POL201: American National Government
In the society we live in civil liberties has become just another thing we as Americans are entitled to. However if you were ever accused of a heinous crime you would appreciate those civil liberties. Habeas Corpus to some is a thing of the past but when you have been wrongfully accused or convicted you will appreciate its history and debate.
Freedom of Speech
Our forefathers made it clear that we as a nation are entitled to civil liberties. One of these civil liberties is free speech the first Amendment protects this right to free speech and expression. Although all of our rights have their restrictions the point is we should be grateful to have them. Because many countries are subject to their countries unfair laws and also unfair taxes just to name a few. A prime example of when freedom of speech can be threatened is when it is considered harmful to others. “In its 1919 Schenck v. United States ruling, the Supreme Court addressed a free speech issue that arose during World War I. Charles Schenck was general secretary of the Socialist Party and, as such, printed and distributed 15,000 leaflets encouraging those who had been drafted to resist serving in the military and those who were serving to disobey orders. The government charged him with violating the 1917 Espionage Act, by causing insubordination in the military forces and obstructing the recruitment and enlistment of soldiers.” Levin-Waldman, O. M., (2012) So then it is obvious that free speech just like any other civil liberty has its limits, If Schenck freedom of speech had nothing to do with the military he would have gotten any trouble. But because he promoted and enticed soldiers to rebel and be insubordinate, he was charged.
Freedom of Religion
Freedom of Religion has become one of the biggest debates in history, and the right to express that freedom has even come to war. The beautiful thing about our constitution is that the farmers did not leave any stone unturned, even when it comes to religion. “The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The Framers believed that religion was a matter of individual conscience and therefore an extension of human agency.” Levin-Waldman, O. M., (2012) many people agree with the farmers on matters of religion, that congress should not make any laws respecting a certain religion. This right to practice whatever religion you choose is protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the first Amendment guarantees that right without the government interfering. Levin-Waldman, O. M., (2012) In 1962 the case of Engel v. Vitale brought attention to the opinion that even nondenominational prayer in the school system is a violation of the first Amendment. Levin-Waldman, O. M., (2012) However prayer is a form of expression so the truth of the matter is that you can’t give one group or person what they want without violating the civil liberties of another. Prayer was taken out of school in favor of those who do not believe there is a God or they believe in some other God besides the one that is mentioned in the pledge of allegiance. The writer feels that kids should be able to pray to whoever they want to, and to the students who don’t believe there is a God of any kind should just remain silent while the other students take their moment of silence.
Right to privacy
As Americans we do have a right to privacy but the definition of what that means is not carved out plainly in the constitution. The right to privacy falls under both the fourth and ninth Amendment, the fourth Amendment protects the individual against being search or their property being seized without reasonable cause. The ninth Amendment protects the people rights that are not mentioned in the constitution Amendment. Levin-Waldman, O. M., (2012). These two Amendments