Civil Rights and Liberties
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Civil Liberties vs. Civil Rights
- Civil Liberties generally applies to those protections from the abuse of government power. (All Americans)
- Civil Rights us used speciffically to describe protections from discrimination based on race, gender, or other minority status.
Appliying the Bill of Rights to state law on a case-by-case basis.
Rights that haven't been Incorporated
- 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.
- 3rd Amendment protection against forced quartering of troops in private homes..
- 5th Amendment right to indictment by a grand jury.
- 7th Amendment right to a jury trial in civil cases.
- 8th Amendment protection against exessive bail and fines.
Limits on Free Speech
Speech that evokes a clear and present danger, false defamatory speech (called slander when it's spoken and libel when it's printed), obscenity, or speech intended to incite violence.
Preferred Position Doctrine
- Reflects the Court's belief that freedom of speech must address severe, imminent threats to the nation.
- Must also be limited to constraining those threats.
Schenck vs. United States
- This case, decided be Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, established that speech which evokes "a clear and present danger" is not permissible.
- Famously used "fire!" example.
Gitlow vs. New York
- This case created the "Bad Tendency Doctrine", whichheld that speech could be restricted even if it only has a tendency to lead to illegal action.
- Though this element of the decision was quite restrictive, Gitlow also selectively incorporated freedom to state governments.
Tinker vs. Des Moines
- Students in an Iowa school were suspended for wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam War.
- The Court ruled that this suspension was unconstitutional, and that public school students do not "shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door."
Bethel School District vs. Fraser
- This case gave public school officials the authority to suspend students for speech considered to be lewd or indecent.
Hustler Magazine vs. Falwell
- In this much-publicized case, the Court held that intentional infliction of emotional distress was permissible 1st Amendment speech--so long as such speech was about a public official, and could not reasonably be construed to state acutal facts oabout its subject.
Texas vs. Johnson
- Johnson established that burning the American flag is an example of permissible free speech, and struck down numerous anti-flag burning laws.
Morse vs. Frederick
- This case was known as the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case, in which the Supreme Court limited students' free speech rights.
- The justices ruled that Frederick's free speech rights were not violated by his suspension over what the majority's written opinion called a "sophomoric" banner.
Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission
- The case established that corporations have a 1st Amendment right to expressly support political candidates for Congress and the White House.
3-Part Obscenity Test
- Created by Miller vs. California
- Would the average person, applying community standards, judge the work as appealing primarily to people's baser sexual instincts?
- Does the work lack other value, or is it also of literary, artistic, political, or scientific iinterest?
- Does the work depict sexual behavior in an offensive manner?
New vs. Minnesota
- Near established that state injunctions to prevent publication violate the free press provision of the 1st Amendment and are unconstutional.
- This case is important because it selectively incorporates freedom of the press and prevents prior restraint.
New York Times vs. Sullivan
- If a newspaper prints an article that turns out to be false but that the newspaper thought was true at the time of publication, has the newspapter committed libel? No.
Hazelwood School vs Kuhlmeier
- The Court held that school officials have sweeping authority to regulate free speech in student run newspapers.
Freedom of Association
The government may not restrict the number or type of groups or organizations people belong to, provided those groups sdo not threaten national security.
Thornhill vs. Alabama
- Labor unions have been controversial since the dawn of the industrial revolution--did their strikes constitute a form of unlawful assembly?
- The Court held that strikes by unions were not unlawful.
Cox vs. New Hampshire
- When a froup of Jehovah's Witnesses were arrested for marching in New Hampshire without a permit, they claimed that permits themselves were an unconstitutional abridgement of their 1st Amendment freedoms.
- The Court held that cities and towns could legitimately require parade permits in the interest of public order.
Lloyd Corporation vs. Tanner
- This case allowed the owners of a shopping mall to throw out people protesting the Vietnam War.
- The key element here is that malls are private spaces, not public.
- As a result, protesters have substantially fewer assembly rights in malls and other private establishments.
Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale
- Private organizations' 1st Amendment right of expressive association allows them to choose their own membership and expel members based on their sexual orientation even if such discrimination would otherwise be prohibited be anti-discrimination legislation designed to protect minorities in public accommodations.
- As a result of this case, the Boy Scouts of America were allowed to expel any member who was discovered to be homosexual.
Lemon vs. Kurtzman
- Does the law have a secular, rather than a religious purpose?
- Does the law neither promote nor discourage religion?
- Does the law avoid "excessive entanglement" of the government and religious institutions?
Engel vs. Vitale
- This landmark case prohibited state-sponsored recitation fo prayer in public schools.
Abington School Dist. v. Schempp
- Given the Court's ruling in Engel, it's not surprising that in Abington they decided that the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment forbids state-mandated reading of the Bible, or recitation of the Lord's Prayer in public schools.
Emperson vs. Arkansas
- In line with the Establishment clause, Epperson prohibited states from banning the teaching of evolution in public schools.
Lemon vs. Kurtzman
- This case dealt with state laws iintending to give money to religious schools or causes.
- The Court held that in order to be consistent with the Establishment cause, the money had to meet three qualifications, known as the "Lemon Test."
Wisconsin vs. Yoder
- This case dealt with the Amish community's desire to pull their children from public school before the age of 16 so that they could help with farm and domestic work.
- The Court sided with the Amish and held that parents may remove children from public school for religious reasons.
Employment Division vs Smith
- This case determined that the state could deny unemployment benefits to a person fired for violating a state prohibition on the use of peyote, even though the use of the drug was part of a religious ritual.
- In short, states may accommodate otherwise illegal acts dones in puruit of religious beliefs, they are not required to do so.
Weeks vs. United States
- Though the Constitution was unequivocal when it forbids unlawful search and seizure, such ill-gotten evidence was still commonly used to prosecute defendants.
