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joshua-cantrell

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What do you think?
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  1. What do you think? • Bell Assignment • Out of all of the rights provided for us under the Constitution, which right is most important to you? Explain your answer.

  2. Bill of Rights Rap

  3. Protecting Our Freedoms The Bill of Rights

  4. CIVIL LIBERTIES • Civil libertiesare the personal rights and freedoms that the federal government cannot abridge, either by law, constitution, or judicial interpretation. • These are limitations on the power of governmentto restrain or dictate how individuals act.

  5. U.S. Constitution - what the government can do. Bill of Rights - What the government cannot do.

  6. Today’s Issues… • What current issues/events come to mind when you think of civil liberties? Brainstorm at least three. • Share one of these with your “Libertarian” partner.

  7. The Incorporation Doctrine • The Bill of Rights was designed to limit the powers of the national government. • In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution and its language suggested that the protections of the Bill of Rights might also be extended to prevent state infringement of those rights. • The amendment begins: "No state shall....deprive any person, of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." • Most of the amendments have been incorporated but not all…

  8. The First Amendment Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of people to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  9. Good Morning!  • Analyze the cartoon on your handout and answer the questions below.

  10. 1st Amendment: Freedom of Religion • The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law… • respecting an establishment of religion, • or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” There has been a lot of controversy over the way the Courts have interpreted and applied these two clauses.

  11. The Free Exercise Clause • "Congress shall make no law.....prohibiting the free exercise thereof (religion)" is designed to prevent the government from interfering with the practice of religion. • This freedom is not absolute!

  12. The Free Exercise Clause • Several religious practices have been ruled unconstitutional including: • snake handling • use of illegal drugs • Polygamy • Key Cases: • Reynolds v. United States (1979) – prohibited polygamy • Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) – schools could not require Amish children to attend school beyond 8th grade • Employment Division of Oregon v. Smith (1990) - The Court ruled that Oregon could deny unemployment benefits to workers fired for using drugs (peyote) as part of a religious ceremony. • Nonetheless, the Court has made it clear that the government must remain NEUTRAL toward religion.

  13. Drafting the First Amendment • They asked, “Should we establish a religion or not?” • Thomas Jefferson wrote that there should be “a wall of separation between church and state.” • No where in the Constitution is this “wall” mentioned.

  14. How high should the wall be??? • Separationists: argue that a high “wall” should exist between the church and state. showing preference. • Accomodationists: contend that the state should not be separate from religion but rather should accommodate it, without showing preference.

  15. What do you think??? • Which viewpoint do you support? Why? • Share your view with your “Tea Party” partner.

  16. School Prayer • The Supreme Court has held fast to the rule of strict separation between church and state when issues of prayer in public school are involved. • Key Cases: • Engel v. Vitale (1962), the Court ruled that even nondenominational prayer could not be required of public school children. • Wallace v. Jaffree (1985), the Court struck down the moment of silence laws and other related laws stating they violated the establishment clause. • In Lee v. Weisman (1992), the Court continued its unwillingness to allow prayer in public schools by finding the saying of prayer at a middle school graduation unconstitutional.

  17. Lemon v. Kurtzman • In 1971, the Court ruled that New York state could not use state funds to pay parochial school teachers’ salaries. • To be Constitutional the challenged law must • Must have a secular purpose • Can neither advance nor inhibit religion • Cannot foster excessive government entanglement with religion. • In 1980, this Lemon Test was used to invalidate a Kentucky law that required the posting of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms.

  18. "See You at the Pole" • Student participation in before - or after - school events, such as "see you at the pole," is permissible. • School officials, acting in an official capacity, may neither discourage nor encourage participation in such an event.

  19. Other issues that have been debated: • Monument to the Ten Commandments outside of state courthouses. • Chaplains in the military and Congress.

  20. Hobby Lobby – June 2014 • Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. • Issue: The mandate in the Affordable Care Act – businesses must provide women contraceptive options under their health insurance plans. • Hobby Lobby is a faith-based company objected to this mandate. • Decision: 5-4: Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, the religious convictions of a company’s owners could apply to the company itself. However, the court did not apply the decision to all corporations. • Stipulation: for-profit “closely held corporations” and non-profit corporations could be exempt from providing the coverage under the Affordable Care Act publicly held companies must comply.

  21. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc. • Big Question – What constitutes a “closely held corporation”? No one seems to have a universal standard for this. • Justice Alito held that a corporation could assert religious protections under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when the interests of the corporation and the shareholders were identical so that the religion of the owners could be imputed to the corporation.  • Corporation = individual in this case. • Corporate Veil – Historically share-holders are not responsible for a corporations debt – does this decision “pierce the corporate veil”? • Do you agree or disagree with the Court’s decision in this case? Explain your response.

  22. The Big Question… • How much separation between church and state did the Founding Fathers intend for there to be?

  23. You Decide… • Devout Christian Scientist parents refuse to bring their sick 5-year-old child to a medical clinic, even though the illness could be cured by proven treatment and medication. The child dies and the couple is arrested and brought to trial on charges of murder. The prosecutor tells you that the couple is guilty because they did not provide the child with proper treatment, even though they knew that the child’s illness could probably be successfully treated. The parents are grief-stricken, but argue that as Christian Scientists they believe spiritual healing would restore their child’s health. They said it was contrary to their religious beliefs to bring the child to a medical clinic, and that to find them guilty would be denying them their right to freedom of religion under the First Amendment. • If you were a judge in this case, based on what you have learned about First Amendment rights, what would you decide? Provide at least two strong arguments to support your decision.

