Creating the Bill of Rights EQ: What freedoms does the Bill of Rights Protect and why are they important?
1788 Ratification of the Constitution • 1789 1st Presidential Election: • George Washington: President • John Adams: Vice President
Jefferson argued to Madison that a “bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on Earth… and what no just government may refuse” Congress debated issues and Madison went through hundreds of proposed amendments!
Madison chose the least controversial amendments and presented them to Congress in 1789. • How many states must ratify an amendment before it becomes a law??? • 1791- required number of states approved the first 10 Amendments Known as the Bill of Rights.
First Amendment Rights • Madison combined the 5 Basic Freedoms into the first amendment: • Freedom of Religion • Freedom of Speech • Freedom of the Press • Freedom of the Assembly • Right to Petition the government If a person believes the government has violated these rights, he or she may challenge the government’s action in court If it reaches the Supreme Court the justices decide how the Constitution applies to the situation. What is this called??
Right to Worship Freely • Two guarantees of religious freedom: • “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” No official faith of the US Amendment builds “a wall of separation between church and state” How high is the wall? • “Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise of religion” This means that people can believe whatever they want about religion without fear or punishment. a) Can’t do whatever you want in the name of religion!
Right to Free Speech and Press • Freedom is important because of the role the press places in a democratic society Newspaper, magazines, and other media act as watchdogs on the government. • Also, citizens stay informed and make up their own minds about important issues. • Free speech right to speak freely in public places like streets and parks, not an unlimited right!
Limitations on Free Speech • Supreme Court has allowed limits on some kinds of speech, such as speech that endangers public safety. • Speech = more than words Includes “symbolic speech”, actions to express their opinions. • Burning an American Flag as a form of protest- No form of expression can be banned, just because “society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable”.
Right to Assemble and Petition • Peaceably assemble (meet together with others) citizens can use public property for meetings and demonstrations. Parades, protests, marches, and political rallies are all protected. • Petition (appeal to) the government.
Limitations on Right to Assemble • Cannot close streets or buildings, or protest violently. • Protest peaceful, but people watching is not Comedian leads a protest to the mayor’s home. Residents of the neighborhood start throwing eggs and shouting insults. Fearful of a riot, police ask the marchers to leave. When the marches refused, they were arrested. Who was in the wrong? • Marchers challenged their arrests in the court claiming protest was protected by the first amendment’s right of assembly court agreed!
MINI QUIZ • List the 5 Basic Freedoms guaranteed in the first amendment.
Citizen Protections • The 2nd-4th Amendments protect citizens from government abuse Reaction to the British rule in the colonies.
SECOND AMENDMENT: Right to Bear Arms • During colonial times Britain used a permanent army to keep the colonists in line After independence Americans remained suspicious and relied on militias. • States: “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.” • Debate: Can own guns ONLY if you are part of a militia or for self defense?
Third Amendment: Quartering Troops in Homes • “ No Solider shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner.” • Soldiers are not quartered in homes, but this amendment remains important, as a warning to the government to respect the privacy of people’s homes.
Fourth Amendment: Searches and Seizures • “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses , papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures (forcibly taking control of a person or property), 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.”
Before arresting a person or searching a person’s home, police must show a judge there is a good reason for allowing the action. • Warrant: An order from a judge that authorizes police or other officials to take certain action, such as searching someone’s property.
Legal Rights and Protections • The 5th-8th Amendments lay out rights and protections that apply to people accused of a crime or involved in legal disputes.
Fifth Amendment:Legal Rights • Longest/lists 5 important rights of people involved in the justice system: 1) Right to a grand jury hearing: Grand Jury is a group of citizens. 2) Protects citizens from “double jeopardy” 3) Prohibits self-incrimination; police cannot force people to say things that might be used against them in trial police remind people of the right to remain silent and that anything they do say can be used against them at trial Miranda Warning - Also applies to testifying: you don’t have to say anything!!! 4) Says “A person cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” means government must follow clear rules and act reasonably as it carries out law. 5) Government cannot take a person’s private property without paying a fair price.
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in the time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence 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.”
Sixth Amendment:Criminal Trial Rights • Rights designed to provide accused persons of a fair trial. • “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial (can’t be held in jail for a long time and it can’t be held in secret), by an impartial jury (jurors can’t be prejudiced against the defendant) of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation (prosecutor needs to tell the accused person of the time/place of the crime); to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense (right to an attorney).”
Seventh Amendment:Civil Trial Rights • Civil cases are disputes between people or businesses. Typically involve money, property, or family matters, such as divorce. • “In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of common law.”
Eighth Amendment:Bail and Punishment • Protects accused people’s rights before and after trial before trial: forbids judges from demanding “excessive” bail. After trial: forbids “excessive” fines and “cruel and unusual punishments.” • Constitution doesn’t mention what the punishments are… so the Supreme Court interpreted this as meaning that punishments should be “proportionate” to the crime.
Death Penalty? • Debate: Should it be banned under the 8th Amendment? • Execution = cruel and unusual punishment • 1976: Gregg v. Georgia ruled “punishment of death… does not under all circumstances violate the 8th amendment” • “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
Legal Rights and Protections Mini Quiz 1) Right to a ___1___ jury hearing. 2) Protects citizens from “double _____2_____” 3) Prohibits self-incrimination; police cannot force people to say things that might be used against them in trial police remind people of the right to remain ___3____ and that anything they do say can be used against them at trial ___4______ Warning 4) Says “A person cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” means government must follow clear rules and act reasonably as it carries out law. 5) Government cannot take a person’s private ____5_______ without paying a fair price.
Other Rights and Powers • Keep balance between the federal government, the people and the states.
Ninth Amendment:Rights retained by the people • Rights not mentioned in the Constitution are kept by the people!!! • Example is: Right to Privacy • “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Tenth Amendment:Powers reserved to the States • Included to protect the states from excessive federal power • “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
1816 McCulloch v. Maryland: Congress chartered a national bank. Many states protested that the 10th Amendment prohibited Congress from creating a bank because the power is not listed in the Constitution. Maryland levied a tax on the bank a couple of years later. James McCulloch, an officer at the branch refused to pay the tax-drive bank out of business if tax was too high. Maryland took McCulloch to court for refusing to pay the tax. State argued the bank was unconstitutional, but under the 10th amendment Maryland had the power to tax it!! • Outcome: S.C. sided with McCulloch: Tenth Amendment didn’t forbid the chartering of a federal bank necessary and proper clause gave congress the power to do so.