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POLI 325D2 (12)
Chapter 3

Lasser chap 3

2 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 325D2
Harold Waller

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Lasser Chapter 3: Civil Liberties Introduction • Bill of Rights allows judicial system to define and defend civil liberties • Initially the BOR applied only to the federal government (Barron v. Baltimore 1833) but th over the 20 century was made to apply to the states as well • Necessary to balance individual rights against societal needs John Stuart Mill: On Liberty (1859) • Lasser’s Notes o Statement of “the importance of freedom for the discovery of truth and for the full development of individuality” o Written in Britain, but highly influential inAmerica, especially for Justice Holms (1902-1932) and Justice Brandeis (1916-1939) o Utilitarian argument that maximum freedom for the individual is good for society (this argument is not based on individual rights) • Mental well being of man is dependent on the freedom to have and express own opinions • Mankind is not infallible • Freedom of expression based on 4 grounds o Don’t want to silence true opinions o Even erroneous opinions contain grains of truth o In order for an opinion to be rendered true it must be subject to criticism o Opinions should be exposed to reason and personal experience • Actions are necessarily subject to constraints that are not placed on opinions • The arena in which the opinion is expressed matters: “the liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he should not make himself a nuisance to other people”, “he should be allowed to carry his opinions into his practice at his own cost” • Open to “different experiments of living”, spontaneity and originality are good • personal development comes not through adhering to custom but by making choices • the world is imperfect and individuals must be free to be diverse in order to progress Jeffery Rosen: The Day after Roe (2006) • Lasser’s Notes o In 1973 Roe v. Wade established a woman’s constitutional right to obtain an abortion o “pro-life” movement sought to fight this decision with public relations campaign, incremental obstacles to abortion, and backing candidates that shared their view o “pro-choice” movement sought to uphold Roe in its entirety o Article speculates on legal and political fallout if case is overturned • 11 states have bans on all abortions (including when the life of the mother is threatened) which would go back to being active o In 7 of these states the effect would be immediate as there hasn’t been a challenge in state courts • Conservative governors would struggle to promote full bans on abortion (without exception for life of the mother, rape, 1 trimester), potentially s
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