Constitutional rights. Chapter 3. Our nations framing documents. Declaration of Independence Adopted on July 4, 1776 Declared independence from Great Britain American War of Independence lasted 8 years. Declaration of independence. Fun Facts
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Constitutional rights Chapter 3
Our nations framing documents • Declaration of Independence • Adopted on July 4, 1776 • Declared independence from Great Britain • American War of Independence lasted 8 years
Declaration of independence • Fun Facts • Written by Thomas Jefferson in less than 3 weeks • Jefferson Was Upset that Slavery was Edited out • Jefferson died July 4, 1826 exactly 50 years after it was adopted • The Sole Recanter: Richard Stockton • Captured by British during Revolution; under duress of harsh British confinement, Stockton recanted his signature on the Declaration and declared his allegiance to the King George III before he was released • Bargain Hunter Bought an Old Copy of the Declaration of Independence for $4, Sold It For Millions! • Found in 1989 under an old painting; was one of 200 official copies from the 1st printing; sold for $8.14 million
Articles of Confederation The 13 sovereign states united loosely in 1781 under a charter called the Articles of Confederation. Delaware Pennsylvania New Jersey Georgia Connecticut Massachusetts Maryland South Carolina New Hampshire Virginia New York North Carolina Rhode Island
U.S. Constitution • Was drafted in the summer of 1787 • Provided a workable framework for a federal government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” • Was declared effective and binding by Congress on March 4, 1789 • 9 of 13 states ratified • Remaining 4 concerned with human rights
The bill of rights • The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution • Enacted as a shield against the possible violation of specified human rights
U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS: AMENDMENT I • Freedom of Religion • Freedom of Speech • Freedom to Assemble Peacefully
Texas v. johnson (1989) • In a political demonstration during the Republican National Convention in Texas, protesting the policies of the Reagan Administration and of certain corporations based in Dallas, Gregory Lee Johnson doused an American flag with kerosene and set it on fire. No one was hurt or threatened with injury, but some witnesses said they were seriously offended, and Johnson was charged and convicted with the desecration of a venerated object, in violation of the Texas Penal Code. In a split decision, the Supreme Court determined that Johnson’s actions were symbolic speech protected by his First Amendment Rights.
U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS: AMENDMENT II • A well regulated Militia • Right to Keep and Bear Arms
U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS: AMENDMENT III • 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.
U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS: AMENDMENT IV • Security in person and property against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
California v. greenwood (1987) • Local police suspected Billy Greenwood was dealing drugs from his residence. Because the police did not have enough evidence for a warrant to search his home, they searched the garbage bags Greenwood had left at the curb for pickup. The police uncovered evidence of drug use, which was then used to obtain a warrant to search the house. That search turned up illegal substances, and Greenwood was arrested on felony charges. • Did that violate the 4th Amendment? • Voting 6 to 2, the Court held that garbage placed at the curbside is unprotected by the Fourth Amendment. The Court argued that there was no reasonable expectation of privacy for trash on public streets "readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers, snoops, and other members of the public."
U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS: AMENDMENT V • Right to Remain Silent if Accused of a Crime • Right to Not be Tried for the Same Crime Twice • Right to Fair Compensation for Private Property Taken by the Government for a Public Purpose • Protection from Taking of Life, Liberty, or Property without Due Process of Law
Miranda v. arizona (1966) • Ernesto Miranda was arrested after a crime victim identified him, but police officers questioning him did not inform him of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. While he confessed to the crime, his attorney later argued that his confession should have been excluded from trial. The Supreme Court agreed, deciding that the police had not taken proper steps to inform Miranda of his rights.
U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS: AMENDMENT VI • Right to enjoy a Speedy and Public Trial by an Impartial Jury • Right to a Defense Counsel in a Trial • Right to Confront Witnesses Against Oneself • Constitution supreme law of the land
Gideon v. wainwright (1963) • In June 1961, a burglary occurred at the Bay Harbor Pool Room in Panama City, FL. Police arrested Clarence Earl Gideon after he was found nearby with a pint of wine and some change in his pockets. Gideon, who could not afford a lawyer, asked a Florida Circuit Court judge to appoint one for him arguing that the Sixth Amendment entitles everyone to a lawyer. The judge denied his request and Gideon was left to represent himself. He did a poor job of defending himself and was found guilty of breaking and entering and petty larceny. While serving his sentence in a Florida state prison, Gideon began studying law, which reaffirmed his belief his rights were violated when the Florida Circuit Court refused his request for counsel. From his prison cell, he handwrote a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case and it agreed. The Court unanimously ruled in Gideon’s favor, stating that the Six Amendment requires state courts to provide attorneys for criminal defendants who cannot otherwise afford counsel.
U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS: AMENDMENT VII • 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 re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. • Jury
U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS: AMENDMENT VIII • Protection from Cruel or Unusual Punishment if Convicted of a Crime
Roper v. simmons (1985) • Matthew Simmons was sentenced to death for the murder of a woman when he was seventeen years of age. In the 1988 case Thompson v. Oklahoma, the Supreme Court ruled that executing persons for crimes committed at age fifteen or younger constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Roper argued that "evolving standards of decency" prevented the execution of an individual for crimes committed before the age of eighteen. A majority of the Supreme Court agreed with Roper, and held that to execute him for his crime would violate the Eighth Amendment.
U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS: AMENDMENT IX • The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. • Gives power to the people
U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS: AMENDMENT X • Sovereignty of all the states to govern their own citizens within their own borders • Power to the state
MORE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS • Abolishing slavery – 13th Amendment • The right to vote – 15th Amendment • Intentionally excluded “gender” • Women vote 50 years later - 19th Amendment • Change voting age to 18 – 26th Amendment
OUR SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES • Branches of governments • Legislative branch • Executive branch • Judicial branch • Changing the Constitution • Our form of government
United states v. nixon (1974) • A congressional hearing about President Nixon’s Watergate break-in scandal revealed that he had installed a tape-recording device in the Oval Office. The special prosecutor in charge of the case wanted access to these taped discussions to help prove that President Nixon and his aides had abused their power and broken the law. President Nixon’s incomplete compliance with the special prosecutor's demands was challenged and eventually taken to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court decided that executive privilege is not limitless, and the tapes were released.
LEGISLATIVE BRANCH • Senate • 2 members from every state, regardless of populations (100) • Six-year terms • Power to try all impeachment cases • House of Representatives • Seats allocated to the states in proportion to their population (435) • 2-year terms • Power to initiate impeachment
EXECUTIVE BRANCH • President and Vice President • Elections Regulated by a Combination of Federal and State Laws • Each State is allocated a number of Electoral College Electors (total 538)
JUDICIAL BRANCH • Supreme Court • Primarily an appellate court • Decides on constitutionality of statutes • 1 Chief Justice; 8 Associate Justices • Nominated by the President; confirmed by the Senate • Life Tenure