Right to Keep and Bear Arms
-The Second Amendment has been interpreted as the
right of individuals to own weapons.
-The National Rifle Association has become a
primary interest group in supporting the gun enthusiast and hunter’s right to
purchase and use arms.
-This amendment has produced a national debate
over the meaning of the Second Amendment as shown in the following questions.
registration and a waiting period be required for a person to own recreational
certain types of arms such as assault weapons be banned?
States v Miller (1939)- This case determined that a section of the
National Firearms Act of 1934 was constitutional because it did not have any
link to a state militia. This was
changed as a result of the passage of The Brady Bill in 1993. This placed restrictions on handgun
registration, setting up a minimum waiting period before purchase.
Right of Privacy
and Fourth Amendments deal with such issues as search and seizure and the right
amendments prevent the unrestricted quartering of soldiers, blanket search
warrants, and unlimited invasion of privacy by the government.
-There have been no Supreme Court cases involving the
key criterion in determining the legitimacy of the search is probable
cause. That becomes the first component
of the due process rights of individuals.
exception to the probable cause component is the “plain view” characteristic
which allows police to obtain evidence that is in sight of the
Key Court Cases:
Mapp v Ohio (1961)- Determined the
exclusionary rule which determined that police may obtain only that evidence
available through a legitimate search warrant.
Katz v United States (1967)- Congress set
down allowable procedures for wiretapping in a crime bill passed in 1968, which
allowed federal and state officials to use the procedure with probable cause.
Roe v Wade (1972)- Supreme Court
ruled that abortions are constitutionally protected.
Right of Procedural Due Process
due process can be viewed as a series of steps established by the Fifth, Sixth,
and Seventh Amendments that protect the rights of the accused at every step of
the investigation and limit how governmental power may be exercised.
The manner in which evidence is gathered, the charges made by the police upon
arrest, the formal indictment and interrogation, the trial, and the right to
the right to post bail.
Escobedo v Illinois (1964)- Supreme Court ruled Escobedo’s due
process rights of self-incrimination and right to counsel were violated. He was denied a lawyer at the police station
and made a number of incriminating statements that were used against him in
Gideon v Wainright
Established that the accused has the right to an attorney even if he or she
cannot afford one.
Miranda v Arizona (1966)- Established the Miranda
Rights. Those rights directed the police
to inform the accused upon arrest that he has a constitutional right to remain
silent, that anything said can be used in court, that he has a right to consult
with a lawyer at any time during the process, and that a lawyer will be
provided if the accused can not afford one.
Amendment guarantees that those undefined rights not listed anywhere in the
Constitution cannot be taken away. Such
issues as abortion and the “right to die” have come under the umbrella of this
Tenth Amendment extends to the states the right to create laws for the best
interest of their people.
States v Lopez (1995)-Supreme Court ruled that Congress misused
its authority in enacting the Gun-Free School Zone Safety Act, which made the possession
of a gun within 1000 yards of a school a federal crime.
Cruzan v Missouri Department of Health (1990)- Supreme Court ruled that a “living will”
is a legitimate document that can be used to direct a hospital to “pull the
plug” of a patient. In a 9-0 decision,
the Court decided that states have the right to make laws banning
- Indictment- a formal list of charges made by
a grand jury and guaranteed in the Fifth Amendment.
extension of the Bill of Rights to the citizens of the states, creating a
concept of dual citizenship, wherein a citizen was under the jurisdiction
of the national government as well as the state governments.
- Libel- Published material meeting three conditions: The material is
defamatory either on its face or indirectly; The defamatory statement is
about someone who is identifiable to one or more persons; and, The
material must be distributed to someone other than the offended party;
i.e. published; distinguished from slander.
legitimate document that can be used to direct a hospital to allow an
individual to direct a medical facility not to use extraordinary means
such as life support to keep a patient alive.
rights directing police to inform the accused upon their arrest of their
constitutional right to remain silent, that anything said could be used in
court, that they have the right to consult with a lawyer at anytime during
the process, that a lawyer will be provided if the accused cannot afford
one, that the accused understands these rights, and that the accused has
the right to refuse to answer any questions at any time and request a
lawyer at any point.
Restraint- is a
legal term which refers to a government's actions that prevent materials
from being published. Classic systems of censorship, in which a person
must seek governmental permission in the form of a license or imprimatur before publishing anything, involve
prior restraint every time permission is denied.
Due Process- a
series of steps that are established by the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh
Amendments that protect the rights of the accused at every step of the
of Church and State-
also known as the “establishment clause,” it is part of the First
Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting the federal government from
creating a state-supported religion.
- Slander- A false defamation (expressed in spoken words, signs, or gestures)
which injures the character or reputation of the person defamed;
distinguished from libel.
legal process that places limits related to the content of legislation and
the extent government can use its power to enact unreasonable laws.
Speech- form of
free speech interpreted by the Supreme Court as a guarantee under the
First Amendment to the Constitution, such as wearing a black armband to
protest a governmental action or burning an American flag in protest for
of Habeas Corpus-
a right of that cannot be taken away by government. It directs the police to show cause why a person may be held for a crime.