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Chapter 4: Civil Liberties What Students Should Learn from This ChapterLearn about the rise of civil liberties.Examine the right to privacy—a controversial liberty that is not mentioned in the Constitution and that involves abortion and same-sex marriage.Study the freedom of religion.Explore the right to free speech—and its special status—and the right to bear arms.Consider the rights of suspected criminals.Reflect on the difficult balance between fighting terrorism and protecting civil liberties.OutlineI.The Rise of Civil LibertiesA.Civil Rights and Civil Liberties1.Civil rights require government action to secure individual rights. 2.Civil liberties restrict government action to protect individual rights.B.The Purpose of Civil Liberties. “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdrawcertain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials.” C.The Slow Rise of Rights. The Bill of Rights initially was only applicable to actions bythe federal government; selective incorporationextends protections from the Bill of Rights to the state governments, one right at a time.II. PrivacyA.Penumbras and Emanations. The Court declared in Griswold v. Connecticut(1965) that First Amendment penumbras (“shadows”) created a “zone of privacy.”B.Roe v. Wade(1973) struck down a Texas law banning abortion within the first three months of pregnancy. C.Planned Parenthood v. Casey(1992) departed from Roe’s judicial rule— hard-and-fast boundaries between what is lawful and what is not—and replaced it with a judicial standard– a guiding principle that helps governments make judgment calls—by ruling that the right to choose an abortion could be balanced—but not overruled—by the state’s desire to protect potential life so long as state regulations did not impose “an undue burden” on the woman’s choice. D.Sexuality between Consenting Adults. In Lawrence v. Texas(2003), the Court struck down Texas’s anti-sodomy law, thus providing same-sex couples a right to privacy.E.Clashing Principles. When considering the right to privacy, two principles clash: the needs of the community weighed against and the rights of the individual.
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Civil Liberties, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, United States Bill of Rights