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Unformatted text preview: Name that amendment "... nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, and or property, without due process of law." (What amendment says, the right to vote cannot be abridged on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.) "... nor shall any person be deprived off life, liberty, or property without due process of law." "No state shall deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." "Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion." ... nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted." Name that Supreme Court decision. How you can tell? For the cases, is this a majority or dissenting opinion? Barnette The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. Ones right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom to worship and assembly and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections. National unity as an end which officials may foster by persuasion and example is not in question. The problem is whether under the Constitution compulsion as here employed is a permissible means for its achievement. Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country have been waged by many good as well as evil men Ultimate futility of such attempts to compel coherence is the lesson of every such effort from the Roman drive to stamp out Christianity as a disturber of its pagan unity, the Inquisition, as a means to religious and dynastic unity, the Siberian exiles as a means to Russian unity, down to the fast-failing effort of our present totalitarian enemies. Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieve only the unanimity of the graveyard. "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act therein." There is no mysticism in the American concept of the State or of the nature and origin of its authority. We set up government by consent of the governed, and the Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal authority to coerce that consent. We think the action of the local authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on their power and invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution to reserve from all official control....
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- Fall '08