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Near v. Minnesota

Near v. Minnesota

Near v. Minnesota: The Background

The case of Near v. Minnesota begins with a man named J.M. Near. This man was a resident of the state of Minnesota who published a newspaper called “The Saturday Press.” J.M. Near was arrested because of what was written in this newspaper. The content of “The Saturday Press” was thought to be racist, prejudiced and hateful in general. Because this hateful speech was spread to the public in the form of a Newspaper, Near was taken into custody by the state police. 
The state arrested the man because of a law called the Minnesota Gag Law of 1925. This law did not allow media that was considered to be hateful to be passed to the public. The reason this law was passed was to prevent public uprising and riots from occurring. The state passed this law because any information that is provided to the public cannot be hateful or racist. 
In response to his arrest, J.M. Near appealed by stating that his publication was not criminal in nature and that his arrest violated his 1st Amendment rights. Near believed that his right to freedom of the press and his right to freedom of speech allowed him to distribute his newspaper; Near also believed that the content of his paper was not intended to spark violence. 
Near v. Minnesota: The Case Profile
The case of Near v. Minnesota began on January 30th of 1930. The case of Near v. Minnesota was heard in the United States Supreme Court. In this case, J.M. Near—the owner and operator of the newspaper—was arrested for spreading hateful speech. In response to his arrest, near appealed by claiming the state of Minnesota had violated his 1st and 14th Amendment rights. Also, Near explained that his paper was expression was not illegal or criminal in nature. 
Near v. Minnesota: The Verdict
The United States Supreme Court in the case of Near v. Minnesota ruled in favor of J.M. Near, by stating that the Minnesota Gag law was a direct violation of the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution. The ruling of Near v. Minnesota, distinguished between hateful speech and hateful actions. It was found that the newspaper was not an immediate danger nor did it present immediate harm to the population. 
The 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution ensures that every American citizen may be granted the freedom to express themselves so long as their actions are done in a way that does not violate local or federal laws. The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution allows a citizen of the nation to pursue ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ 

First Amendment

First Amendment

A Guide to the First Amendment
The First Amendment, sometimes called Amendment 1, is the first amendment to the United States Constitution and is also one out of ten amendments in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment makes it illegal to make a law that establishes a religion, stops the freedom of speech, stops people from practicing their religion, stops the press from printing what they want, and stops people from exercising their right to assemble peacefully or demonstrating against the government.
Text of the First Amendment
The text of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution is the following:
” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
What Does the First Amendment Mean?
There are many key phrases in the first Amendment. Here are some explanations on what exactly they mean.
Freedom of religion: The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prevents the government from setting up or establishing an official religion of the country. American Citizens have the freedom to attend a church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or other house of worship of their choice. They can also choose to not be involved in any religion as well. Because of the First Amendment, we can practice our religion however we want to. 
Freedom of speech: The First Amendment of the United States Constitution stops the government from making any laws that may stop us from saying what we feel or think. The American people have the right to share their opinions with other people or criticize the government.
Freedom of the press: Freedom of the press means we have the right to get information from many different sources of information. The government does not have the power to control what is broadcasted on radio or TV, what is printed in books or newspapers, or what is offered online. American citizens can request time on TV to respond to any views that they disagree with. They can also write letters to newspapers, which might be printed for others readers to see. Americans can also pass out leaflets that state their opinions. They may also their own online web pages that have their opinions.
Freedom of assembly: American citizens have the right to come together in private and public gatherings. Citizens can join groups for religious, social, recreational, or political reasons. By organizing in order to act on a common idea and accomplish a common goal, American citizens can more easily spread their ideas to others.
Right to petition:  The right to petition the government means that American citizens can ask for adjustments or changes in the government. Citizens can do this by collecting signatures for petitions and sending them to elected representatives. They can also call, e-mail, or write to their elected representatives as well. Another way they can petition the government is by creating support groups that try to cause change by lobbying the government.

Second Amendment

Second Amendment

A Guide to the Second Amendment
The Second Amendment, or Amendment II, of the United States Constitution is the amendment and the section of the Bill of Rights that says that people have the right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment was adopted into the United States Constitution on December 15, 1791, along with the other amendments in the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights were introduced into the United States Constitution by James Madison.
The Text of the Second Amendment
There are two important versions of the text found in the Second Amendment, but the only differences are due to punctuation and capitalization. The text of the Second Amendment which is found in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights is the following:
” A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
What Does the Second Amendment Mean?
The Second Amendment is only a sentence long. However, there are some very important phrases that need to be carefully looked at. Here are some explanations for key phrases in the Second Amendment. 
Militia: During early American history, all males who were between the ages of sixteen to sixty were required to be a part of the local militia in their towns and communities.  Almost everyone during this time used and owned guns.  The few men who did not use or own a gun were required by law to pay a small fee instead of participating in the military services of their communities.  These militias defended the communities against Indian raids and revolved, acted as a police force when it was needed, and was also available to be called upon to defense either the State or of the United States of America if it was needed.
Bear arms: When the Second Amendment was written, arms meant weapons. The word arms did not necessarily only mean guns, but it definitely included guns. The Second Amendment did not specifically explain what categories or types of arms nor did it list what weapons were considered arms. When you bear arms, this means you physically carry weapon. You may have arms in your home as well as on your person.
Shall not be infringed:  The Second Amendment does not grant any right to bear arms. Furthermore, the rest of the Bill of Rights does not describe any right to do so. These rights are thought of as natural rights or God-given rights.  In the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is just a reminder to the government that they should not try to stop people from having this right. 

