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The Bill of Rights


The Bill of Rights Americans wanted a ... The 1st and 14th amendments give all people the right to have their say and the right to hear what others have to say. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights
  • Americans wanted a Bill of Rights added to the
    Constitution to ensure that they could not be
    mistreated, as they were by Great Britain.
  • They also wanted to ensure a protection of civil
    liberties and civil rights.
  • Civil liberties protections against government,
    such as, freedom of speech and freedom of
  • Civil rights positive acts of government that
    seek to make constitutional guarantees a reality
    for all people.

  • Originally, the Bill of Rights were only
    restrictions applied to the Federal Government.
  • It did not apply to states.
  • Not until the Due Process Clause of the 14th
    Amendment was written, that stated, no STATE
    shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or
    property, without due process of law.
  • Applying the BoR to the states became called the
    process of incorporation. This process moves one
    amendment at a time, and still, not all of the
    Bill of Rights applies to the states.
  • Gitlow v. New York was the first incorporation
    case, applying freedom of speech and press to the
  • Amendments not yet incorporated include the 2nd
    amendment, 3rd amendment, the grand jury clause
    of the 5th amendment, and the 7th amendment.

Freedom of Religion
  • The Constitution contains two clauses in the
    first amendment that are designed to protect
    religious freedom
  • The Establishment Clause (any religion can be
  • The Free Exercise Clause (you are free to
    practice your religion.)

Religion and Education
  • Everson v. Board of Education the court upheld
    a state law that provided public busing of
    students attending any school in the state,
    including religious private schools.
  • Court said it was a safety issue, no matter what
    type of school the student might attend.
  • Engle v. Vitale the Court outlawed the use of a
    prayer written by the New York Board of Regents.
  • The Court generally believes that public schools
    cannot sponsor religious exercises. It has not
    held that individuals cannot pray when and as
    they choose in schools or in any other place.

Religion and Education
  • Equal Access Act of 1984
  • Declares that any public high school that
    receives federal funds must allow student
    religious groups to meet in the school on the
    same terms that it sets for other student
  • The Lemon Test
  • The Court case Lemon v. Kurtzman created a
    three-pronged test that determines if state money
    can be given to religious schools
  • The purpose of the aid must be clearly secular
    (not religious)
  • Primary affect must neither advance nor inhibit
  • It must avoid an excessive entanglement of
    government with religion.

The Free Exercise Clause
  • Reynolds v. United States the court ruled that
    Reynoldss religious practice of polygamy was
  • This decision was made, even though his religion
    allowed it, because polygamy hurts social order.
  • Wisconsin v. Yoder In this case, the court
    ruled that Amish parents may remove their
    children from school following the 8th grade
    because the lifestyle essential to their
    religious faith is threatened by modern education.

Freedom of Speech and Press
  • The 1st and 14th amendments serve two
    fundamentally important purposes
  • To guarantee each person a right to free
  • To guarantee to all persons a full, wide-ranging
    discussion of public affairs.
  • The 1st and 14th amendments give all people the
    right to have their say and the right to hear
    what others have to say.

Libel and Slander
  • No person has the right to libel or slander
  • Libel the false and malicious use of printed
  • Slander the false and malicious use of spoken
  • These forms of speech are not permitted because
    they cause harm to others.

  • Sedition is the crime of attempting to overthrow
    the government by force or to disrupt its lawful
    activities by violent acts.
  • The act of making sedition illegal was upheld by
    Schenck v. United States and the creation of the
    clear and present danger rule.
  • States that words can be weapons. If the words
    threaten the peace and put others in danger, the
    words are illegal.

  • Miller v. California
  • The Court laid down a three-part test to
    determine what material is obscene and what is
  • Material is obscene if it
  • Excites lust
  • Describes or depicts offensive act
  • Lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or
    scientific value

Prior Restraint
  • Prior restraint the government cannot curb
    ideas before they are expressed.
  • Near v. Minnesota the Court struck down a state
    law that prohibited the publication of any
    malicious, scandalous, and defamatory periodical.
  • New York Times v. United States the Court ruled
    that the NYT may publish the Pentagon Papers
    because their printing would not endanger the
    nations security.

Symbolic Speech
  • Symbolic speech expression by conduct
    communicating ideas through facial expressions,
    body language, or by carrying a sign or wearing
    an arm band.
  • Tinker v. Des Moines the Court ruled that
    school officials could not suspend students for
    wearing armband to protest the Vietnam War
    because their acts were not hurting anyone.
  • Buckley v. Valeo found that campaign
    contributions are a symbolic form of speech and
  • Texas v. Johnson the Court ruled that
    flag-burning is a form of symbolic speech and
    protected by the Constitution.

Due Process of Law
  • Due process the government must act fairly and
    in accord with established rules in all that it
  • Substantive due process the government must
    create fair policies and laws.
  • Procedural due process the government must
    employ fair procedures and methods.
  • Remember, that the provisions of the Bill of
    Rights (the first 10 amendments) apply only to
    the National Government
  • The 14th amendment applies these protections to
    the states.

Police Power
  • Police power the authority of each state to act
    to protect and promote the public health, safety,
    morals, and general welfare.
  • Schmerber v. California the Court ruled that
    police officers may direct doctors to draw blood
    from suspected drunk drivers who refuse a breath
  • This decision was made because drunk drivers pose
    a threat to the rest of the public.

  • Griswold v. Connecticut the Court ruled that a
    state law prohibiting birth control counseling
    and devices was illegal
  • The Court believes that what two people do in the
    privacy of their own bedroom was no one elses
  • Roe v. Wade the Court struck down a Texas law
    that made abortions illegal
  • A womans right to privacy gives her the ability
    to make decisions regarding her body.

Security of Home and Person
  • Probable cause reasonable grounds, a reasonable
    suspicion of a crime
  • Minnesota v. Carter the Court ruled that
    evidence in plain sight is allowed as probable
  • An officer needs no warrant to search an
    automobile because they are considered movable
    crime scenes.

Exclusionary Rule
  • Exclusionary rule evidence gained as the result
    of an illegal act by police cannot be used at the
    trial of the person from whom it was seized.
  • Mapp v. Ohio the court ruled that the
    exclusionary rule would be applied to the states
    to protect against illegal searches and seizures.

Rights of the Accused
  • Writ of habeas corpus a court order which
    prevents unjust arrests and imprisonments
  • Bill of attainder a legislative act that
    inflicts punishment without a court trial
  • Ex post facto laws a law applied to an act
    committed before its passage
  • Grand jury the formal device by which a person
    can be accused of a serious crime
  • Indictment a formal complaint before a grand
    jury which charges the accused with one or more
  • Double jeopardy part of the 5th amendment that
    states a person cannot be tried for the same
    crime twice.

Right to Adequate Defense
  • The 6th amendment gives 4 rights to accused
  • To be informed of the charges
  • To have witnesses to the crime
  • To provide witnesses in your favor
  • To have a lawyer present
  • Gideon v. Wainwright the Court ruled that an
    attorney must be provided to a defendant who
    cannot afford one.

Self Incrimination
  • Miranda rule Created in Miranda v. Arizona,
    states that police must read the suspect their
    rights before questioning can occur.
  • Exists so people know what they should and should
    not say, and how they should and should not act.
  • You have the right to remain silent, anything you
    say can and will be used against you in a court
    of law.
  • You have the right to an attorney, if you cannot
    afford one the court will appoint you one.
  • Do you understand these rights I have read you?