Chapter 5, Civil Liberties, Questions

What two clauses of the 14th Amendment have been used to incorporate many of the protections of the Bill of Rights and also apply to the states as well as the national government?
Due Process and Equal Protection
Why is the Palko vs. Connecticut case so important to the concept of selective incorporation?
It stated that the states must observe all "fundamental liberties", or those that are applied from the Bill of Rights through selective incorporation.
What is the traditional view of free speech and a free press?
It is essential to a free state but the freedom the press should enjoy is the freedom from prior restraint.
What happened to the free speech environment in the United States during the Cold War?
Not only was planning overthrow a crime, but advocating it became a crime as well.
What was the importance of the 1919 case of Charles T. Schenck? ( Schenck vs. U.S. )
The "clear and present" danger case was created from this ruling, as well as caused the Freedom of Speech and Press to be among the "Fundamental Personal Rights" from a future case.
What was the main idea or point that came out of the Brandenburg case ruling in terms of free speech?
Essentially, no matter how offensive or provocative some forms of expression may be, they are protected by the Constitution. Also, illegal action must be "imminent" to be punished for.
What is the point of the law in the 1977 Skokie case? (National Socialist Party vs. Skokie)
Anti-Semitic or other hate groups have the constitutional right to speak and parade peacefully.
Why is it legal to burn a cross or display Nazi symbols?
Because it does not cause direct and physical harm to one, even though it is a display of an odious symbol, which is a constitutionally protected right.
Why is it harder for a public figure or an elected official to sue for libel or slander? (think New York Times vs. Sullivan, 1964)
Because they must prove not only that it was false and damaging, but that it was also published with malice.
What is obscenity?
Anything judged by "the average person applying contemporary community standards" to appeal to the "prurient interest" or to depict "in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state law" and to lack "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."
What was decided by the Supreme Court in the 1973 case of Miller vs. California concerning obscenity?
Defined "obscenity" as appealing to prurient interests of an average person with materials that lack literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
Why is it legal to burn an American flag but not legal to burn a draft registration card? (decided in Texas vs. Johnson, 1989)
One is not constitutionally protected in doing an illegal act to send a message.
What are the two clauses in the First Amendment that deal with freedom of religion?
Establishment and Free Exercise
Can a parent refuse medical attention to their sick child in need if it is "against God's will" according to the parent's religion?
If the state demands it necessary, it cannot be refused.
What has the Supreme Court interpreted the establishment clause to mean?
The Constitution erects a "wall of separation" between church and state.
How did the court rule in cases dealing with public money used to transport students who attend Catholic schools?
Busing is a religiously neutral activity.
How did the court rule in cases dealing with voluntary prayer or bible reading in public schools?
Under no circumstances are any prayers or readings constitutional.
How did the court rule in cases dealing with a benediction/prayer to open a high school graduation ceremony?
Regardless of school or ceremony, it is unconstitutional.
How did the court rule in cases dealing with the teaching of biblical creationism/Intelligent Design in public schools?
These teachings are unconstitutional.
How did the court rule in cases dealing with prohibiting the teaching of scientific evolution in public schools?
These teachings are constitutional and cannot be prohibited based on religious morals.
What are the three parts of the Lemon Test?
Involvement must have a secular purpose, it's primary effect neither advances nor inhibits religion, and it does not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion.
What is meant by a "reasonable expectation of privacy"?
Places in which a person may not be invaded, such as within their body or their house, but not their backyard or car.
With what issue does the Miranda ruling deal with?
Involuntary confession during an arrest
What is the Miranda warning and what is it's purpose?
States that confessions not need be made until before a court, and that anything confessed "involuntarily" will not be used before a court.
What does the Fourth Amendment state?
Americans are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures; no soldier, government agent, or police officer can search your home without a search warrant.
What does the Fifth Amendment state?
The rights of persons accused of crimes are protected, including protection against double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and punishment without the due process of law.
What does the Sixth Amendment state?
Individuals accused of crimes are protected; includes the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a speedy and public trial.
What did the case of Minersville vs. Gobitis deal with?
The issue of saluting the flag (Patriotism) with non-Christian students in schools; states have the power to decide their own rights.
What did the case of Barnette vs. West Va. deal with?
Came after Minersville vs. Gobitis ruling; states that judges can force against state government for Civil Liberties.
What happened with the Smith Act?
It had been stated that people cannot advocate the violent overthrow of the government, but people tried to teach Marxist Philosophies and were considered to attempt to overthrow it.
What happened when Black and Douglas had dissenting opinions in their Civil Liberties?
When defending freedom of speech, were tagged as communists but their opinions became future rule.
In the South in the 1950s, what would white senators do to make sure legislation wasn't passed?
Filibusters during the passing of laws supporting civil rights
How did Chief Justice Earl Warren approach the Brown vs. Board case?
Made the court extremely liberal and made them support the idea that "separate but equal" does not have a place in the Constitution.
What happened with the "all deliberate speed" part of the Brown ruling in the South?
Racial uprising occurred because whites did not want the laws to be passed, so schools were shut down and private white schools were opened.
How were political events of 1964 a validation of the Courts' ruling in Brown?
There was an increase in taxes to provide for school re-openings, Lyndon B. Johnson was elected, and the Civil Rights Act was passed.
How did Hugo Black's personal readings influence his view and interpretation of the Constitution?
Based them on the 17th and 18th views of the Framers; evils were outdated but similar to those today.
What did the Gideon vs. Wainwright case deal with?
The right to a lawyer regardless of economic standing
What did the Griswold vs. Connecticut case deal with?
The State law about contraceptives and the right to privacy; stated all the amendments "read together" to give the right to privacy.
What did the Miranda vs. Arizona case deal with?
The right to a lawyer, the right to privacy, etc. Can only use evidence that meets your rights.
How did Nixon use the Court and its rulings as a campaign issue in the elections?
Stated war on court has been "codding criminals"; if he was appointed, he would appoint new justices and would get rid of Black, who was very old.
What are Civil Liberties/Constitutional Rights?
The protection from government abuse (national and state government interference); deal with the protection in law for groups.
How are Civil Liberty rights defined or clarified?
Embedded by the Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, or are products of the court.
What does conceptual connection mean?
The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are conceptually linked.
To what "persons" do Civil Liberties belong?
To almost all people in the United States or its jurisdiction who are 18 or older.
Which act excludes certain "persons" from Civil Liberties?
What does the Due Process clause state?
No state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process law (the right to defend themselves, the right to a court).
What does the Equal Protection clause state?
No state shall deny any person equal protection of the law.
What is another name for the 14th Amendment?
The Second Bill of Rights
What did the Gitlow vs. New York case deal with?
1925 Court ruling on state law that stated free speech and free press apply to the states.
What did the Palko vs. Connecticut case deal with?
1937 Court ruling on state law that stated there are preferred or fundamental rights that are "so fundamental" they apply to everybody and states cannot take them away. (Freedom of speech, religion, right to an attorney if you cannot afford one (state must give you an attorney)
What are roughly the two main parts of the First Amendment?
Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion
What does the Free-Exercise clause state?
Congress shall make no law prohibiting the "free exercise" of religion; the First Amendment guarantee that citizens may freely engage in the religious activities of their choice.
What does the Establishment clause state?
Congress shall make no law "respecting an establishment of religion" ; the First Amendment guarantee that the government will not create and support an official state church.