to express political views

    • That includes shops or malls

Public Property

  • Most assemblies, or demonstrations, take place on public property

    • Thus many times, demonstrations are restricted to specific parts of public property, and must give advanced notice

    • In order to help maintain order and control

  • Gregory V. Chicago

    • As long as demonstrators act peacefully, they could not be punished for disorderly conduct

  • Recent Cases

    • Mostly dealing with abortion and groups trying to dissuade women from having or receiving advice on abortions

Private Property

  • The rights of assembly and petition do not give people a right to trespass on private property, even if they wish to express political views

    • That includes shops or malls

Freedom of Associations

  • Those rights to associate with others to promote political, economic, and other social causes

    • Also known as right of association

  • Example: Boy Scouts of America V. Dale, 2001

    • The Boy Scouts kicked out a professed homosexual child

    • The Courts held that the Boy Scouts had the right to do it, because if they accepted the boy, then they would be contradicting what the organization professes to believe

      • Their charter opposed homosexuality

January 13, 2011

  • Objectives: To develop a better understanding of the Rights of Privacy.

  • To develop an understanding of the landmark court case of Roe v. Wade.

  • No Question

  • Get out your Privacy packets from yesterday.

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