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ciglerchap3 - civil liberties

ciglerchap3 - civil liberties - Readings Cigler Chapter 3...

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Readings: Cigler Chapter 3 Civil Liberties - Individual rights are inalienable o Nor given or taken away from the government - Framers and policy makers have preformed two balancing acts in terms of civil liberties and civil rights issues o One: balance between the rights of individuals with the needs of the community at large Example: Gideon v. Wainwright o Two: relative amounts of power accorded the government and its citizens Example: Patriot Act Balancing between security and liberty - Executive and legislative make and implement rights whereas the judicial branch is at the centre, because they are so isolated from popular interests and politics makes this a good branch for deciding civil liberties cases o Example: Brown v. Board of Education Congress shied away from legislation that challenged racial separation but it was the SC that ruled on a series of desegregation cases - Court is influenced by precedent and societal context as well as the individual members o Burger and Rehnquist courts Conservative and allowed for the expanding of search and seizure powers of the police but never overturned decision by the Warren court that protect the rights and liberties of citizens Freedom of Expression Cases Near v. Minnesota (1931) - The main question of this case revolves around a statute, section 1, clause b. and the Saturday Press which published articles that were malicious, scandalous and defamatory. These articles centered concerned several public official of Minneapolis. o Claiming that the city was run by Jewish gangster and that the chief of police wasn’t doing anything about it nor the mayor or county attorney. - This statute stated that public authorities could bring the owner or publisher of a newspaper or periodical to court on a charge of conduction a business that publishes scandalous and defamatory matters and unless the owner or publisher could prove that the information published was true and was published with good motives than the judge could suppress the publication of the newspaper or periodical and that any further publishing was punishable. o The question was whether this stature that authorized proceedings in restraining of publication is consistent with the conception of the liberty of the press as historically conceived and guaranteed. o There were several referrals to writings of Madison and Blackwell which both stated that freedom of the press was essential to the nature of a free
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state. That it was better to have a few bad articles than to “prune” them away and risk other fruitful articles from being published. - Decision o They stated that even though the press may be abused by those who spread scandal it doesn’t make the immunity of the press from previous restraint any less important.
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