What was the Bill of Rights originally intended for?
To protect citizens against the actions of the federal government
What significance did Barron vs. Baltimore have?
It indicated that the first ten amendments did not apply to state governments (upheld throughout 1800s)
What did incorporation (based on 14th amendment) do to the Bill of Rights?
Extended Bill of Rights to protect individuals from all levels of government (federal, state, local)
What is nationalization?
It means that citizens who believe that a state or local authority has denied them their basic rights and may take their case to federal court.
What are the two clauses of the 1st Amendment regarding religion?
The establishment (no laws regarding the establishment of religion) and free exercise (no interference with practice) clauses
What is the usual topic for cases regarding the establishment clause?
Religion and education
What are two parts of the Lemon Test on state aid to parochial schools?
aid must have a clear secular purpose, must neither advance nor inhibit religion, must avoid excessive entanglement with religion
What was the key outcome of the Engel v. Vitale decision?
Schools could not encourage prayer, even if the prayer was nondenominational
How have many states allowed for the possibility of prayer at schools without running afoul of the Supreme Court?
“Moment of Silence” Laws
What law allows for student religious groups to hold meetings and functions at public schools?
Equal Access Act (1984 – ruled constitutional by SC in 1990)
How has the court ruled on the banning of teaching evolution?
Not OK to ban it (Epperson v. Arkansas) also can’t require teaching of Biblical creation
How has the court ruled on religious practices that violate laws related to public safety and morality?
Court upholds these laws (on cases like polygamy, drug use, etc.)
How has the court ruled on compulsory patriotism in regards to religion?
people cannot be compelled to participate in patriotic acts that violate their religious beliefs
What are the two general categories of speech, according to the SC?
Pure speech (actual spoken words) & symbolic speech (burning draft cards, wearing arm bands in protest, etc.)
What are two of the major guidelines the SC uses in freedom of speech cases?
clear and present danger test, bad tendency doctrine, and preferred position doctrine
What did the SC rule in Schenck v. the U.S.?
Not OK for Schenck to encourage draftees to obstruct the war effort during WWI (in violation of clear and present danger test)
How did Gitlow v. New York clarify the bad tendency doctrine?
Speech can be restricted even if it had only a tendency to lead to illegal action
How has the SC ruled on various sedition laws over time?
At first you could be convicted for advocating action against government, over time definition has narrowed
What is defamatory speech? Is it protected?
Speech that damages a person’s good name or reputation - can be spoken (slander) or printed (libel); not protected
How much control do school officials have over their students’ right to free speech? Identify one case that deals with this.
School officials have a great deal of control over student speech; Tinker v. Des Moines, Bethel School District v. Fraiser, Hazelwood SD v. Kuhlmeier
What is the name for censorship of information before it is published? When is this allowed in the U.S.?
prior restraint, only allowed when national security is threatened
What important prior restraint decision came out of the Pentagon papers? What was the outcome?
New York Times v. United States; Times was allowed to print Pentagon papers
What are two steps judges can take to try and assure that a free press doesn’t infringe on the right to a fair trial?
change venue for trial, limit number of reporters, sequestering jury, isolating witnesses and jury members
Under what circumstances can a judge ban the press from a pretrial hearing?
when the suppression of evidence is being discussed
According to the SC, do reporters have the right to refuse to reveal sources or evidence?
They do not, but the SC allows for special exemptions for this from Congress or the states (30 states have shield laws that protect reporters)
Has the SC allowed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to censor the press?
no, but they can require certain standards for certain types of broadcasting
Are email and the internet more or less restricted than broadcast media? Why?
less, because they are viewed as print media and accorded the same freedoms as newspapers & magazines
The right to parade and demonstrate in public is protected by which freedom? What do local governments usually require for these activities?
Assembly; a permit
Why are demonstrations subject to greater gov’t regulation than other forms of speech?
Potential for conflict between demonstrators & others; or interference with others trying to use public streets/spaces
Does the right to Assembly allow a group to convert private property to its own use? Around what kind of facility has this been an issue in recent years?
No, it does not; private abortion clinics being picketed by pro-life protestors
What is the heckler’s veto? What 1977 incident in Skokie, IL, clearly demonstrated this?
When public opinion against an unpopular group keeps it from demonstrating, the Nazis wanted to march in Skokie – a largely Jewish suburb of Chicago
What did Feiner v. New York give the police the right to do?
Disperse a group of demonstrators in the interest of keeping the peace
How has the court handled the issue of labor picketing?
It is allowed, but can be more tightly regulated because it has consequences greater than other forms of free speech
How does the clear and present doctrine apply to freedom of association?
Government can prevent people from forming/joining groups deemed to be subversive