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Define civil liberties.
freedoms found primarily in the Bill of Rights, the enjoyment of which are protected from government interference
Know what the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments assure.
- 1st: freedom of religion, speech, press, assemble or petition the govt
- 4th: freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures but federal courts may issue search warrants with probable cause
- 5th: protected against double jeopardy, guaranteed against deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, guaranteed just compensation for public use of private property
- 6th: right to a speedy and public trial before an impartial jury, right to face their accuser and to cross-examine witnesses
- 8th: excessive bail and fines are prohibited, cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited
Understand the significance of economic liberty. Was economic liberty a main goal of the US Constitution?
- economic liberty is the right to own and use property free from unreasonable government interference
- yes, property rights is partly why the constitutional convention convened in the first place (shay's rebellion, etc)
Understand the Dred Scott v. Sanford ruling.
- Chief Justice Taney
- declared that slaves who traveled to free states with their masters could not sue for their freedom because that would mean depriving slave owners of their property
- helped bring on the Civil War
Understand the due process clause.
section of the 14th amendment that prohibits states from depriving anyone of life, liberty or property without due process of law, a guarantee against arbitrary or unfair govt action
Understand selective incorporation.
the gradual and piecemeal spread of the protections of the Bill of Rights to the states by the US Supreme Court
Understand the Schenck v. United States ruling.
- Holmes in 1919
- content of speech can't be interfered with without a compelling reason
- for a reason to be compelling, govt must show that the speech poses a "clear and present danger"
- danger must be very substantial and the relationship between the speech and danger must be direct
- must also be so immediate that the people responsible for maintaining order cannot afford to tolerate the speech
Understand the outcome in Texas v. Johnson.
- Rehnquist Court 1989
- challenged Texas state law against flag desecration under which he had been convicted for burning an American flag as part of a demonstration
- law was overturned saying that flag burning falls under the free expression protection of Constitution unless imminent incitement or violence is likely
Understand prior restraint.
- governments power to prevent publication before it has occurred
- prohibition of prior restraint on publication remains the core of freedom of the press
What is the legal term for sexual materials?
Which court ruling outlines the three-prong test regarding obscenity?
Miller v. California 1973
What are the free exercise clause and the establishment clause?
free exercise clause: portion of the 1st amendment that prohibits congress from impeding religious observance or impinging upon religious beliefs
establishment clause: portion of the 1st amendment that prohibits congress from establishing an official religion; the basis for the doctrine of the separation of church and state
Is the right to privacy stated in the Constitution?
Understand Mapp vs. Ohio.
- formed exclusionary rule that prevents police and prosecutors from using evidence against a defendant that was obtained in an illegal search
- majority of justices felt this would force police to play by the rules and get warrants
Understand the outcome in Gideon v. Wainwright.
- defendants accused of any felony in state jurisdictions ar eentitled to a lawyer and the states must supply a lawyer when a defendant cannot afford to do so
- anyone can mount a defense regardless of socioeconomic status
Understand the history of the death penalty.
- Burger Court held that capital punishment was not cruel and unusual as long as the procedures were nonarbitrary and nondiscriminatory
- Rehnquist Court at first expedited use and then started pulling back in 2002
- Roberts Court has sent mixed signals
- States have begun abolishing death penalty
Understand the outcome in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.
ruled that both foreigners and American citizens detained as enemy combatants have a right to a hearing to contest the basis of their detention