- Weeks established the exclusionary rule, which held that illegally obtained evidence could not be used in federal court.
Powell vs. Alabama
- The Constitution is clear in the 6th Amendment when it guarantees all those accused of a federal crime the right to have a lawyer.
- The Court ruled that state governments must provide counsel in cases involving the death penalty to those who can't afford it. (Semi-incorporation?)
Betts vs. Brady
- The Betts case established that state governments did not have to provide lawyers to poor defendants in capital cases.
Mapp vs. Ohio
- By 1961, the exclusionary rule meant that any unlawfully gathered evidence could not be introduced in federal court.
- The Mapp case extended the exclusionary rule to the states, increasing the protections for defendants.
Gideon vs. Wainwright
- This was a powerful repudiation of Betts vs. Brady.
- Here, the Warren Court strongly holds that all state governments must provide an attorney in all cases for those who can't afford one.
Escobedo vs. Illinois
- Escobedo is another important Warren Court decision.
- Here, the Court held that any defendant who asked for a lawyer had to have one granted to him--or any confession garnered after that point would be inadmissible in court.
Miranda vs. Arizona
- Miranda is the most dramatic and well-known of the Warren Court decisions.
- Here they find that all defendants must be informed of all their legal rights before they are arrested.
- It is thanks to Miranda that we all know the phrase "you have the right to remain silent..."
Inevitable Discovery Rule
Illegally seized evidence that would eventually have been found legally is admissible in Court.
Evidence found illegally--that is, without a search warrant founded upon probably cause, is not admitted in Court.
Objective Good Faith
Evidence obtained illegally, but was conducted under the inadverdent assumption that it was legal, are allowed in Court.
Furman vs. Georgiapun
- Here, the court looked at the patchwork quilt of nationwide capital punishment decisions and found that its imposition was often racist and arbitrary.
- In Furman, the Court ordered a halt to all death penalty punishments in the nation until a less arbitrary method of sentencing was found.
Woodson vs. North Carolina
- North Carolina refused to satisfy the Court's requirement that the imposition of the death penalty not be arbitrary--so they made it a mandatory punishment for certain crimes.
- The Court rejected this approach and ruled mandatory death penalty sentences as unconstitutional.
Gregg vs. Georga
- Georgia was finally able to convince the Court that it had come up with a careful and fair system for trying capital offenses.
- As a result, the Court ruled that under adequate guidelines the the death penalty did not, in fact, constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
- Thus Gregg allowed the resumption of the death penalty in America.
Atkins vs. Georgia
- Here, the United States lined up with most other nations in the world by forbidding the execution of defendants who are mentally retarded.
Griswold vs. Conneticut
- The Consitution never explicitly grants Americans a right to privacy, but the Court discovers one in this landmark and controversial case.
- Writing for the majority, Justice William O. Douglas noted that amendments like the 3rd, 4th, and 9th all cast "penumbras and emanations" which showed that the Founders really had intended for a right to privacy all along.
Roe vs. Wade
- The Court established national abortion guidelines by extending the inferred right of privacy from "Griswold"
Webster vs. Reproductive Health Services
- This case did not overturn Roe v. Wade, but it did give states more power to regulate abortion.
Planned Parenthood vs. Casey
- A Pennsylvania law that would have required a woman to notify her husband before getting an abortion was thrown out, but laws calling for parental consent and the imposition of a 24 hour waiting period were upheld.
- All in all, the message was that states can regulate abortion but not with regulations that impose an "undue burden" upon women.
Lawrence vs. Texas
- With this ruling, the Supreme Court struck down a sodomy law that had criminalized homosexual sex in Texas.
- The court had previously addressed constitutional protection of sexual privacy.
Plessy vs. Ferguson
- This case famously allowed southern states to twist the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment by allowing "separate but equal" facilities based on race.
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka
A unanimous court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren ruled the doctrine of "separate but equal" to be unconstitutional.
Brown vs. Board 2nd
- The Warren Court saw that segregation was still everywhere.
- Ordered all schools to desegregate with due and deliberate speed.
Katzenbach vs. McClung
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination in public places, but what about private bussinesses?
- Based on the power to regulate intersate commerce, the ruling made Civil Rights Act of 1964 to apply to virtually all businesses.
Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. vs. United States
- Did the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandate that places of public accommodation are prohibited from discrimination against blacks?
- The Court said yes.
Regents of the University of California vs. Bakke
- Alan Bakke was a white applicant who was rejected from medical school because of an affimative action plan to boost the number of black students.
- The Court ruled that Bakke had been unfairly excluded and that quotas requiring a certain percentage of minorities violated the 14th amendment.
- The Court held that race-based affirmative action was permissible so long as it was in the service of creating greater diversity.
Grutter vs. Bollinger and Gratz vs. Bollinger
- These cases involved the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Michigan undergraduate school.
- Both used affirmative action, but the undergraduate school did so by giving minority applicants a larger boost in their score used by officers deciding on admission.
- The Court threw out the undergraduate system of selection, but still generally upheld Bakke.
De Facto Segregation
Informal segregation based social, economic treatment, hatred, etc.
De Jure Segregation
Segregation by law.
South Dakota vs. Dole
- The federal government mandated the 21-year-old drinking age by threatening to withhold federal highway funds from all states that did not comply.
- Such withholding declared unconstitutional.
Korematsu vs. United States
- This case ruled that Japanese Americans could be interned and deprived of basic constitutional rights.
United States vs. Nixon
- Congress claimed that there was no such thing as executive privilege as it went after the Nixon tapes.
- The Court disagreed and allowed for executive privilege.
- However, the Court forbade its usage in criminal cases, which meant that Nixon ultimately did have to turn over the tapes.
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