CIVIL LIBERTIES AND CIVIL RIGHTS 12/9-10/09 RELIGION The first amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The first part is called the establishment clause and states that the government can’t set up an official religion. This is characterized as freedom from religion. The second part is called the free exercise clause and states that the people can practice whatever religion they want. This is characterized as freedom of religion. TWO SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT Separationists- believe the establishment clause of the 1st amendment requires building a “wall of separation” between church and state. Not used until 1802 by Jefferson Accomodationistsbelieve the establishment clause of the 1st amendment would permit the government to provide financial support for certain religious institutions and programs or sponsor specific religious practices, such as prayer in public schools. “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. “ HOW DOES THE SUPREME COURT DECIDE IF THE GOVERNMENT IS ESTABLISHING RELIGION? Lemon Test- established after Lemon v. Kurtzman, a 3 part test for establishment clause violations Does the law or practice have a secular (nonreligious) purpose? YES Does the primary intent or effect of the law either advance or inhibit religion? NO Does the law or practice create an excessive entanglement of government and religion? NO Pass! If the answer is different than these the measure fails the test. Journal-Do you think that if teachers were to lead prayers before every class period it would pass the Lemon test? TndHE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS 2 Amendment “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/project s/ftrials/conlaw/dcvheller.html Recently, the supreme court has made it clear that the “right of the people” is an individual right, not a right reserved for those in military service. 2008 (DC v. Heller) However Scalia also states in his opinion, “The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns. “ SEARCH AND SEIZURE RIGHTS 4th amendment “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizure, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probably clause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Mapp v. Ohio Exclusionary rule- under this rule, evidence that is obtained improperly by the police cannot be used to prosecute someone accused of a crime SELF-INCRIMINATION The fifth amendment gives people the right to not incriminate themselves. Incriminating statements must be made voluntarily, not under coercion (threats of violence or actual violence) Miranda v. Arizona- supreme court decision that requires police officers, before questioning a suspect in custody, to inform that suspect about the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning. RIGHT TO PRIVACY The word privacy does not appear in the constitution. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has used its interpretive powers to recognize a right to privacy that protects people from government interference in a number of contexts. In 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick, the court said the constitution did not protect individuals of the same gender’s sexual conduct. This was overturned in 2003 by Lawrence v. Texas by asserting a right to privacy. This “right to privacy” has been the basis of the courts decisions to strike down laws banning birth control in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and abortion in Roe v. Wade (1973) Do you see a implied right to privacy in the constitution? CIVIL RIGHTS Civil Rights are the application of rights equally amongst all groups no matter their race, sex, age, sexual orientation, or disability. People of all groups have taken action over time to achieve equal political, conditional, and opportunity rights. These goals were first realized in the United States with the adoption of the 14th amendment following the Civil War. This amendment guaranteed “that no state shall” deprive the rights of citizenship, equal protection of the law, and the right to due process under the law. AFRICAN AMERICANS Following the Civil War, southern states tried to maintain the dominance of whites by enacting Jim Crow laws that would segregate (separate) blacks and whites. 1896 Plessy v. FergusonSC ruled that as long as facilities were equally provided they could be separate. 1954 Brown v. Board of Education- SC ruled that facilities that were separate were inherently unequal. WOMEN Women were specifically left out of the 14th amendment much to the dismay of some women’s right activists who were also ardent abolitionists. Several states allowed women to vote (Wyoming for instance) but most states did not allow it. Women around the country worked to get referendums placed on ballots to be voted on but with limited success Finally, in 1918, the US Congress finally had enough support to pass the 19th Amendment and guarantee women the right to vote, ratified in 1920.