Describe how the first amendment protects freedom of religion, speech, and the press

Describe how the first amendment protects freedom of religion, speech, and the press

Question one: Describe how the first amendment protects freedom of religion, speech, and the press

The First Amendment is enshrined in the Bill of Rights that protects the fundamental civil liberties of the U.S citizens. This amendment, at all costs, outlaws the formulation of any law that abridges freedom of speech, liberty exercise of any religion and the infringement of the press freedom. The First Amendment reads,  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ” Generally, this amendment means that the federal or state governments have no backing in law to impose civil liability, fine or jail an organization or person based on what they write, say or worship except only in exceptional circumstances.  Even though the First Amendment quotes the “Congress,” in the lead of formulation of laws, the Supreme Court held that the freedom enshrined in the First Amendment is protected against all agencies of the government, such as judicial, legislative or executive, and local, federal or the state.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed constitutionally.  The freedom of religion equally, is well-looked-after in the Bill of rights. The amendment offers resulting religious civil liberties that state;  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. ” Hence, our religious freedom is protected. The protection is divided into two and includes: right for all folks to practice their respective religions, and a prohibition on the creation of a federal or state religion. The Congress or any other delegated lawmaking body is forbidden from establishing any state religion or state church. The law clips the government in endorsing or aiding any religious doctrines. Additionally, the Establishment Clause protects the rights of all citizens to worship free irrespective of their religion. The Free Exercise Clause inhibits the Congress from outlawing or prohibiting any manner of free exercise of any religious practice. By extension, the word freedom of religion is interpreted as an individual’s right to choose freely any religion one fathom, can mix freely with any denomination and can abandon altogether from any religious practice.

Freedom of speech and press are protected from all government officials and agencies. The state can not fine, inflict civil liability or jail individuals by what they write or utter except in extraordinary instances. These instances include; speech or press against private entities, such as private colleges, employers or landowners.  The interpretation by the Supreme Court gave a broad insight into what the press and speech freedom entails. The press and speech cover forms of expression, use of the internet, talking, printing, writing, and broadcasting. It is also inclusive of symbolic expressions which include, burning crosses, display of flags, wearing armbands and burning flags.

After the ratification of the Constitution, freedom of speech, press, and religion are safeguarded by the First Amendment. The amendment has a stronger meaning when an individual or organization’s right have been assaulted. This amendment remains one of the most potent instruments towards protecting the sacred freedom of press, speech, and religion for modern Americans.

Question Two: Explain the major rights that people have if they are accused of a crime

Honestly, it is, in fact, impossible to overemphasize how significant the right of an accused person is to a fair trial. Giving a fair hearing to an accused individual is one way to prevent any miscarriages of justice. A fair trial is the only essential part of a justice society. Article 6 offers an accused person a right of fair hearing or trial. It is the sole legitimate purpose of our government to ensure all the accused persons’ Sixth Amendment is accorded to them. The government has to protect all its citizens from innocently being punished and convicted by upholding the Six Amendment which says;  “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” Hence, the accused person enjoys these fundamental rights that include: An individual is presumed innocent for all crimes until he or she is proven guilty by the courts. It is well understood that in case one is arrested, the government is entitled to the burden of proof. The government has to justify why they arrested the accused. Secondly, the accused person enjoys the honor of a writ of habeas corpus. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is essentially a surety that a person cannot be confined for more than the stipulated time until one is proved to have committed such a crime. Short of such proof, one cannot be legally deemed guilty or charged.

Thirdly, an accused person enjoys the 8th Amendment. This amendment prohibits unusual or cruel punishment and excessive bail on the accused. In the ruling by the U.S Supreme Court on Miranda v. Arizona, the ruling established that those people under custody should be notified of the following. Right to remain silent, any utterances from them can be applied against them while in the court of law; has a right of representation by a counsel and if they are unable to afford a counsel, the state can appoint one to represent him or her.

Fourth is the right to a speedy trial. The inkling behind speedy trial is to warrant that any federal prosecutorial hammer is not prolonged for an indefinite period. The speedy trial also safeguards indefinite detentions of all accused persons. The U.S Supreme Court emphasized the speedy trial in a landmark ruling between, Klopfer v. North Carolina (1967) stating that:  “We hold here that the right to a speedy trial is as fundamental as any of the rights secured by the Sixth Amendment. That right has its roots at the very foundation of our English law heritage. Its first articulation in modern jurisprudence appears to have been made in Magna Carta (1215), wherein it was written, “We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either justice or right”; but evidence of recognition of the right to speedy justice in even earlier times is found in the Assize of Clarendon (1166).” The right of accused persons is recognized internationally. The accused person’s fair trial is a fundamental human right and should be respected.

  1. Assess whether people have a right to privacy under the constitution

There is no precise right to privacy under the U.S Constitution. The concept of information of a person being protected from any public scrutiny is one that is being referred to as the right to privacy. This right has not been explicitly outlined in the constitution, but some amendments have provided for these shortcomings. Privacy right is mostly enshrined in the statutory laws; for instance, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects a person’s health information and Health Information Portability. These statutory laws enforce the privacy statements and policies of individuals and organizations. The Bill of Rights equally protects individuals and organizations of their privacy. Explicit aspects of privacy for instance, privacy of the home against demands that it be used to house soldiers (3rd Amendment), privacy of beliefs (1st Amendment), 5th Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination, and privacy of the person and possessions as against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment) provides explicitly privacy of information of all citizens. Additionally, the 9th Amendment says, “enumeration of certain rights” in the Bill of Rights “shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.” This amendment is elusive, but interpretations from renown people such as Justice Goldberg broadly justify that the reading means that the Bill of Rights protects privacy in a manner in which is not provided by the first of the eight amendments. In two decisions arrived by the Supreme Court in the 1920s embraced the 14th Amendment’s Liberty Clause. The ruling prohibited the states from snooping with the decisions arrived privately by parents and educators in the shaping of education of the children. In another Supreme Court ruling on Meyer v Nebraska (1923), the judges made void a state law which was prohibiting the German language being taught in 9th grade. The not only German language was allowed, but also other foreign languages were given a chance to be taught in schools. A written ruling by Justice Mcreynolds stated that “While this court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty thus guaranteed, the term has received much consideration and some of the included things have been definitely stated. Without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”