  24. You Decide… • Your state has a law requiring public school students to stand and pledge allegiance to the flag at the beginning of each school day. When the children of a devout Jehovah’s Witnesses family refuse to salute the flag, they are suspended from school. The parents of the suspended children sue the school board. They argue that under their religion, saluting the flag, is idolatry and therefore a sin. They are not unpatriotic, but merely want an exception to be made for their children. The school board says that the children should not be allowed back in school until they can salute the flag. The school board argues that saluting the flag merely shows loyalty to America, and that it is required by state law; religious beliefs are not relevant. • If you were a judge in this case, based on what you have learned about First Amendment rights, what would you decide? Provide at least two strong arguments to support your decision.

  25. You Decide… • An Amish man is fined for violating a state law that requires his children to go to school beyond the eighth grade. As part of their religion, the Amish believe in separating themselves from the modern world. Therefore, they do not want their children to receive more education than their simple lifestyle demands. The state argues that education is an important part of citizenship and that the children should not grow up “ignorant”. • If you were a judge in this case, based on what you have learned about First Amendment rights, what would you decide? Provide at least two strong arguments to support your decision.

  26. You Decide… • An American Indian is arrested for using an illegal drug peyote in a religious ceremony. He is charged with violating his state’s drug laws. The prosecutor claims that the people of the state do not want illegal and dangerous drugs to be used there, and that’s why the laws were passed. The man who was arrested argues that peyote is and always has been a part of his religion and that convicting him would violate his freedom of religion. • If you were a judge in this case, based on what you have learned about First Amendment rights, what would you decide? Provide at least two strong arguments to support your decision.

  27. You Decide… • Your state has a law requiring public school students to stand and pledge allegiance to the flag at the beginning of each school day. When the children of a devout Jehovah’s Witnesses family refuse to salute the flag, they are suspended from school. The parents of the suspended children sue the school board. They argue that under their religion, saluting the flag, is idolatry and therefore a sin. They are not unpatriotic, but merely want an exception to be made for their children. The school board says that the children should not be allowed back in school until they can salute the flag. The school board argues that saluting the flag merely shows loyalty to America, and that it is required by state law; religious beliefs are not relevant. • If you were a judge in this case, based on what you have learned about First Amendment rights, what would you decide? Provide at least two strong arguments to support your decision.

  28. Freedom of Speech • What is speech? • Speaking in public (rally, meeting, fair) • Holding a sign? • Clothing? • Making a gesture? • Flag burning? • Cross burning? • Burning a draft card?

  29. Types of Speech • Pure Speech • Speech Plus • Symbolic Speech

  30. Limits to free speech? • Can the government restrict any of the following? • Obscenity • Defamation • Fighting Words • Hate Speech • Speech at School • Other?

  31. Defamatory Speech • false speech that endangers a person’s good name • Slander - spoken falsehoods • Libel - written falsehoods • Fighting Words - words that provoke immediate violence • In the United States, it is often difficult to prove libel or slander, particularly if “public persons” or “public officials” are involved.

  32. Obscenity • Obscenity is not protected • Communities Decide: Public standards vary from time to time, place to place and person to person. • Work that some call “obscene” may be “art” to others. The ambiguity of definition still exists and is becoming even more problematic with the Internet. • No nationwide consensus exists.

  33. What Types of Speech are Protected? • Symbolic speech--symbols, signs, and other methods of expression. The Supreme Court has upheld as constitutional a number of actions including: • An example of protected symbolic speech would be the right of high school students to wear armbands to protest the Vietnam War (Tinker v. De Moines Independent Community School District, 1969). • flying a communist red flag • burning the American flag • The Supreme Court upheld that right in a 5-4 decision in Texas v. Johnson (1989).

  34. More Key Free Speech Cases • Schenck v. United States (1919): Set the “clear and present danger” standard for limiting speech. • Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969): The Court made the “clear and present” danger test less restrictive by ruling that using inflamatory speech would be punished only if there was imminent danger that the speech would incite an illegal act.

  35. Right to Petition the Government • Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington • Million Man March • Multiple protests, meetings, events in Washington DC • Lobbyists • Letter to Congress

  36. Freedom of Assembly • The Courts have generally ruled: • Groups may be required to apply for a permit. • Certain public facilities may be restricted from demonstrations (schools, airports, jails). • Restrictions on assembly must apply to all groups equally. • Groups cannot use private property to create buffer zones, ex. Zones around abortion clinics. • Police may disperse demonstrations in order to keep the peace to protect the public’s safety if demonstrations become dangerous.

  37. Freedom of Press • Prior Restraint - The government can’t censor information before it is printed. • Radio and Television • Subject to extensive Regulation - F.C.C. • Protecting News Sources • Reporters aren’t protected • Shield Laws • Motion Pictures (little regulation) • Commercial Speech • No misleading information • Can ban tobacco ads - some alcohol ads

  38. THE SECOND AMENDMENT • 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.

  39. The Right to Bear Arms?

  40. 2nd Amendment Question • Does 2nd Amendment Protect… • Individual right to bear arms…? • State’s right to raise a militia…?

  41. There are one million gun incidents per year in the United States (murders, suicides, assaults, accidents and robberies all involving guns). Why Should You Care?

  42. Does the easy availability of handguns promote crime? Do people have a right to possess firearms to defend themselves and their property? Are guns part of the problem of crime – or part of the solution? Key Questions

  43. Perspectives on the issue…

  44. Another perspective on the issue…

  45. Supreme Court Case Law on Second Amendment (for past 200 years) • US v Miller 1939 • Question: Does the National Firearms Act of 1934 violate Miller’s 2nd Amendment rights by banning sawed off shotguns? • Question: Is the National Firearms Act a violation of state’s rights with regard to regulation of a militia? • Decision: • A sawed off shotgun is not essential to a well regulated militia. • The state militia is subordinate to the needs of the national military and national government.