Rights, Liberties and Privacy
In-class work; weeks 13-14
-Ex post facto law: changes legal consequences once a law is passed, even if those consequences happened many years before
-Bill of Attainder: legislation declaring a person/group of people guilty of something without a trial
Timeline of First Amendment Court Cases
1919 - Debs v. United States (freedom of speech)
1931 - Stromberg v. California (freedom of speech)
1938 - Lovell v. Griffin (freedom of religion)
1940 - Thornhill v. Alabama (freedom of assembly)
1943 - West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (freedom of speech)
1961 - Torasco v. Watkins (freedom of religion)
1963 - Sherbert v. Verner (freedom of relgion)
1969 - Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (freedom of speech)
1969 - Brandenburg v. Ohio (freedom of speech)
1971 - New York Times Co. v. United States (freedom of press)
1971 - Lemon v. Kurtzman (freedom of religion)
1972 - Wisconsin v. Yoder (freedom of religion)
1978 - Federal Communications Committee (FCC) v. Pacifica (freedom of press)
1983 - Volger v. Youngs Drug Products Corporation
1988 - Meyer v. Grant (freedom of petition)
1988 - Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (freedom of religion)
1988 - Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (freedom of press)
1989 - Texas v. Johnson (freedom of speech)
2001 - Bartnicki v. Vopper (freedom of press)
-Establishment Clause: the government cannot establish or enforce an official or national religion.
-Free Exercise Clause: the government cannot prohibit the free exercise of anyone's religion
Freedom of Speech
Tests to free speech? The "Bad Tendency Test," "Clear and Present Danger," and "Preferred Position Doctrine."
Protected types of free speech? laws need to be content-neutral or viewpoint-neutral; prior restraint in the case of military and national security; vague laws are not unconstitutional
Limits on obscenity? If the work portrays an offensive, obscene act OR if the work lacks artistic value.
Fighting words? fighting words are unprotected because they can cause injury or disrupt peace.
Hate speech? hate speech (speech that offends based on certain physical or ethnic characteristics) is not protected as they can cause injury and discord.
Free Press v. Fair Trials and Due Process? As reporters can describe a crime with unlimited details, this makes it difficult to find an impartial jury. If the jury isn't impartial, the accused might be denied their due process.
Protections of Other Media Nearly all news stations are allowed to run what they find; however, their levels of protection varies. Cable news stations are very protected, because customers can block what they do not want to see. Newspapers are less protected.
The Internet the internet is generally less protected, because people can post whatever they want to. However, it has been made illegal to allow underage people access to explicit content.
"I tell you, in my opinion, the cornerstone of democracy is free press - that's the cornerstone." Milos Forman
Freedom of Assembly
Local rules on assembly? In North Carolina, you have to get a permit to assemble on public property, and your assemblies cannot end with violence. You can gather on your own property but you cannot fringe on anyone else's property who has not agreed.
Right to Privacy
How has the Supreme Court ruled in the past?
2) Stanley v. Georgia: 1969; a Supreme Court ruling that helped to establish an implied "right to privacy" law. Overturned laws banning the private ownership of obscene materials.
3) Roe v. Wade: 1973; Supreme Court ruled that no state could ban first trimester abortions. It effectively legalized abortions in the United States.
4) Bowers v. Hardwick: 1986; overturned a Georgia law outlawing private homosexual activities. Upheld right to privacy.
5) Lawrence v. Texas: 2003; Supreme Court struck down another sodomy law in Texas and overturned sodomy laws in thirteen other states by extension.
Four States of Privacy
2) intimacy: a small group of people that develops a close relationship through seclusion
3) anonymity: when an individual is in a public place/forum but hides their identity.
4) reserve: when one creates a barrier in one's mind, preventing interaction with others.
How do you acquire and lose citizenship in the United States?
-you are born in America or American territories (or on an American military base)
-you are born to American parents
-you go through the Naturalization Process and are approved
Lose: you can lose your citizenship by
-swearing an oath of allegiance to/serving in the military of another country
-committing a felony (for naturalized citizens)
How does the government protect private property? How does the government take it away?
eminent domain: the government has to compensate the owners of private property for any public usage
regulatory takings: when the government limits the usage of private property to an extent it falls under eminent domain
Any time the government wants to use one's private property, the owner MUST be compensated.
Due Process Protection of the Accused
Another way the accused are protected is through substantive due process. These limit what a government may do and states that an unreasonable law can be unconstitutional.
Timeline of Quest for Equality
1861-1865: Civil War (lead to Amendments 13, 14, and 15)
1877-1960(ish): Segregation and White Supremacy (amendments were bent so they were barely effective; white supremacy was supreme for nearly 100 years after reconstruction ended in 1877)
1918-1950: encompasses the end of World War I, World War II (after WWI, African Americans began to make social strides)
1960s: Civil Rights movement (nonviolent protests; riots; gained integration and equal rights under the law)
1960s-present day: still faces discrimination after Civil Rights movement but were on the uphill climb
-Females gained the right to vote with the 19th Amendment. The journey to suffrage included the Seneca Falls Convention and the expansion of Amendment 14 to include protection against gender discrimination.
Need For Equality
Asian Americans: Due to the persecution of the Japanese in World War II, the discord against Asian Americans is decades old. For a while, Asian Americans weren't allowed to own property or become citizens, adding to the long-held prejudices. Now, of course, actions like those are deemed unconstitutional, though offensive stereotypes remain.
Native Americans: although they were literally here first, the Europeans set the standard of oppressing the Native American population. Most modern-day Native Americans live on or near reservations. There is also a Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior. However, there are a large amount of Native Americans that live in poverty and suffer from unemployment.