31.2 The Bill of Rights - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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31.2 The Bill of Rights

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31.2 The Bill of Rights
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31.2 The Bill of Rights

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  1. 31.2 The Bill of Rights

  2. Basic Rights and Freedoms • The Texas Bill of Rights protects the individual liberties of Texans. • Its placement in the front of the Texas Constitution emphasizes its importance. • It begins by saying that Texas is an independent state and it recognizes the U.S. Constitution as the only higher authority.

  3. Basic Rights and Freedoms • Section 2 of the Texas Bill of Rights states that all political power stems from the people. • Sections 3 and 3a declare that Texans have equal rights under the law. This protects against laws that discriminate on the basis of gender, race or national origin.

  4. Basic Rights and Freedoms • Sections 4-7 protect Texans’ freedom of worship. • The government cannot support a religion or interfere with anyone’s decision to practice a religion or not. • These sanctions bar the government from having an official religion or favoring any particular one.

  5. Basic Rights and Freedoms • Section 8 protects freedoms of speech and of the press. • These freedoms are crucial to democracy. • These freedoms are not unlimited. • Slander – a false statement made on purpose that damage another’s reputation is not protected. • Libel - an intentionally false written statement is also not protected

  6. Basic Rights and Freedoms • Freedom of speech does not protect statements that seriously threaten the public’s safety (like yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater) • Section 27 ensures that Texans can freely assemble or gather together. • Texans can also petition, or make a request, for particular government action Fire!!!!

  7. Protection of the Accused • The Texas Constitution includes safeguards that require the government to take certain legal actions before it can seize a person’s property or punish a person. This is called due process. • Section 9 prohibits illegal searches and seizures of Texans’ property. Collin County Search Warrant

  8. Protection of the Accused • Defendants in criminal cases have a number of protections: • All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty. • A person cannot be charged with a serious crime unless a grand jury decides that there is enough evidence. • The defendant has the right to know the charge and to review the evidence. • The defendant is also entitled to question witness that testify for the government.

  9. Protection of the Accused • Convicted persons are guaranteed to not receive cruel and unusual punishment. • If the person is found to be not guilty, he or she cannot be tried again for the same offense. • The government cannot pass a law punishing someone for conduct that was lawful when committed. Texas Death Chamber

  10. Protection of the Accused • Texas courts cannot set unreasonably high bal, a sum of money that the defendant promises to pay the court. • In exchange the defendant is released from jail. • If a person does not show up for trial, he or she can be arrested. • Persons facing serious criminal charges can be denied bail. • (right) Michael Jackson’s bail bond from April, 2005

  11. Other Rights • Texans benefit from other protections as well. • Eminent domain: taking of land for public use. The property owner must be paid for the property. • Texans cannot be jailed for unpaid debts. • Section 22 defines treason and the rights of persons accused of that charge. Eminent Domain

  12. Other Rights • Under Section 23, Texans have the right to keep and bear arms. • Section 24 places the state’s military forces under the control of the state’s civilian authorities. • The state cannot force Texans to provide housing to soldiers in peacetime.

  13. Other Rights • A citizen cannot be outlawed or banished from the state. • Section 28 limits the power to suspend state law to the legislature. • Section 29 provides that the government cannot change the Texas Bill of Rights and laws that contradict it, will have no effect. • Crime victims are given rights in section 30 and 31, including the right to be notified of court proceedings.