October 7, 2013
- 12 pages; at least 10 academic sources.
- Due Monday, November 4 , 2013.
- Chicago documentation style.
- Choose topic with approval based on content from this semester (e.g.
Constitution, Federalism, Civil Rights, etc.).
- Government shutdown (Tea Party members in the Senate resisting until
Obamacare is defunded).
o Cleaning continuing resolution bill.
- Debt ceiling
o $16.7 trillion ceiling
o Democrats want a “clean” raise
o Syria – Chemical deconstruction; US is pleased.
o Afghanistan – Second set of election post-invasion are approaching
(April). Names are being submitted for candidacy.
American Revolution George Washington Farewell Speech
- War for independence - Described as a patriot.
- France entered on side of - Commander in Chief during the
patriots; became an international Revolutionary War.
conflict. - Served 2 terms. Didn’t see
- British surrender. himself as fit, but needed to serve
- Americans won independence; a second term to keep the states
ended in 1783. united.
- 1777 – General Rafayet was a key - Speech in 1792. Released to the
player in the Battle of Yorktown. public (printed) after this.
Close with B. Franklin and G. - One of the most significant
Washington. Responsible for documents in American history.
helping Canadians rally their - Transition was very amicable.
cause. - Target audience: American
- France made a military effort to people.
keep Canada united with Canada. - Highlight 4 points: New
They sided against Quebec, which constitution, rule of law, role of
why the Quebec French don’t like civil society, and the common
the European French. interests that defined a nation-
- Addressed separation of powers
and checks and balances put in place.
- Allowed for democratic reform
and separating popular passions.
- A large proponent of giving large
republics and chance to prove
themselves. Included the
purchase of Louisiana.
- Stresses unity between colonies,
independence from foreign
- Warned against large militaries
(ironic looking at the US military
Liberties vs. Rights.
Civil Liberties Civil Rights
- “Freedom from” - “Freedom to”
- Restricts government action. - Requires government action.
E.g. Freedom of speech. E.g. Right to education. Require
government action because they are
enforced by the government. It is a
guarantee to something.
“The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from
the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of
majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be
applied by the courts.”
o Puts minorities beyond the reach of popular fervor. The majority cannot
decide the rights of minorities.
o Applying legal principles as law – stay separate from current events or
trends of the time. Cottifed.
Bill of Rights was applicable to the Federal government only.
o “Congress shall make no law…”
States could infringe on certain liberties, but federal could not...until the
o “No state shall…”
Meant to protect newly freed slaves.
Courts constantly change their mind. First said it was only applicable to freed slaves – does not apply to states. 1897 changed their mind – the
state’s cannot take private property without compensation. This was
the first act of applying the Bill of Rights to the state(s).
Recent Case: 2010
Selective Incorporation: Process in which the court decides on a
case-by-case basis which laws apply to the states.
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
o Couple lived in Connecticut and used contraceptives. State said this was
not allowed. At the time contraceptives were banned in every state.
Law existed because the government didn’t want immigrants to
dominate the population.
o Courts favour Griswold.
o Shadow – If you look at the Bill of Rights, it casts a shadow over other
issues (such as contraceptives) that aren’t specifically mentioned in the
o “Zones of privacy” (E.g. Bedroom)
o E.g. Third Amendment, Ninth Amendment
Third – Actually protects privacy as a whole.
Ninth – Other rights exist other than those outlined in the Constitution.
Privacy was a matter left to the people.
Roe v. Wade (1973)
o Encompasses a woman’s decision about pregnancy.
o Texan law banned abortions. Supreme court ruled in favour of women –
right to choose. Women have the right to abortions in their first
Challenge came from…
Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)
o “Undue burden”
o Challenge to Roe v. Wade.
o Rejection of first trimester principle. States were now allowed to put up
roadblocks when it benefited the fetus. The state was allowed to
encourage mothers to change their mind. E.g. You could petition a
woman, send guidance her way, etc., but could not directly forbid her.
Freedom of Religion
Jefferson’s “wall of separation between church and state”
o “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Establishment Clause
o Prohibits the federal government from creating an official religion
(e.g. Church of England).
o Threat of the Constitution.
First Amendment prevents this from happening.
o What exactly does the wall prevent/protect?
Prayers in public schools?