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Poly Sci Chap 5

Poly Sci Chap 5 - Civil Liberties Chapter Five The Logic of...

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Unformatted text preview: Civil Liberties Chapter Five The Logic of American Politics Wr iting Rights & Liber ties into the Constitution • The Constitution as it emerged in 1787 did not seriously address civil liberties. • The Framers believed a bill of rights was not necessary if the institutions of government were designed correctly. • Others believed that listing rights in the Constitution might imply that the federal government had the authority to restrict freedoms that were not expressly protected. Civil Liber ties • The Constitution actually acquired civil liberties protections in several steps: – The Bill of Rights. • Two years passed before the required three-quarters of the states ratified the Bill of Rights. • Barron v. Baltimore (1833). • The Bill of Rights only applied to the federal government. • The Fourteenth Amendment was intended initially to protect former slaves by explicitly declaring the rights of citizenship were not subject to state controls . • While the Fourteenth Amendment failed to achieve its immediate goal, a century later it extended the rights and liberties of all citizens. I ncor por ation via the Four teenth Amendment • In 1873 the Supreme Court rejected its first chance to incorporate the Bill of Rights into the Fourteenth Amendment. • Slaughterhouse cases. – Argument that “ privileges and immunities ” of citizens were denied due to a monopoly over slaughterhouse business. – Court (5 to 4) ruled that the monopoly did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment because it had been intended to protect black citizens. I ncor por ation via the Four teenth Amendment • Through the process of selective incorporation-- the piecemeal application of the various provisions of the Bill of Rights to state laws and practices -- civil liberties have gradually “ nationalized .” Judicial I nter pr etation • Incorporation occurred not through legislative mandate or the amendment process but through judicial interpretation . • While interpretations are meant to be “objective,” the reality is that judicial interpretations often vary as a product of justices’ ideological preferences. • As justices come and go from the Court, judicial doctrine may change. • Trends in civil liberties tend to reflect the shifting ideological composition of the Court. Fr eedom of Speech • Freedom of speech is essential to representative government and the exercise of individual autonomy. • In Schenck v. United States (1919) the Court attempted to define the degree to which federal legislation must protect free speech. • Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes created the clear and present danger test as he wrote the opinion for Schenck . • When the government is unable to show that particular words demonstrate a “clear and present danger,” the words are protected. Nonthr eatening Speech and Expr ession • Court decisions have supported the ability of unpopular groups to express their beliefs....
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Poly Sci Chap 5 - Civil Liberties Chapter Five The Logic of...

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