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When the first colonies came to America in 1607 they faced prosecution for exercising their religious beliefs not long after the American revolution, the framers wrote our constitution and from that the bill of rights which guarantees Americans their civil liberties. Civil liberties are basic freedoms guaranteed by the bill of rights such as freedom of expression, religion, and right to privacy. Civil liberties are hard to understand because it has always conflicted with others way of life and challenges the authority by of others but creates a new way of progressive critical thinking. To some it is hard to understand civil liberties because federalism complicates it being subjected to learning the two levels of government, federal and state. In addition, civil liberties are broad and to this day we define them through court cases that expand their definition.
Listening to others and their point of view is a part of American politics we look at what the other side has to offer weighing the pros and cons then finally objectively applying it to everyone. Free expression is a way to pass laws, solve problems, and listen to the minority. Civil liberties are the absolute core fabric to any society. It is essential for the media for the reason that their platform is to inform the people. Although the government can censor it it is not rare to see these rules challenged. This is where some may confuse civil liberties with civil rights but civil rights is what the government guarantees that officials will treat all peoples as equal under the law. Civil liberties are not absolute; the government can limit them if they can show reason for doing so. For example, during world war one Charles Schenck distributed leaflets declaring that the draft violated the thirteenth amendment which prohibits against involuntary servitude. The leaflets encouraged people to disobey the draft, and were also considered unpatriotic. Schenck was charged with conspiracy to violate the espionage act of 1917 by attempting to cause insubordination in the military and to obstruct recruitment. Schenck was convicted on the basis in such circumstances such as war time it would create a clear and present danger or harmful consequences to someone.
Understanding civil liberties can be a hassle because it involves the government interfering with the public and there are so many civil liberties that the government can intervene on but, one in particular hardly even gets notice and that is freedom of religion. Since 1787 the framers have established a separation between church and state. The free exercise clause preserves the practice of faith without interference of the government. The establishment clause also keeps the government from becoming a sponsor or favors any particular religion. Both are in reference to the first amendment. Considering public schools are a part of the government there can be no religious practices in which staff involvement is recognized. Understanding civil liberties means learning to grasp the concept that there is not a right answer to please everyone.
Right to privacy which is continually being challenged by the supreme courts by police departments actions. Court cases make it clear for some issue for police to abide by but the law in 1988 for instance in the case California v. Greenwood police suspected Billy Greenwood of dealing drugs out of his home since the police did not have enough evidence for a warrant to search the home they rummaged through his garbage bags that were left on the side of the curb. The police uncovered evidence of drug use, which was then used to obtain a warrant to search the house and later was convicted on felony drug charges. Civil liberties create a boundary for how much the government can get involved in our daily lives. Americans now have had more
freedom than ever, throughout our nation’s history our civil liberties have been measured to the extreme to what should and should not be accepted into society. From what is obscenity to freedom of expression it seems that each generation has its own problems with how the law interprets the constitution. Also as technology advances new problems arise such as the court case Kyllo v. United States where police used a thermal imaging device to scan Kyllos apartment to see if he was growing marijuana from the heat the lamps were omitting the police then ordered for a warrant and later charged with drug charges. Later the Supreme Court said that Kyllos fourth amendment was violated on the grounds that he had an expectation of privacy in his own home.
Americans might not look at civil liberties the same as they did at another point in their life because of the Supreme Court changes its meaning. Each civil liberty has its own value and safeguards and their purpose is to let citizens speak out without being prosecuted by the government and if they do it in a manner that imposes on other people’s rights then they will have a fair public trial. Other countries fail to recognizes the importance of civil liberties but it is quite simple letting the people have a voice in fact societies who concentrate on civil liberties often have better economies due to more options in the market. Without liberties companies would be able to monopolize on multiple corporations leaving individuals stuck with one product making it impossible for society to benefit as a whole. By preserving local businesses from random government actions there is more economic diversity.
When people are free to express their issues towards the government they petition the issue and if they get enough signature then it will be recognized by the Supreme Court and depending on popular vote it will be passed if not they at least had a chance to speak and that is all the people ask for. With no voice to be heard in addition of fear of the government the people will take up arms and revolt.
When a citizen is worried about getting thrown into prison because one person is not a believer in Christianity then that creates a terror and unhealthy environment where you feel like your back is against the wall and the only thing to do is overthrow the government. This is great for a society for reasons that it can harbor a higher level of individual excellence at the same time individual liberties are protected and guaranteed. When people have different opinions and daily routines it is encouraged, because if a society has that layout for a rich spiritual culture it has the influence to make minorities be more outspoken, since we have different ideas it will be easier to understand people’s views. We as Americans have recoursed our way of thinking to focus on popular topics but not it is an issue that is absolute in political discussion. We all care about these issues but citizens have prioritized them to choose what we want to fight for education, health, or the economy. Some may argue that some civil liberties are more important than others and that is not the case it is your own personal preference on what issues you deem important.
From increasing economic choices which can lift countries out of poverty to increasing opportunities for cultural expression and artistic excellence, political liberties lay important seeds that lift societies on many levels. The biggest benefit of liberty, however, is truly personal. With the right political, cultural, economic, and social framework rooted in liberty, societies can lay the groundwork for people truly exploring and pursuing the highest levels of personal, spiritual, and philosophical transcendence.
In conclusion civil liberties are protections against the government which allow the public to speak out about social issues and broadcast their thinking to the world through the media whose main job is to express the popular way of thinking. For many reasons civil liberties are hard to understand because everyone is involved, its definition changes sporadically unless you are regularly informed, and it is a more ambiguous subject than popular election topics.
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