Civil Liberties

1131 Words5 Pages
Civil liberties can be defined as the freedoms from arbitrary governmental interference specifically by denial of governmental power and in the United States especially as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights (Civil Liberties). The powers that are placed in the hands of the Bill of rights affect our everyday lives. They allow us to voice our opinion and led protest. Every amendment in the Bill of rights is there to secure that the government is ruled by and for the people not ruling over the people. At first, the Bill of rights was only limiting the powers of the federal government but not the state. With the case of Barron vs. Baltimore in 1833 it was established that the bill of rights did not extend into the States jurisdiction since it stated that “Congress shall …”This “catch-22” was ended with the enactment of the fourteenth amendment the Bill of rights was then extended to limit state’s powers as well. The 1925 court case Gitlow vs. New York gave the Supreme Court the grounds to extend the Bill of Rights to the state level. The first amendment is one of the most controversial. It states “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances“. This amendment covers a lot of ground in a few short sentences; it covers everything from the freedom of expression to the freedom of religion to the freedom of assembly. It leaves such a broad area for conflicts to occur. The Supreme Court has had to make many challenging ruling on the freedom of religion. How far can you let someone practice his or her religion before y... ... middle of paper ... ...gal counsel even if you cannot afford it. The eighth amendment gives you the assurance that you will not face cruel or unusual punishment. Works Cited Barron vs. Baltimore. Supreme Court. 1833. Print. “Civil Liberties." 2010. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2010 July 7 . Everson vs. Board of Education. Supreme Court. 1947. Print. Gitlow vs. New York. Supreme Court. 1925. Print. Nebraska Press Association vs. Stuart. Supreme Court. 1976. Print. Roland, Jon. "Constitution for the United States of America." Constitution Society Home Page. N.p., 25 Sept. 1995. Web. 07 July 2010. . Schmidt, et al. American Government and Polotics Today- Texas Edition, 2007-2008. Mason : Cengage Learning, 2007. Wallace vs. Jeffree. Supreme Court. 1985. Print.
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