Bill Of Rights

By: Alli Walker

The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech

Snyder vs. Phelps 2011

At a Marine's Funeral members from the Westboro Baptist Church picketed on the public sidewalk. They held signs that stated "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "Fag Troops". The family of the Marine was very angry and accused the church of invasion of privacy and causing emotional distress. The court had to come to a decision of whether or not the first amendment protects protesters at funerals. The judges ruled in an 8-1 vote in favor of the protesters. The determined that the protesters were considered constitutional because they were protesting on a public sidewalk and were protesting about a public issue. This court case was very eye opening to public and there were later instances were new laws were created to help let families morn their loss without interruption.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015. <>.

"Snyder vs. Phelps." Oyez. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015. <>.

The First Amendment: Freedom of Religion

Rosenberger vs. University of Virginia 1995

Rosenberger was a student at the University of Virginia. He approached the University and asked for $5,800 from a student activity fund for a magazine that he wrote called Wide Awake: A Christian Perspective at the University of Virginia. The University declined and refused to provide funding for the book. They refused because "it primarily promotes or manifests a particular belief in or about a diety or an ultimate reality." The court needed to decide if the University violated his First Amendment Rights by not providing funds for him but for other student magazines. The court decided in a five to four vote that the school did violate Rosenberger's rights by not financing his magazines. They stated that the University must fund all types of publications because of freedom of speech, press, and religion.

"Rosenberger vs. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia." Oyez. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015. <>.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015. <>.

The Second Amendment: Right to Bear Arms

District of Columbia vs. Heller (2007)

D.C. passed a law requiring hand gun owners to carry a permit and have the gun disassembled or unloaded. Gun owners claimed this violated their second amendment. The court must decide if this violates the second amendment. The court ruled that it does violate. They ruled that guns in homes can be loaded and used for self defense. This should be noted to people that it does not apply with concealed carry.

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The Fourth Amendment: Protection from unreasonable searches

Muehler vs. Mena (2005)

Police entered Mena's house with a warrant and detained Mena as well as a few others. Mena was also asked about her immigration status while she was detained. The police were searching deadly weapons and evidence of gang membership. Mena sued the officers for offending her fourth amendment right of cuffing her and asking about her immigration. The court had to decide if being cuffed and being asked about immigration offend her fourth amendment rights. The court ruled that neither violated her rights. When you have a warrant for contraband the people can be detained and Police also have the right to question you.

"Muehler v. Mena." Oyez. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015. <>.

The Fifth Amendment: Freedom from Double Jeopardy

Blueford vs. Arkansas (2012)

Blueford was tried for murdering his girlfriends son. He was charged with three different "murder like" accounts and the jury decided against two and were dead-locked on another. The jury never decided and the case was concluded a mistrial. Arkansas retried for all three charges and Blueford for the charges to be dismissed on Double Jeopardy charges. The court decided that double jeopardy did not stop Arkansas from retrialing Blueford. Double jeopardy did not work because the case was properly mistrialed. This case can show let the clueless know that you can be tried for the same crime if your trial is dismissed.

"Blueford vs. Arkansas." Oyez. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015. <>.

The Seventh Amendment: Right to a Trial by Jury

United States vs. Booker (2004)

In Booker's case a sentence was increased because of evidence found by a judge. The right to a trial by jury states that only evidence found by a jury may be used to increase sentence. The supreme court had to decide if a judges determination violated the sixth amendment. They also had to choose if the sentencing guidelines are then constitutional. The judges decided that evidence found by a judge and used to create a sentence was unconstitutional. They also decided that sentencing guidelines are not unconstitutional. This can apply to people in court cases and show that if a judge finds evidence it cannot be used to create your sentence.

"United States vs. Booker." Oyez. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015. <>.

The Eighth Amendment: No Cruel or Unusual Punishment

Roper vs. Simmons (2004)

Simmons was sentenced to death at the age of 17. Appeals lasted until 2002, all of the appeals were rejected. Another case was decided unconstitutional for using the death penalty on the mentally ill. The court reconsidered Simmons and questioned if the execution of minors was considered unconstitutional. The court decided that executing minors is unconstitutional and considered cruel and unusual punishment. This case brought the eyes open of many people concerning the sentences of youth.

"Roper vs. Simmons." Oyez. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015. <>.

The Tenth Amendment

Bond vs. United States (2014)

Bond was found as a perpetraitor and in her case the Chemical Weapons act of 1998 was used against her. She stated that the Congress could not enforced the act. It violated the states rights of the tenth amendment. The Court had to decide just that. The court decided a federal law does not interfere with the states rights. This shows people that our governments have figured out their checks and balances upon each other.

"Bond vs. United States." Oyez. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015. <>.