Summary and Main Ideas

Summary of Interpreting The Bill Of Rights

Practice Questions

  1. Explain the difference between a right listed in the Bill of Rights and a common-law right.
  2. Describe two ways in which new technological developments challenge traditional notions of privacy.
  3. The framers of the Constitution were originally reluctant to include protections of civil liberties and rights in the Constitution. Do you think this would be the case if the Constitution were written today? Why or why not?
  4. Which rights and freedoms for citizens do you think our government does a good job of protecting? Why? Which rights and freedoms could it better protect, and how?
  5. In which areas do you think people’s rights and liberties are at risk of government intrusion? Why? Which solutions would you propose?
  6. What are the implications of the Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby?
  7. How does the provision for and the protection of individual rights and freedoms consume government resources of time and money? Since these are in effect the people’s resources, do you think they are being well spent? Why or why not?
  8. There is an old saying that it’s better for 100 guilty people to go free than for an innocent person to be unjustly punished. Do you agree? Why or why? What do you think is the right balance for our society to strike?

Sample Answer:

1. A right listed in the Bill of Rights is afforded clearer protection than one developed incrementally through court precedents.

Glossary

Patriot Act: a law passed by Congress in the wake of the 9/11 attacks that broadened federal powers to monitor electronic communications; the full name is the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act)

right to privacy: the right to be free of government intrusion

undue burden test: a means of deciding whether a law that makes it harder for women to seek abortions is constitutional

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This is a lesson from the tutorial, American Civil Liberties and Rights and you are encouraged to log in or register, so that you can track your progress.

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