Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Chapter 15, 16, 17

Chapter 15


Writ of habeas corpus- A court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody.

Ex post facto law- Laws applied to acts committed before passage of the laws are unconstitutional

Bill of attainder- Prohibits a person being found guilty of a crime without a trial

Explanation of Clauses:

Due process- Involving the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment. It prohibits the national government and states, from denying life, liberty, or property without due process of law

Establishment- Involves the first clause of the First Amendment. This clause prohibits the government from establishing a national religion. "Separation from church and state."

Free Exercise- Involves the second clause of the First Amendment. This clause prevents government from interfering with citizens' religious rights

Free Speech:

Freedom of speech is limited and some is not protected by the government.

-Protected types of free speech? Civil liberties are constitutionally protected freedom of all person against government restraint. Conscience, Religion, and Expression are protected by the first amendment.

Limits on obscenity? When the Supreme Court has permitted government regulation for the sale and distribution of obscene material.

Fighting Words? The limitation of the freedom of speech as protected by the first amendment of the United States Constitution.

Hate speech? Speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups based on race, color, religion, sex, ect.

Free Press:

Do they have a right to know? Supreme Court has refused to acknowledge that the press has a Constitutional right to know. Many states have passed requirements to government agencies to open their meetings to the public.

Free Press vs. Fair Trials and Due Process? Reporters describing crimes in vivid details can inflame public opinion and make it hard to find a panel of impartial jurors.

Protections of other media? Print media is not controlled by the government. Libel and slander is not protected either.

The Internet? The internet has 33%-45% audience. It's authorship and accuracy are it's main points. In most cases the internet is the mostly biased.

Freedom of Assembly:

Public Forums give the right to speak, but doesn't protect the right to communicate views to everyone, anywhere, and at any time, they wish Local rules on assembly.

Right to Privacy

Do you have a right to privacy? Yes

The use of the first, fourth fifth, and fourteenth amendments allow the Supreme Court to declare rules relating to privacy.

Griswold v. Connecticut: ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy

Stanley v. Georgia: helped establish an implied "right to privacy" ( in the form of more obscene materials)

Roe v. Wade: Ruled a state law unconstitutional. Banned abortions except to save the life of the mother. (violated the right to privacy)

Bowers v. Hardwick: the Constitution does not protect the right of gay adults to engage in private consensual sodomy.

Lawrence v. Texas: state law banning homosexuality are unconstitutional and is a violation of the right to privacy

"The Four States of Privacy"

1. Solitude- being alone

2. Intimacy- choose a friend or partner

3. Anonymity- free from identification and supervision

4. Reserve- free to hold back information from others

Property Rights/ Equal Rights

Chapter 16:

-How do you acquire and lose citizenship in the USA? You acquire citizenship if you are born or become naturalized in the United States.

-How does the constitution protect private property? The Constitution protects private property by protecting the people. People have the right to own, rent, invest, and sell property.

-How does the government take it away? Eminent Domain is the power to take private property for public use. However, it must be fairly compensated.

-What is the due process protection of the rights of the accused? Due Process Rights are the fifth and fourteenth amendments. It is the rules and regulations that restrain those in government who exercise power. This includes procedural and substantive areas.

Chapter 17:

Voting Rights/Suffrage: 14th, 15th, 19th, & 26th amendments gave women and others the voting rights that all citizens deserve.

-Explain the need of equality for the Chicano, Asian American, and Native American movements. Equality is not about skin color but about human individuals. Equality should not be based because a person looks different from you. Every human being has the right to be treated equally because we are all the same. Movements of these different racial groups was a need to show the world that there needed to be a change. It was important to notice that these individuals should not be treated any lesser than each other.

-Is the a protection in place for equal education for all? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made federal money be withdrawn to districts if discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, age, or disability.

-Why is Affirmative Action controversial? Affirmative Action is controversial because of the type of society we live in. Many believe there is not a problem when rights are denied to others because it does not concern the individual's personal self. It has been used in racial cases and gender cases. People do not want to achieve racial and ethnic diversity but rather be self absorbed.