15-Civil Liberties - What Government Does Civil Liberties...

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Unformatted text preview: What Government Does Civil Liberties Civil Liberties ¡ Definition: constitutional provisions, laws and practices that protect individuals from governmental interference ¢ The Framers were especially concerned in establishing as free a society as possible Civil Liberties ¡ Civil liberties = negative freedoms; they are protecting us from the government ¢ Primarily embodied in the Bill of Rights ¡ Do not forget: the law—and that includes civil liberties—is what the judges say it is! Civil Liberties in the Constitution ¡ Original constitution specifically protected only a few liberties from the national government and almost none from the states ¡ Framers signaled out a few freedoms too crucial to be left unmentioned ¢ Prohibitions against suspending the writ of habeas corpus, passing ex post facto laws and bills of attainder Civil Liberties in the Constitution ¡ Anti-Federalists objected to the absence of a more specific listing ¢ This led to the Bill of Rights ¡ Made the Constitution more democratic by ¢ Enhancing political liberty ¢ Guaranteeing a context of free political expression ¢ Enhancing popular sovereignty Civil Liberties in the Constitution ¡ Many of the freedoms we enjoy today are not mentioned in the Constitution ¡ Many of our rights and liberties were established by government officials, judges, political leaders, and groups ¡ Some of our rights have evolved ¢ As the culture has changed ¢ Through partisan and ideological competition Rights & Liberties in the 19 th Century ¡ Property rights after the Civil War ¢ 14 th Amendment ¡ Designed to guarantee citizenship and rights to newly freed slaves ¡ Due process clause says that no state may “deprive a person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” ¡ Equal protection clause Rights & Liberties in the 19 th Century ¡ Property rights ¢ They were slowly expanded, refined, and changed...
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This note was uploaded on 01/13/2012 for the course POL 1 taught by Professor Robertbrown during the Fall '05 term at Riverside Community College.

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15-Civil Liberties - What Government Does Civil Liberties...

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