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Pitt PS 0200 - Defining Civil Liberties

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PS 200 1st Edition Lecture 7Chapter 4: Civil LibertiesI. Defining Civil LibertiesA. Civil liberties are about freedom and civil rights are about equalityB. When Supreme Court rules on civil liberties, must balance individuals’ freedom with gov interest and public goodC. Freedoms are not absolute, they are balanced against other interests like national security, public safety, and public healthD. Courts must draw line between protected speech and impermissible speech. “FIRE” in theater= nonoE. Origins of the Bill of Rights1. Originally, Constitution had limited protection of civil liberties. 2. Mason and Gerry opposed ratification because no Bill of Rights. 3. In 1791, 10 amendments formed Bill of Rights. Limited reach because applied only to national government not sates.F. Selective Incorporation and the Fourteenth Amendment1. Significance of Bill of Rights increased with ratification of 14th amendment in 18682. Civil War Amendments: 13th, 14th, 15th amendments which abolished slavery, granted civil liberties and voting rights to freed slaves after Civil War3. Due process clause: forbids states from denying “life, liberty, or property” to any person without due process of law4. Selective incorporation: process through which the civil liberties granted in the Bill of Rights were applied to the states on a case-by-case basis through the 14th amendment5. Bill of Rights evolved from 19th century’s limitations affecting only national gov to robust set of widespread protections for freedom and liberty todayII. Freedom of Speech, Assembly, and the PressA. Generally Protected Expression1. Standards For Protectiona. Basis of continuum of protected speech lies in content of speechb. Strict scrutiny: highest level of scrutiny courts use when determining whether law is constitutional. To pass the test, law must be shown to serve “compelling state interest”, it mustbe narrowly tailored to achieve goal, and must be lease restrictive way of achieving goalc. Intermediate scrutiny: middle level of scrutiny courts use when determining whether a law is constitutional. To pass this test, law or policy must further an important government interest inway that is “substantially related” to interest. Law must use means that are close fit to goal and not substantially broader than necessary to accomplish goal2. Political Speecha. Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Crime to write, print, utter, or publish malicious writing against US governmentb. Jefferson pardoned those convicted under law. Congress repealed Sedition actc. Clear and present danger test: established in Schenk v US, test allows government to restrict certain types of speech deemed dangerousd. Direct incitement test: protects threatening speech under 1st amendment unless speech aims to and is likely to cause imminent “lawless action”3. Symbolic Speecha. Symbolic speech holds many of the same protections as regular speechb. Overturning flag discretion is protected, spending money in political campaigning is protected4. Hate Speecha. Hate speech: expression that is offensive or abusive, particularly in terms of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Protected under 1st amendment5. Freedom of Assemblya. Governments may regulate time, manner, and place of expression as long as regulation does not favor certain groups or messages over others6. Freedom of the Pressa. Prior restraint: limit on freedom of press that allows the government to prohibit media from publishing certain materialsB. Less Protected Speech and


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