political science discussion response to a classmate discussion post
Discussion and Essay #4
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
In chapter four of We The People (Ginsberg, et. al, 2017) we discuss civil liberties, and amendments made to the constitution meant to protect citizens right from the government. According to this chapter, civil liberties are an individual’s rights and personal freedoms and prohibit the government from interfering. The Bill of Rights was important in ratifying the constitution. The framers believed there was a need to specifically outline certain inalienable rights. For example, the second amendment, people have the right to bear arms, the government cannot take houses for militia and cannot search or seize evidence without a warrant from the court. In the first amendment our freedom of religion, speech, assembly, or petition are protected.
In 1787 at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton opposed the amendments and argued that the Bill of Rights was unnecessary because the constitution already protected civil liberties (Ginsberg, et. al., 2017). In “Article 1, Section 9: Guarantee habeas corpus – an individuals right to be brought to court and show cause for detention) and the prohibition of “bill of attainder” – a law that declares a person guilty without a trial” are some examples in which civil liberties are protected in the constitution (Ginsberg, et. al., 2017). Although seventeen amendments we approved in only ten amendments passed the necessary three-fourths of the states. The first amendment specifically addresses the national government, the fourteenth amendment was added to apply the bill of right to the state government as well.
Cases such as the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. David Mullins and Charlie Craig (aclu-co.org). The bakers refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple due to their religious beliefs. Mullins and David sued the cakeshop for discrimination. In this case, Mullins and Craig won. The “Colorado Civil Rights Commission found that Masterpiece Cakeshop unlawfully refused services” against the same-sex couple (aclu-co.org). In this case, the bakers cited freedom of religion and Mullins and Craig cited discrimination. This was a complicated case that applied selective incorporation. Chapter four discusses the case of Palko vs. Connecticut that led to the principle of selective incorporation. Justice Benjamin Cardozo “asserted that although many rights have value and importance some rights do not represent a principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental” (Ginsberg, et.al., 2017).
The Bill of Rights was important to add to the constitution because we are such a diverse society. In 1787, there was still a lot of conflict between the states, with so many different needs and political views. The framers knew they had to work together in order to succeed. The Bill of Rights protects us not only from the government but from fellow Americans. Thomas Jefferson said that our inalienable rights were “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (1776). The Bill of Rights helps to protect those values.
We The People, 2017 (Ginsberg, et.al.)
Masterpiece Cakeshop, retrieved from https://aclu-co.org/court-cases/masterpiece-cakeshop/ (2017) (Links to an external site.)