2.10.10_to_2.15.10

2.10.10_to_2.15.10 - Civil Liberties PS 104 American...

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Civil Liberties PS 104 American Government February 10 and 15 Announcements Review session for the midterm exam, Monday (February 15) right after class TA session 4 p.m. T 2/16 In class midterm exam on Wednesday, 2/17 o 34 multiple choice questions, 2 points each o 4 of 5 short essay/ID, 8 points each o Exam questions come from lectures and readings Civil Liberties Difference between Civil Liberties and Civil rights: o Civil Liberties Protection of citizens against improper government action Stated in negative terms o Civil Rights Positive action to protect citizens from illegal actions of other citizens and other government agencies Stated in positive terms o Example: Freedom from discrimination Civil Liberties and Civil Rights The Courts have played a key role in protecting and guaranteeing these rights. o Have to define exactly what the Bill of Rights actually mean. Decisions about how far these rights extend are among the most basic of any system of government. Tension between rights of individuals and needs of society. o NSA domestic spying: civil liberties vs. national security. Boundaries of civil liberties What restrictions are warranted? Victimless crimes. o Laws against drug use o motorcycle helmets and seat belts o assisted suicide How far do we push the “harm to others” principal? o Direct vs. indirect harm Direct harm = individual
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Indirect harm = if mother is a crack addict, and the children can’t get to school or food or shelter, then the children are indirectly affected by their mother’s behavior and addiction o Consenting adults Speech Codes? (Rauch) o Do you have a right to not be offended? (more on this later). The 1st Amendment Freedom of Speech, the 1st Amendment o “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right to the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Balancing interests and drawing lines. o Freedom of speech Don’t have the right to cal out fire in an open theatre if there isn’t one because it can cause unnecessary panic Permissible speech vs. speech that’s not allowed The 1st Amendment, cont. Freedom of Speech o What type of speech is protected? There are no absolutes. Where to draw the line? o Two track analysis : distinction between content neutral (not saying what the content of the speech, not influencing what can be said) “Time, manner and place” restrictions usually OK (how and when can certain speech can be conducted). Much tougher scrutiny if it is not content neutral. For example, if Madison passed ordinence that only student groups
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2.10.10_to_2.15.10 - Civil Liberties PS 104 American...

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