Chapter 19: CIVIL LIBERTIES - Amherst County High School

Thomas Road Baptist Church practices its right
to be free from government intervention.
Several things to remember
1. Civil Liberties:
Protections against
government taking
freedoms. 1st
amendment rights.
2. Civil rights: Positive
acts of government
protecting groups of
people from losing
3. Rights are relative,
not absolute: You
can not infringe on
rights of others. First
amendment rights are
a. no obscene words
b. can’t lie about
The 14th Amendment
1. Equal Protection Clause: No state
shall pass any law that deprives any
person of life, liberty or property without
due process of law.
2. Incorporation Clause: State must
include most of the Bill of Rights because
of the above equal protection clause.
The 2nd amendment can be limited by
state laws.
9th Amendment
Read it on page 550 (536).
Is there a complete catalog anywhere of all the
rights we may have?
Chapter 19, sec 2
A. Ist Amendment
covers two areas
1. Expression:
(speech, press,
2. Religion:
free practice of
B. Establishment clause
1. T. Jefferson used “wall of separation” in
a letter. He said the wall is not infinitely
high nor is it impenetrable.
2. Examples:
a. Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 1925: a
compulsory school attendance law
unconstitutional. (interfered with
parents upbringing)
b. Everson v. Board of Education, 1947
1. School Bus case: state law constitutional
that provided for tax-supported busing of all
students to any school including parochial
2. It treats all children the same.
c. Engle v. Vitale, 1962: The following was
read in New York schools daily – “Almighty
God. We acknowledge our dependence
upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings
upon us, our parents, our teachers, and
our country”. This favored one religion
over others so unconstitutional.
d. Epperson v. Arkansas, 1968: Supreme Court
struck down state law that forbade the teaching
of evolution.
The Constitution “forbids alike the preference of
a religious doctrine or the prohibition of theory
which is deemed antagonistic to a particular
dogma. .The state has no legitimate interest in
protecting any or all religions from views
distasteful to them.
e. Lemon v. Kurtzman:
Gave us a threepronged standard to
keep gov’t our of
1)Aid must be secular,
not religious.
2)Aid must neither
advance nor inhibit
3)Aid must void an
entanglement of gov’t
with religion.
f. County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 1989: A
county’s seasonal display that endorces
only Christian doctrine violates
establishment clause. Is it represents all
religions, that is constitutional.
C. Free Exercise Clause
1. Guarantees the right
to believe whatever
one chooses in
matters of religion.
2. Examples:
a. Reynolds v. U.S.,
1879 – court said
polygamy not
allowed because of
federal law that
outlawed it in
Supremacy of Const.
over religions.
b. West Va. Board of Educ.v. Barnette,1943
Cannot have a compulsory flag-salute
because what good is forced patriotism?
Freedom of Speech and Press
Chapter 19 section 3
A. Guarantees of free press and speech
serve two purposes
1. a full range discussion of ideas and
public affairs.
2. each person has a right to freely
express themselves .
B. Limits on free
1. National Security
a. “Utterances
can be punished
after made. It would
be censorship if
b. NYT v. U.S. –
Pentagon Papers
2. Clear-and-present danger test: If words
create an immediate threat then speech
can be stopped. ( Yelling fire in a theatre)
a. Examples: Schenck vs. U.S.
b. Brandenberg vs. U.S.
3. Obsenity: What
is considered
Miller vs. California
a. Does it go against community standards?
b. Does it have any literary, artistic,
scientific, educational or political value?
c. Does it appeal to purely prurient
4. No prior restraints
a. Definition: stopping
the press before a
damaging article comes
b. New York Times vs.
U.S. (1971) Nixon tried
to stop saying it would
hurt national security.
4. Some symbolic speech
a. Definition: Making a
political statement
through signs or
b. Examples: burning a
flag. You cannot do
something that is
Freedom of Assembly and Petition
Section 4 p. 569 (555)
A. Right to PEACEABLY assemble –
You cannot incite, block public streets,
close a school, endanger life, property, or
public order. Gov’t cannot regulate content
but can regulate:
1. Time: example
2. Place: example
3. Manner: example
B. Right to assemble also means right to
associate with whom you wish. P. 572 (558)
ex: Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale, 2000
1. Facts:
2. Court’s Decision:
C. Right to petition
1. Definition: freedom to stand up and
complain about government injustices.
2. Examples: Slavery petition, message
on Starbucks coffee: “Race
together”, and mandatory vaccinations.
1. Section 1:
a. Civil rights/ civil liberties definitions
b. Incorporation clause
c. 9th Amendment
2. Section 2: Freedom of Religion
a. Two subject areas of 1st amendment
b. Two subject areas of Religious freedom
with case examples
c. Lemon test
3. Section 3: Freedom of Speech and Press
a. Fundamental purposes of freedoms
b. Court cases: Schenck, Miller v. Calif.
obscenity test
c. Prior restraint: NYT v. U.S.
d. Symbolic speech: Tinker vs. U.S.
Texas vs. Johnson
4. Section 4: Freedom of assesmbly
a. Time, place, manner not content
Workbook highlights
1. Prior restraints are seldomly upheld by
the Supreme Court
2. Right to regulate assemblies comes from
gov’ts need to protect the public
Section 4: Demonstrations on private
property are not protected