09.20 - 09.20.07 I II Review a Civil Liberties i Remember...

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09.20.07 I. Review a. Civil Liberties i. Remember civil liberties are not absolute…there is always a collision of values and a collision of interest and the balance changes over time. ii. Civil liberties tell what the government can or cannot do. b. Free Speech: individual’s right to self expression vs. Government’s interest in protecting stability, order, and national unity. i. Balance has changed over time… ii. Overall trend has been to weigh the individual’s rights heavier iii. Ultimately new conflicts will create new balances iv. Current Event: John Kerry giving a speech at University of Florida…somebody was yelling out the question, JK “Why didn’t you challenge the results in Ohio…” basically bombarding him with questions… ultimately the security came and pulled the guy away and he started calling for free speech and they tazered him 1. On one hand he was creating a disruption…we have the authority because we were trying to carry out the responsibility. 2. Of course if they have the authority is the proper means to carry out the authority? 3. Also there’s the individual’s right to free speech… There is no doubt he will sue and no doubt he will win b/c of use of excessive force. 4. Main question do they have the right to limit his speech for maintaining the environment? c. Point: there is no absolute…there are constant conflicts. Something always happens as they get punished under a law and then they challenge that law. The balance can change. The general trend has been to give more weight to individual’s right. d. What is the scope e. Did it apply to national government or to the states? II. Civil Rights (Final aspect of the constitution) a. Def: Civil rights are different from civil liberties. Civil rights refer to the most general sense of equal protection under law. i. Whose job is it to ensure all people get equal protection under law? ii. Hey must take positive action to make sure everyone receives equal treatment, iii. This is diff from civil liberties where it tells what the government cannot do, civil rights tell the gov to go and make sure everyone is treated equally. b. What is the Constitutional basis for Civil Rights and where did it come from?
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i. Emerges after the Civil War. Ultimately at the end, the resolution was a series of amendments (13,14,15 th ) and from these amendments arises civil rights. 1. 13 th -abolishes slavery 2. 15 th – gives the right to vote to African American MEN a. We are going to focus on the vary narrow struggle of African American’s struggle for civil rights b. Left women’s struggle for another day 3. 14 th -most important- a. Due process clause, no state shall deprive an individual of the law i. Due process gives birth to civil liberties b. Equal protection clause i. Essentially states can’t deprive somebody of equal protection under the law.
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