PS 101-Chapter 4 Civil Liberties
o Civil Liberties: Basic political freedoms that protect citizens from
governmental abuses of power
o Civil WarAmendments: The 13 , 14 , and 15 Amendments to the
Constitution, which abolished slavery and granted civil liberties and voting
rights to freed slaves after the Civil War.
o Due process clause: Part of the 14 amendment that forbids states from
denying “life, liberty, or property” tthany person without due process of law.
(Anearly identical clause in the 5 Amendment applies only to the national
o Selective Incorporation: The process through which the civil liberties granted
in the thll of Rights were applied to the states on a case-by-case basis through
the 14 Amendment.
o Clear and Present danger test: Established in Schenk v. United States, this test
allows the government to restrict certain types of speech deemed dangerous.
o Direct Incitement Test: Established in Brandenberg v. Ohio, this test protects
threatening speech ender the 1 Amendment unless that speech aims to and is
likely to cause imminent “lawless action.”
o Symbolic speech: Nonverbal expression, such as the use of sings or symbols.
It benefits from many of the same constitutional protections of verbal speech.
o Hate speech: Expression that is offensive or abusive, particularly in terms of
race, gender, or sexual orientation. It is currently protects under the 1 st
o Prior restraint:Alimit on freedom of the press that allows the government to
prohibit the media from publishing certain materials.
o Gag order:An aspect of prior restraint that allows the government to prohibit
the media from publishing anything related to an ongoing trial.
o Fighting Words: Forms of expression that “by their very utterance” can incite
violence. These can be regulated by the government but are often difficult to
o Slander and Libel: Spoken false statements (slander) and written false
statements (libel) that damage a person’s reputation. Both can be regulated by
the government but are often difficult to distinguish from permissible speech.
o Commercial Speech: Public expression with the aim of making a profit. It has
received greater protection under the 1 Amendment in recent years but
remains less protected than political speech.
o Miller Test: Established in Miller v. California, the Supreme Court uses this
three-part test to determine whether speech meets the criteria for obscenity. If
so, it can be restricted by the government.
o Establishment clause: Part of the 1 Amendment that states “Congress shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” which has been
interpreted to mean that Congress cannot sponsor or favor any religion.
o Free exercise clause: Part of the 1 Amendment that states Congress cannot
prohibit or interfere with the practice of religion. o Lemon test: Established in Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Supreme Court uses this
test to determine whether a practice violates the 1 Amendment’s
o Due Process Rights: The idea that laws and legal proceedings must be fair.
The Constitution guarantees that the government cannot take away a person’s
“life, liberty, or property, withouthduthprthess ofthaw.” Other specific due
process rights are found in the 4 , 5 , 6 and 8 Amendments such as
protection from self-incrimination and freedom from illegal searches.
o Exclusionary rule: The principle that illegally or unconstitutionally acquired
evidence cannot be used in a criminal trial. th
o Miranda rights: The list of civil liberties described in the 5 Amendment that
must be read to a suspect before anything the suspects says can be used in
o Double thopardy: Being tried twice for the same crime. The is prevented by
the 5 Amendment.
o Privacy Rights: Liberties protected by several amendments in the Bill of
Rights that shield certain personal aspects of citizens’lives from governmental
interference, such as the 4 Amendment’s protection against unreasonable
searches and seizures.
II. Lecture-Civil Liberties
A. WhatAre They?
1. Basic political freedoms that protect citizens from governmental abuses of
2. Things the government cannot do
3. In contrast, civil rights guarantee individuals freedom from discrimination
B. Constitutional Foundations
1. The battles over ratification and the Bill of Rights
2. View that government itself is a threat to civil liberties and so what it cannot
do must be spelled out
C. Basic Protections
1. Amendment #1—Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly
2. Amendment #2—Right to bear arms
3. Amendment #4-8—Rights of the accused
4. Amendment #9—Interpreted to include protections of personal freedoms
D. What’s The Tension?
1. Most everyone agrees with civil liberties in the abstract, but how do you
balance competing interests of liberty, security, order, etc.?
2. War on terror a good example of this tension
a. Is government wiretapping a necessary precaution, or a violation of
b. Should the Boston Marathon suspect be “Mirandized” or not?
3. Public Opinion on Civil Liberties
E. Freedom of Religion
1. Protected by two clauses in the Bill of Rights
2. Establishment clause
a. Prohibits establishing a national religion 3. Free exercise clause
a. Government cannot prohibit or interfere with the practice of religion
4. Supreme Court’s general interpretation of these clauses?
5. Government cannot directly sponsor or subsidize a religion, but can give
assistance that ind