Chapter 16 - Civil Liberties

Chapter 16 - Civil Liberties - Civil Liberties Civil...

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Civil Liberties
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Civil Liberties in the U.S. “Fundamental freedoms that together preserve the rights of a free people.” Evolution of civil liberties in the United States has been shaped by Supreme Court rulings. Also affected by political debates interest group activism election outcomes
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Origins of the Bill of Rights Articulation of basic freedoms found in colonial American during Revolution, patriots trampled on rights of Tories Constitution did not include explicit protection for individual civil liberties. States responsible for things such as regulating speech and the press Only when ratification of Constitution was in danger did a federal Bill of Rights emerge.
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Few Liberties Pre-Civil War Bill of Rights originally applied only to national government—NOT the states Several states supported Congregationalist ministers with tax money for several decades. Some Bill of Rights provisions did not explicitly mention federal or state government, leaving possibility that they applied to both.
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Applying the Bill of Rights The Civil War transformed the Bill of Rights. Civil Rights Amendments the 13 th , 14 th , 15 th Amendments, which abolished slavery, redefined civil rights and liberties, and guaranteed the right to vote to all adult male citizens Due Process Clause found in the 5 th and 14 th Amendments to the Constitution: forbids deprivation of life, liberty, or property without the due process of law
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Applying the Bill of Rights Language in the 14 th Amendment applied the due process clause to the states BUT, the Supreme Court did not immediately conclude that the states must abide by the ENTIRE Bill of Rights. if it did, would be difficult to enforce Gradual approach: selective incorporation the case-by-case incorporation, by the courts, of the Bill of Rights into the due process clause of the 14 th Amendment
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Freedom of Speech, Assembly, and Press “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble…” Three liberties closely intertwined
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Free Speech and Majoritarian Democracy Madison and Tyranny of the Majority place free speech outside the reach of powerful majorities John Stuart Mill: in the free exchange of ideas, truth would eventually triumph over error. But what of vicious or offensive speech? Mill states that even if such ideas were built on error, only by allowing it to be expressed can its proponents be denied the privilege of false martyrdom. Example: racial hatred/prejudice
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“Bad Tendency” to “Clear and Present Danger” Bad Tendency: a rule from English law saying that expression could be punished if it could ultimately lead to illegal behavior First major Supreme court decisions affecting freedom of speech arose out of the conscription of young men into the army during WWI. Schenck v. U.S. (1919): socialist mails anti-
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This note was uploaded on 07/21/2008 for the course GOV 310L taught by Professor Kieth during the Summer '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Chapter 16 - Civil Liberties - Civil Liberties Civil...

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