American Government Chapter 19 Notes Civil Liberties: First Amendment Freedoms

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1 American Government Chapter 19 Notes Civil Liberties: First Amendment Freedoms Section 1 a. The Unalienable Rights B. A Commitment to Freedom a. Personal freedom is deeply rooted in America s history b. i. Fight for civil liberties and civil rights 2. C. Limited Government a. b. Rights are Relative, not Absolute i. c. When Rights Conflict i. Fight of freedom of press versus the right to a fair trial d. To Whom are Rights Guaranteed? i. ii. However, aliens do have some restrictions such travel D. Federalism and Individual Rights a. The Bill of Rights i. Chapter 19 Page 1

2 b. The Modifying Effect of the 14 th Amendment i. ii. iii. Process of Incorporation 1. Merged, or combined, the bill of rights in the 14 th amendment E. The 9 th Amendment a. Many rights are not explicitly stated in the Constitution i. Section 2 b. Freedom of Religion F. Freedom of Expression a. Religion has always played a large and important role in American life i. G. Separation of Church and State a. i. Originally defined by Thomas Jefferson Chapter 19 Page 2

3 b. c. However, parochial schools are religious schools, and they are not under the rules of DESE i. Example, Catholic High School H. Religion and Education a. law requiring the public to pay for buses (even parochial buses) was against the establishment clause b. Released Time i. Allowed public schools to release students during school hours to attend religious classes on school grounds ii. Considered illegal by the Supreme Court c. Prayers and the Bible i. 1. Including before a public school graduation or football game d. Student Religious Groups i. e. Evolution i. Cannot forbid the teaching of evolution f. Aid to Parochial Schools i. Whether or not states should provide funding for private religious school districts g. The Lemon Test i. ii. Its primary effect neither enhances or inhibits religion Chapter 19 Page 3

4 iii. It avoids an excessive entanglement of government with religion 1. However, not completely clear cut from Supreme Court I. Other Establishment Clause Cases a. Seasonal Displays i. 1. ACLU continually attacks this issue b. Chaplains i. Legislative meetings can begin with prayer because: J. The Free Exercise Clause a. Guarantees to each person the right to believe whatever he or she chooses to believe in matters of religion i. b. Limits on Free Exercise i. Multiple cases involving the restriction of individual freedom c. Free Exercise Upheld i. 1. Amish only go to school till 8 th grade 2. Jehovah witnesses have the right to not salute the U.S. flag Chapter 19 Page 4

5 Section 3 d. Freedom of Speech and Press K. The Free Exchange of Ideas a. 1 st and 14 th amendments provide certain fundamental rights i. ii. b. America s governmental system depends on the ability of the people to make sound, reasoned judgments and decisions i. Used to protect unpopular views ii. However there are restrictions, especially concerning libel and slander 2. L. Seditious Speech a. b. c. The Alien and Sedition Acts i. Ability to deport undesirable aliens in 1798 ii. However eventually found unconstitutional d. The Sedition Act of 1917 i. Ability of the government to charge individuals who tried to interfere with the war effort ii. Chapter 19 Page 5

6 e. The Smith Act of 1940 i. 1. Parts of the act are still used today M. Obscenity a. Can be considered obscene if: i. The average person find that the work tends to excite lust ii. iii. The work taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value N. Prior Restraint a. Punishment of words said or written after they are made b. O. The Media a. Confidentiality i. ii. However, some states have passed shield laws b. Motion Pictures i. No longer do towns have censorship committees ii. c. Radio and Television i. Chapter 19 Page 6

7 ii. The FCC is the government agency in charge of regulating the decency of radio and television P. Symbolic Speech a. i. Example: Picketing b. Other Symbolic Speech Cases i. Acts of dissent can be punished if: 2. whatever restriction is placed on expression is no greater than necessary in the circumstance 3. government s real interest in the matter is not to squelch dissent c. Flag Burning i. Q. Commercial Speech a. Advertising for businesses is sometimes protected i. Example: 1. Cigarette and drinking commercials during college basketball games Section 4 b. Freedom of Assembly and Petition R. The Constitution s Guarantees a. The Constitution protects the right of people to assemble peacefully i. Chapter 19 Page 7

8 S. Time-Place-Manner Regulation a. b. The government s regulations must also be content neutral i. Cannot regulate assemblies on the basis of what might be said there T. Public Property a. Most assemblies, or demonstrations, take place on public property i. ii. In order to help maintain order and control b. Gregory V. Chicago i. c. Recent Cases i. Mostly dealing with abortion and groups trying to dissuade women from having or receiving advice on abortions U. Private Property a. The rights of assembly and petition do not give people a right to trespass on private property, even if they wish to express political views i. V. Freedom of Associations a. i. Also known as right of association b. Example: Boy Scouts of America V. Dale, 2001 i. The Boy Scouts kicked out a professed homosexual child Chapter 19 Page 8

9 ii. 1. Their charter opposed homosexuality Chapter 19 Page 9

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