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American Government and Politics Today


No unreasonable or unwarranted search or seizure. [Mapp v. Ohio] ... of about a hundred death row inmates who were wrongly convicted, throwing doubt ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: American Government and Politics Today

American Government and Politics Today
  • Chapter 4
  • Civil Liberties

Please note that these slides are meant as a
review after a careful reading of the chapter.
These will NOT substitute for reading the
chapter. The publishers original slide is in
black. My annotations are in red.
The Bill of Rights Remember the Bill of Rights
is really a Bill of Limits.
  • Origins colonists fear of a tyrannical
  • Federalists agreed to amend the Constitution to
    include a Bill of Rights after ratification,
    placing limitations on the government, and thus
    protecting citizens civil liberties.

The Bill of Rights and State Governments Know
the concept of incorporation (XIVth Amendment).
  • While the Bill of Rights protected the people
    from the national government it did not protect
    the people from state governments.
  • In 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment became a part of
    the Constitution, imposing step-by-step, most of
    the Constitutional protections of civil liberties
    upon state governments.

Table 4-1 Incorporating the Bill of Rights into
the Fourteenth Amendment
1966 Right not to self-incriminate
Miranda v. Arizona
Freedom of Religion
  • Separation of Church and State
  • Establishment Clause
  • 1. Aid to Church-related schools
  • 2. School Vouchers
  • 3. School PrayerEngel v. Vitale
  • 4. Prayer outside the Classroom
  • 5. The Ten Commandments
  • 6. Teaching Evolution
  • 7. Religious Speech

Free Exercise Clause
  • Guarantees the free exercise of religion
    restrained when religious practices interfere
    with public policy.
  • Examples the ability of school districts to
    select texts for students, and the requirement of
    vaccinations for school enrollment.
  • The Religious Freedom Restoration Act
  • Free Exercise in the Public Schools.

How does the establishment clause compete with
the free-exercise clause (e.g. polygamy, etc.)?
Freedom of Expression
  • No Prior Restraint
  • Protection of Symbolic Speech
  • Protection of Commercial Speech
  • Permitted Restrictions on Expression
  • Clear and Present Danger
  • Modifications Grave and Probable Danger Rule
  • Unprotected Speech
  • Obscenity
  • Pornography/Internet Pornography
  • Slander
  • Campus Speech
  • Hate Speech

Freedom of the Press
  • Libel, a written defamation of character
  • Public figures must meet higher standards than
    ordinary people to win a libel suit.
  • A Free Press versus a Fair Trial
  • Gag orders the right of a defendant to a fair
    trial supersedes the right of the public to
    attend the trial.
  • Films, Radio, and TV
  • Freedom of the press is no longer limited to just
    the print media though broadcast media do not
    receive the same protection as print media.

The Right to Assemble and Petition the
Governor No questions on this.
  • The Supreme Court has held that state and local
    governments cannot bar individuals from
    assembling. State and local governments can
    require permits for such assembly so that order
    can be maintained. However the government cannot
    be selective as to who receives the permit.
  • Street Gangs.
  • Online Assembly

Privacy Rights
  • There is no explicit Constitutional right to
    privacy, but rather the right to privacy is an
    interpretation by the Supreme Court.
  • From the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth
  • The right was established in 1965 in Griswold v.

Privacy Rights and Abortion
  • Roe v. Wade. In Roe v. Wade (1973) the court held
    that governments could not totally prohibit
    abortions because this violates a womans right
    to privacy. Government action was limited
    depending on the stage of the pregnancy.
  • Current Issue partial birth abortion

Privacy Rights and The Right to Die Nope.
  • Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health
    (1997) a patients life support could be
    withdrawn at the request of a family member if
    there was clear and convincing evidence that
    the patient did not want the treatment. This has
    led to the popularity of living wills.
  • What If There Is No Living Will? For married
    persons, the spouse is the relative with
    authority in this matter.
  • Physician-Assisted Suicide. The Constitution does
    not include a right to commit suicide. This
    decision left states much leeway to legislate on
    this issue. Since that decision in 1997, only the
    state of Oregon has legalized physician-assisted

Privacy Rights vs. Security Issues
  • Privacy rights have taken on particular events
    since September 11, 2001. For example,
    legislation has been proposed that would allow
    for roving wiretaps, which would allow a person
    (and his or her communications) to be searched,
    rather than merely a place. Such rules may
    violate the Fourth Amendment.

Rights of the Accused
  • Fourth Amendment
  • No unreasonable or unwarranted search or seizure.
    Mapp v. Ohio
  • No arrest except on probable cause.
  • Fifth Amendment
  • No coerced confessions. Miranda
  • No compulsory self-incrimination.
  • No double jeopardy.
  • Sixth Amendment
  • Legal counsel. Gideon v. Wainwright

Rights of the Accused (cont.)
  • Informed of charges.
  • Speedy and public jury trial.
  • Impartial jury by ones peers.
  • Eighth Amendment questions about lethal
  • Reasonable bail.
  • No cruel or unusual punishment.

The Bill of Rights and the Accused
  • Miranda v. Arizona requires the police to inform
    suspects of their rights (Miranda v. Arizona
  • Exceptions to the Miranda Rule. These include a
    public safety exception, a rule that illegal
    confessions need not bar a conviction if other
    evidence is strong, and that suspects must claim
    their rights unequivocally.
  • Video Recording of Interrogations. In t he
    future, such a procedure might satisfy Fifth
    Amendment requirements.
  • The Exclusionary Rule. This prohibits the
    admission of illegally seized evidence (Mapp v.
    Ohio 1961)

The Death Penalty Nope.
  • Cruel and Unusual Punishment?
  • The Death Penalty Today. Now 37 states allow the
    death penalty.
  • Time Limits for Death Row Appeals.
  • The 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death
    Penalty act limits appeals from death row.
  • Recently, DNA testing has led to the freeing of
    about a hundred death row inmates who were
    wrongly convicted, throwing doubt on the death

Figure 4-1 States that Allow the Death Penalty