GOVT 1111 Prelim 1 Topic 5 Outline

GOVT 1111 Prelim 1 Topic 5 Outline - Topic #5: Alexander...

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Topic #5: Alexander Hamilton once said "the judiciary will always be the least dangerous to the rights of the Constitution." The extent to which citizens have been guaranteed liberties and rights has certainly changed over time. In light of this quotation, how has the Supreme Court's approach toward civil liberties and civil rights evolved? What evidence exists, if any, that the Supreme Court modifies its interpretations of constitutional rights based on the ideological affiliation and partisanship? Intro Civil liberties (negative rights), which protect citizens from improper governmental action, and civil rights, which provides that the government must guarantee all citizens equal protection under the law, are two of the most fundamental rights that a citizen possesses in society. o Yet these two principles would mean absolutely nothing if it were not for a Supreme Court that monitored the constitutionality of decisions made by the executive and legislative branches. o Indeed, the framers of the Constitution envisioned a society that operated by law and by a basic Bill of Rights that would be protected by the Court and afford to all citizens. o However, what we see in our society today in the realms of civil liberties and rights is far from how society operated a hundred years ago. It was only through a series of pivotal Supreme Court decisions that any change came about Although we often consider Supreme Court judges to be above the opinions and political climate of the times in which they judge, in actuality, Supreme Court judges are simply people, and by-products of our society, and often make decisions reflecting their own will or the mindset of the society.
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2010 for the course GOVT 1111 at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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GOVT 1111 Prelim 1 Topic 5 Outline - Topic #5: Alexander...

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