Civil Rights and Liberties

January 9, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Law, Constitutional Law
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Civil Rights and Liberties

The Bill of Rights  Barron v. Baltimore (1833). The Bill of Rights protects citizens from actions by the national government, not from state action.

 The Fourteenth Amendment (1868): No state shall deny any person equal protection under the law nor deny any person due process of law.

 How does the Fourteenth Amendment change the relationship between the states and the Bill of Rights?

Selective Incorporation  Gitlow v. New York (1925) Citizens are protected from state infringement of fundamental rights in the Bill of Rights.

 Selective incorporation means citizens are protected from state actions that infringe on certain rights.

 Rights in the Bill of Rights are incorporated over time, on a case-by-case

Civil Rights and Liberties  Civil liberties protect individuals from government action.

 Civil liberties are substantive due process rights.

 Civil rights are protections granted by the government to prevent discrimination based on membership in a group (ethnic minorities, women, religious affiliation, age over 40, the disabled)

 Civil rights are equal protection rights.

First Amendment  Freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, and petition

 This is a civil liberty.

 No state shall pass any law abridging the freedom of speech.

Freedom of Speech  A fundamental right, but states may restrict the time, place, and manner of speech (parades, protests, blasting music at midnight)

 Schenck v. United States (1919) flyers that urged resistance to the draft presented a clear and present danger to the war effort and were not protected.

 Tinker v. Des Moines School District (1969) and Texas v. Johnson (1989) hold that symbolic speech (arm bands, burning a flag) is protected speech.

 In Morse v. Frederick (2007), the Court ruled that a sign held by students saying, “Bong Hits for Jesus” is not protected speech in connection with a school activity.

Freedom of Religion  The Establishment Clause prohibits an official religion and is based on separation of church and state.

 In Engle v. Vitale (1963), the Court ruled that schoolsponsored prayer violates the Establishment Clause.

 In Abington School District v Schempp (1963) the Court ruled that school-sponsored reading of the Bible violates the Establishment Clause.

The Lemon Test  In Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971), the Court established a standard for state funding of religious schools  Is the funding for a secular purpose?  Will it advance or inhibit religious?  Will it create excessive entanglement between church and state?

Free Exercise Clause  In Wisconsin v. Yoder (1970), the Court ruled that requiring Amish children to attend school past the eighth grade violated their rights under the free exercise clause.

Free Response Question  Select one of the following cases and identify the First Amendment clause upon which the Court based its decision

 Engle v. Vitale (school prayer)  Lemon v. Kurtzman (funding for religious schools)  Reynolds v. US (polygamy)

 Oregon v. Smith (drug use in religious ceremonies)

Free Response Question  Many of these decisions have caused controversy in the United States. Describe two ways in which other political institutions might limit the impact of Supreme Court decisions.

Defendants’ Rights  These stem from the fourth (unreasonable search and seizure), fifth (due process), sixth (fair trial), and eighth (excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment) amendments.

 These rights stem from the Due Process Clause.  Substantive due process protects government from infringing on citizens protected rights (civil liberties)

 Procedural due process requires that the government go through fair steps before taking away rights and liberties (fair trial, right to an attorney, habeas corpus)

Procedural Due Process  Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Defendants must be read their rights, or their confessions are inadmissible in court. This is based on the 5th Amendment.

 Mapp v. Ohio (1961) Evidence seized without a valid warrant may not be used in court. This is the exclusionary rule, based on the 4th Amendment.

 Gideon v. Wainright (1963) Defendants in felony cases who cannot afford an attorney must be provided one by the state. This is based on the 6th Amendment.

Free Response Question  Initially, the United States Constitution did little to protect citizens from actions of the sates. In the 20th century, the Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution to protect the rights of citizens from states government in a process referred to as incorporation

 Define selective incorporation.

Free Response Question  For two of the following, explain how each has been incorporated. Each of your explanations must be based on a specific and relevant Supreme Court decision.  Rights of criminal defendants  First Amendment  Privacy rights.

Incorporation of the Second Amendment  In McDonald v. Chicago (2010) the Court held that the Second Amendment applies to the states, and that gun ownership by individuals is a protected constitutional right.

 The Court left room for reasonable regulation of guns.

The Right of Privacy  The word “privacy” is not used in the Constitution.  The rights stems from the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 9th amendments.

 The Fourth Amendment protects persons and their property from “unreasonable search and seizure”

Privacy Cases  In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) the Court overturned a statute outlawing distribution and information about birth control and formally established the right of privacy, stating that the Constitution created a “penumbra of privacy.”

 In Roe v. Wade (1973) the Court ruled that states could not ban or unduly restrict abortions in the first or second trimesters.

 In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), the Court ruled that states could not criminalize sexual behavior among consenting adults, overturning a sodomy statute.

Civil Rights  The Thirteenth Amendment (1865) bans slavery.  The Fourteenth Amendment (1868) grants citizenship to those born in the US and provides for equal protection under the law.

 The Fifteenth Amendment (1870) enfranchised African American men.

 States used several methods to prevent Blacks from voting (literacy tests, Grandfather clauses).

Standards for Discrimination  There are different standards for defending against discriminatory practices, depending on the group facing the unequal treatment.  Strict scrutiny is used in race cases (this is a very difficult standard to overcome)  Mid-level scrutiny is used in gender cases.  The rational basis test is used in other cases (age, disability).

Race Discrimination  Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857). Blacks are not citizens. They may not sue for their freedom.

 The 14th Amendment nullifies the Dred Scott case.

 Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). State mandated racial segregation on train cars does not violate the 14th amendment.

 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education (1954) State mandated school segregation violate the 14th amendment. “Separation is inherently unequal.”

Race Discrimination  Baker v. Carr (1962) District voting lines must be drawn

equally and must not disadvantage a racial group. “One man, one vote.”

 Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964) upholds the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under the Commerce Clause.

 Bakke v. University of California (1978) holds that a point system which disadvantages whites in college admissions violates the 14th amendment.

 Gratz v. Bollinger (2003) overturns another point system. Affirmative actions programs must be narrowly tailored to meet a substantial government interest.

Civil Rights Legislation  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination in voting, employment, education, and public accommodations.

 The Voting Rights Act of 1965 authorized federal marshals to protect registration and voting by African Americans. Voter registration increased dramatically.

Discrimination Against Women  In Reed v. Reed (1971), the Court ruled that states may not arbitrarily prefer men over women.

 Title IX requires equal educational treatment for women and girls, including in sports programs.

 An Equal Rights Amendment passed Congress in 1974 but was not ratified by the states.

Review Questions  What is the difference between the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause?

 What is selective incorporation?

 What are the three standards for the court to review discrimination?

 What is the difference between substantive and procedural due process?

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