American Government Final Outline - American Government...

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American Government Final Outline
Chapter 4: Civil LibertiesI.IntroductionA.Solving Collective Action Problems-Civil liberties and civil rights are the most important instruments used by the government to solve collective action problems> Civil Liberties are protections of citizens from improper governmental action> Civil Rights are the rules determining who may participate or be represented in collective decision-making processes, as well as regulating the ways in which the gov’t can and cannot treatits citizens-The Bill of Rights regulates collective action while civil liberties define certain spheres of activity (such as speech or worship) in which the government’s authority to interfere with individual conduct is limitedB.Jurisdiction over Civil Liberties/Rights-Jurisdiction over civil liberties and civil rights issues is primarily exercised by the courts> The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over constitutional issues is derived from Article III of the Constitution, from statues, and from precedents-The U.S. Congress also claims agenda and veto power in these realms according to Articles II and V of the ConstitutionII.Origins of the Bill of RightsA.Writing the Constitution-George Mason, a Virginia delegate who served in Congress in the 18thcentury, inspired a Bill of Rights for the Constitution that was met with much dissent but approved by an “unwritten but unequivocal pledge” to add a Bill of Rights > This pledge was followed by a promise to confirm (in what became the 10thAmendment) the understanding that all powers not delegated to the national gov’t or explicitly prohibited to the states were reserved to the states or to the peopleB.Government Dos and Don’ts-The Bill of Rights = “bill of liberties” because the amendments focus on what government must not do> The BoR is a series of “thou shalt nots” that restrict the jurisdiction of the government> Some restraints are substantive—puts limits on what the gov’t shall and shall not have the power to do> Other restraints are procedural—deals with how the gov’t is supposed to act (ex: a person is innocent until proven guilty)-The Ninth Amendment addressed the concern over American entitlement to other Constitutional protections by declaring that the enumeration in the Constitution of some rights “shall not be construed” to mean that the people do not retain other rights as wellIII.Nationalizing the Bill of RightsA.The First Amendment-The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of…[assembly and petition]” > This is the only amendment that addresses itself exclusively to national gov’t-Other amendments are directed more toward people/individualsB.Dual Citizenship-1833: Barron v. Baltimore> John Barron of Baltimore was victim to devalued property after the city of Baltimore disposed of gravel/sand next to his wharf, thereby violating his Fifth Amendment right to property

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