Bill Of Rights Project

Kristian Cortez, U.S History, 5th Period

What are the Bill of Rights?

The first 10 amendments to the constitution. Rights that belong to all Americans.

Bill 1: Freedom of speech, press and religion

The government allows you to choose your religion, you can say or write anything, and complain to the government.

Court Case:New York Times Co. v. United States

Federal government attempted to block the NY Times from publishing a report that revealed internal government strategies leading up to the Vietnam war. The court sided with New York Times because it was a serious form of censorship. Court believed that it wasn't a national security.

Bill 2: Right to Bear Arms

Citizens of the United States can own concealed weapons.

Court Case: Bliss v. Commonwealth

The fist major court ruling over the right to keep and bear arms for personal use.

Bill 3: The right to privacy at home

Soldiers cannot barge into your house and demand food and hospitality.

Court Case: Nevada Homeowner v. United States

A homeowner in Henderson, Nevada, filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that police had violated his Third Amendment rights by forcibly entering his home to gain a "tactical advantage" in resolving a domestic violence incident next door. But it's not clear that police officers would count as "soldiers" under the Third Amendment nor is it clear whether the Third Amendment applies to the states at all.

Bill 4: Unreasonable Search/Seizure

No one can break into your house and take something, unless they have a search warrant for a specific item.

Court Case:Arizona v. Evans

The court extended the good faith rule yet again. The court found that even though a warrant was issued in error,based upon a mistake in an official database.

Bill 5: Double Jeopardy, Self incrimination/ Due Process of Law

There has to be enough evidence to charge you. No one can take away your life, freedom, or belongings without a fair trial.

Court Case: Chavez v. Martinez

Police officer Chavez interrogated Martinez who was just shot and was not read the Miranda laws. The court found Chavez not guilty because Martinez was never charged with a crime and his answers were not used against him in a criminal case.

Bill 6: Rights of the accused in criminal cases

If charges are pressed it has to happen immediately. Government has to tell you what you are being accused of and if you are guilty or innocent.

Court Case: Roviaro v. United States
The court overturned the conviction because Roviaro's defense had not been able to cross-examine the witness.

Bill 7: Right to a jury trial

Jury can settle civil cases involving a lot of money. Once case is decided it cannot be brought up in court.

Court Case: Felter v. Columbia Pictures Television

The Supreme Court examined the statute in an attempt to resolve the issue without reaching constitutional issues. It found that there is no provision in the statute for a jury trial on the issue of statutory damages, therefore it must look at whether the law triggers the provisions of the requirement for trial by jury.

Bill 8:Preventing cruel and unusual punishment

The punishment should fit the crime. You shouldn't pay too much bail for unreasonable crimes.

Court Cases: Weems v. United States

First time the supreme court overturned a criminal sentence because it was believed to be a cruel and unusual punishment. Paul Weems was accused of falsifying government documents. Weems was sentenced 15 years of hard labor and excessive fines.

Bill 9: Rights retained by the people

The rights that are stated on the constitution and can't be taken away from anybody.

Court Case: Griswold v. Connecticut

The case involved a privacy violation that was more indirect. The plaintiffs were actually standing up for the privacy rights of others and marriage.

Bill 10: Limiting federal powers

As long as it doesn't say anywhere that the states can't do something, the states have that power.

Court Case: United states v. Lopez

A high schooler was arrested for bringing a handgun to school. The supreme court decided that congress had exceeded its constitutional authority when it passed the 1990 law prohibiting gun possession in local school zones.