CIvil rights lecture notes

CIvil rights lecture notes - Political Science 1000 Civil...

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Political Science 1000 Fall 2007 Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Lecture Notes Civil Liberties – Those personal freedoms that are protected for all individuals. Civil Liberties typically involve restraining the government’s actions against individuals. (What the government CANNOT do.) Civil Rights – Generally, all rights rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. Civil Rights – Powers or privileges that are guaranteed to the individual and protected from arbitrary removal at the hands of the government or other individuals. Civil Rights – must do or provide something – (what the government MUST DO OR PROVIDE ) The doctrine of fundamental freedoms believes that some Constitutional provisions should be given special preference or protection from government infringement To understand Civil Liberties we must first look at the Bill of Rights – One of the most important issues of Civil Liberties was – does the United States Constitution, under the Bill of Rights, apply to only the federal government or does it apply to both federal and state government? Most people did not understand that originally, the Bill of Rights only applied to the Federal Government. It was NOT until AFTER the Civil War when the Fourteenth Amendment passed did the Bill of Rights, under the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1 apply to States: The Amendment reads in part “No State shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. Before the Fourteenth Amendment was added to the Bill of Rights the Constitution specifically stated: “Congress shall make no law . . .” it did not address the States themselves. It was NOT until 1925 that the United States Supreme Court began to incorporate the Bill of Rights as applying to states. It took a total of 44 years before all the liberties and rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights to be applied to the States. The U.S. Supreme Court has used what is known as the “Incorporation Theory” when applying the Bill of Rights to States as a whole – Incorporation Theory – the view that most of the protections of the Bill of Rights apply to State Governments through the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause. Thomas Jefferson declared that the First Amendment, which states: “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ” was designed to create a wall of separation of Church and State.” Establishment Clause – the part of the First Amendment prohibiting the establishment of a church officially supported by the national government. 1
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Political Science 1000 Fall 2007 Today we face the “school voucher” system of education – the government gets around the First Amendment and Establishment clause of the Constitution by issuing the “payment vouchers” directly to the student or the student’s parent(s) – thereby not providing “Government funds” directly to a private or church-related school. 12% of school aged children in the United
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course POLS 1000 taught by Professor Bailey during the Fall '08 term at Univeristy of Wyoming- Laramie.

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CIvil rights lecture notes - Political Science 1000 Civil...

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