Bill of Rights Project
By: Jaxs Peal
What are the Bill of Rights?
The First Amendment: Freedom of speech, the press, and religion
Court Case: Charles T. Schenk vs. United States
Charles was charged with breaking the Espionage Act. Wendell Holms said there should be restrictions of free speech; he said it was a danger to have everybody allowed to say anything they wanted.
The Second Amendment: The right to bear arms
Court Case: Bliss vs. Commonwealth
A man named Bliss was fined $100 for carrying a sword hidden in a cane. He appealed the verdict and pointed to the state constitution, which said: "The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned." The Kentucky Supreme Court agreed with Bliss.
The Third Amendment: The right to privacy in the home
Court Case: Nevada Man
Homeowner in Henderson, Nevada, filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the 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.
The Fourth Amendment: Unreasonable search and seizure
Court Case: Mapps vs. Ohio
The police came to the home of Dollree Mapp demanding that she allow them to search her home because they were looking for a suspect who could have been a potential bomber. Mapp didn't let the police in and demanded that she see a warrant before they enter her home. The police came back with a warrant and barged inside her home, but they did not find any evidence pertaining to the bombing.
The Fifth Amendment: Double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and due process of law
Court Case: Chavez vs. Martinez
Ben Chavez interrogated Oliverio Martinez, who was at the hospital having just been shot, and Martinez claimed that his right against self-incrimination and his right against coercive questioning had been violated. The court found that Chavez did not violate the 5th Amendment Rights of Martinez because he was never charged with a crime and his answers were not vied against him in a criminal case.
The Sixth Amendment: The rights of the accused in criminal cases
Court Case: Barker vs. Wingo
The court ruled that Barker's right to a speedy trial had not been violated. First, he didn't demand his right until 7 years had passed. Second, the justices concluded that a set amount of time could not be applied to the term "speedy".
The Seventh Amendment: The right to a jury trial
Court Case: Katz vs. United States
By a 7-1 vote, the United States Supreme Court agreed with Katz and held that placing of a warrant-less wiretap on a public phone booth constitutes as unreasonable search violation of the Fourth Amendment. The majority opinion did not state the case from the perspective of a "constitutionally protected area".
The Eighth Amendment: Preventing cruel and unusual punishment
Court Case: Gregg vs. Georgia
Troy Gregg was convicted of murder and robbery in a hitchhiking case in Georgia. The jury first sentenced Gregg to the death penalty. By a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty could no longer be considered arbitrary and the case prompted the states to revise their death penalty laws.
The Ninth Amendment: Rights retained by the people
Court Case: Roe vs. Wade
Jane Roe had a hard life and couldn't support another child, so she wanted an abortion. At the time, abortions were illegal because they considered it murder, but the judges in the case sided with Roe. They declared the state law unconstitutional because they deprive single women and couples of their right whether to have children.
The Tenth Amendment: Limiting federal powers
The state of Maryland believed that the federal government didn't have the power to establish a national bank because it wasn't listed as a right in the constitution. The United States government had created the 2nd bank of the United States. The federal government won because creating a national bank with branches throughout the country encouraged business between states.