PS40week4readingnotes - PS40 Week 4 Reading KS Chapter 5...

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PS40 – Week 4 Reading KS: Chapter 5 – Civil Liberties 1) Nationalization of Civil Liberties a. Reining in Majorities i. Determination of national policy in civil liberties has shifted from the states to the federal level. ii. Expansive interpretation of the Constitution extended application of Bill of Rights down to state and local policy as well. iii. Notion of reining in majorities that assert their prerogatives over special interests groups or individuals that do not wish to conform. b. The Bill of Rights Checks Majority Rule i. First 10 amendments were designed to limit capacity of national majorities to impose their preferences on press and behavior of the citizenry. 2) Writing Rights and Liberties into the Constitution a. Constitution adopted civil liberties in several steps i. Bill of rights, which insulated citizens from interference by the federal government in certain areas. ii. Ratification of the 14 th Amendment which gave the government the ability to protect the rights of former slaves. iii. The Supreme Courts extension of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights into states. b. First Ten Amendments i. Barron v. Baltimore: city road repairs built up gravel and sand in his wharf, impeding ships. Supreme Court rule against him saying that the Bill of Rights restrained actions of federal and not state governments. This case serves as a relic of our old attitude towards fed-state relations. c. Incorporate via the 14 th Amendment i. Sweeping language of the amendment led to umbrella protection of other groups beyond former slaves. Due Process and Equal Protection clauses.
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ii. Selective incorporation: process through which civil liberties have become nationalized. A result of the Supreme Court applying the Bill of Rights to state practices.
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