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Unformatted text preview: I: Civil Liberties A) Civil Liberties are freedoms guaranteed to all Americans in the Bill of Rights (although some are found in body of constitution) a. These include: freedom of speech, religion and right to assemble peaceably B) Interpreting the Constitution a. To interpret the Constitution, judges look at the original intent of the Founders, meaning what the Founders intended when they wrote the Constitution, not what the judge feels. b. Original intent has problems with several parts of the Constitution. For example, when does a police search become unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment? When are punishments cruel and unusual (8 th Amendment)? These are tough for judges to do. Also, there are many modern issues that are not addressed specifically in the Constitution. i. Whose original intent one should examine C) The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech, Assembly, Press, and Religion a. Freedom of Speech i. It foremost means freedom of political speech. Early conflicts arose about whether Americans had a right to speak their minds on issues, thus the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed (though they were repealed 1801)= Made it illegal for anyone to write, speak, or publish defamatory statements about the federal gov; clearly conflicted w/ 1 st amend. The Espionage Act of 1917= made it illegal to interfere w/ any military activity (including recruitment and induction) or to advocate insubordination or mutiny The Sedition Act of 1918=made it “a federal crime to…say, print, write, or publish anything intended to cause contempt or scorn for the federal gov, constitution, flag, or uniform of armed forces, or to say/ write anything that interferes w/ defense production” ii. There is a clear and present danger standard , meaning that Congress can limit speech if it causes a clear and present danger to the interests of the country. iii. There is also a bad tendency doctrine , which states that speech only needs to be likely to lead to negative consequences for it to be considered illegal. iv. The incitement standard outlaws speech that may incite immediate illegal activity. (1969) Speech must cause listeners to be likely to commit immediate illegal acts for speech itself to be illegal v. The Freedom of Assembly and Association is granted under the First Amendment vi. Freedom of the press can be restricted by 3 potential checks. Prior Restraint: act of gov preventing publication/ broadcast of a story or document a. Used only in exceptional cases bc otherwise it violates 1 st amendment right to freedom of the press b. Pentagon Papers: set of secret gov documents—leaked to press in 1971— showing President Kennedy and Johnson mislead public about U.S....
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2011 for the course POL SCI 1100 taught by Professor Overby during the Spring '08 term at Missouri (Mizzou).
- Spring '08
- Civil Liberties