2005 Question 3

Eric Almberg
Initially, the United States Constitution did little to
protect citizens from action of the states. In the
twentieth century, the Supreme Court interpreted the
Constitution to protect the rights of citizens from state
governments in a process referred to as incorporation
a. Define selective incorporative
b. For two of the following, explain how each has been
incorporated. Each of your explanations must be based on a
specific and relevant Supreme Court decision
Rights of criminal defendants
 First Amendment
 Privacy rights
The process by which certain guarantees
expressed in the Bill of Rights become applicable
to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
Under the total incorporation approach, an
approach never adopted by a majority of the
Supreme Court, all the Bill of Rights and the
attendant case law interpreting them, are applied
to the states. Under the selective incorporation
approach, select rights in the Bill of Rights and
their related case law are applied to the states.
Choose from
Rights of criminal defendants
First Amendment
Privacy rights
Use specific and relevant supreme court cases to back up the argument
Rights of criminal defendants
Most obvious case to use is Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
 Police
Officers in the United States were never required by law
to read detainees their rights before interrogation because it
was assumed they should know them.
 Miranda signed a confession never knowing that he could be
assigned a lawyer
 As a result Miranda rights were established in order to allow
detainee awareness and fairness
Many Court cases to choose from
Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson (1952)
Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940)
Protection of free speech in films, protecting the right to free speech after
attempts were made to restrict film content in the “McCarthy Era”
Protected the individual right to practice their religions and enforced the
separation of church and state after laws were passed regarding practice of
Cohen v. California (1971)
The right to free speech was upheld in the strongest of circumstances after the
state of California convicted a man of a code which prohibits “maliciously and
willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person . . . by . . .
offensive conduct” and classified wearing a jacket reading “F**k the draft” as
offensive conduct. The supreme court upheld his right to speech in this case.
The court case must appeal directly to the individual rights defined in
the first amendment, and any case in which they were violated by the
Good site: http://www.anarchytv.com/speech/cases.html
Again easy major case to chose: Roe v. Wade
Many States restricted the private right to an abortion
though no specific mention of it was made in the
 The case abolished nearly every law in existence that
put restrictions on abortions, once again putting the
power in the people’s hands
 Judiciary branch is protection a person’s right to do as
they please without the government intervening to a
certain extent