Bush V. Gore

Bush V. Gore

Bush V. Gore: The Background
The case of Bush v. Gore is very famous, for it had a great effect on the 2000 presidential election. The Bush v. Gore case occurred because the presidential election of 2000 faced a very serious problem.
In 2000, Al Gore, the former Vice President of the United States was facing George W. Bush for the presidential election. 
On December 8th of 2000, a local court in the state of Florida forced the city of Palm Beach to manually recount almost 10,000 ballots. This recount was imposed because the voters in Florida had problems with the state’s electronic voting machines. This problem was amplified because the ballots were not properly punched; a large number of ballots did not reveal who the voter intended to vote for.
The reason for the manual recount was the result of malfunctioning ballot machines and the suspicion that some of the members of the ballot counting committee were not being honest in their attempts to tally the votes. After losing the state of Florida and ultimately the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore petitioned that the ballots be recounted in a formal case, filed before the Circuit Court of Florida. After this filing a manual recount was enacted. 
Bush V. Gore: The Case Profile
The Bush v. Gore case officially began on December 11th of 2000. The case deals with Administrative law, which is the field of law that inspects any event where the Federal Government of the United States engages its citizens with matters involving the administration of government programs, the establishments of regulatory federal standards or the creation of agencies. 
The case of Bush v. Gore made its way to the United States Supreme Court. Originally Gore won his case and the ballots were manually recounted; however, George W. Bush explained that the manual recount undermined the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. George W. Bush believed that the recount violated the American presidential election system. Bush believed the recount violated the preservation of equality and uniformity that existed within the administrative system.
Bush V. Gore: The Verdict
The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of George Bush in Bush v. Gore. The Supreme Court explained that the state of Florida violated the 14th Amendment by enacting a recounting procedure. Specifically, the recounting procedure violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. 
The Equal Protection Clause to the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution requires the federal government to respect, maintain and uphold the legal rights of American citizens. Governments in the United States are not allowed to infringe on the civil rights and liberties of its people. 

Griswold v. Connecticut

Griswold v. Connecticut

Griswold v. Connecticut: The Background
The case of Griswold v. Connecticut dealt with a Connecticut law that outlawed the use of any instrument, drug or pharmaceutical to serve as contraception for pregnancy. The case revolved around a woman named Estelle Griswold. This woman served as the director of the Planned Parenthood in the state of Connecticut. 
Planned Parenthood is an institution that teaches women about safe sexual activities and promotes responsibility regarding sex. Planned Parenthood’s goal is to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. In Griswold v. Connecticut, the state’s Planned Parenthood chapter was accused of violating the previously-mentioned state law: the Planned Parenthood was accused of advocating and distributing the use of prophylactics. 
The case of Griswold v. Connecticut dealt with the due process clause. Due process is the government’s obligation to maintain, respect and uphold the legal rights of American citizens. The United States government is required to retain a person’s human rights and liberties. The United States government must treat citizens in a fair and respectful manner. 
Griswold v. Connecticut: The Case Profile
Estelle Griswold was arrested for violating a Connecticut law which forbids individuals from using any drugs, instruments or pharmaceuticals as contraception for pregnancy. In response to her arrest, Griswold claimed that the state of Connecticut violated her 14th Amendment rights, including her right to privacy. Estelle Griswold, in Griswold v. Connecticut claimed that the state’s laws infringed on her personal freedoms that she is guaranteed as an American citizen. 
Griswold v. Connecticut was decided on June 7th of 1965. The case of Griswold v. Connecticut was heard in the United States Supreme Court. 
Griswold v. Connecticut: The Verdict
The United States Supreme Court overturned the Connecticut law which forbade the use of prophylactics as contraception. The United States Supreme Court ruled that the state law was in direct violation of the right to privacy within a private setting. In addition, the United States Supreme Court explained that the 9th Amendment to the United States Constitution serves as protection with regard to the Bill of Rights. Because of the state’s violation of civil liberties and the unlawful expansion of government power, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Griswold. 

Grutter v. Bollinger

Grutter v. Bollinger

Grutter v. Bollinger: The Background
Barbara Grutter was a woman living in Michigan. The case of Grutter v. Bollinger stems from Mrs. Grutter’s application the law school at the University of Michigan. Mrs. Grutter filed an injunction against the massive university in 2007.
The injunction filed against the school was in response to Mrs. Grutter’s application being rejected. The woman claimed that the admissions office favored minority candidates; Mrs. Grutter claimed minority candidates, who possessed worse academic records and qualifications, were accepted because of their race or ethnicity. 
The case of Grutter v. Bollinger was not the first to question acceptances of minority candidates for academic institutions or employment opportunities. For example, in a 1978 case called California vs. Bakke, Bakke cited unfair acceptance practices undertaken by the University of California. Bakke claimed that applicants who were less fortunate or poor who possessed lower scores were accepted over him. Bakke claimed that the university violated his 14th Amendment rights. 
In addition to the 14th Amendment to the United States constitution, unfair admissions policies may also be in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights act of 1964. This law states that no ethnic or racial preference should be granted to a particular group of people by any academic institution or business organization that receives federal funding. Therefore, any program that receives money from the government may not favor any applicant based on their race or ethnicity. 
Grutter v. Bollinger: The Case Profile
The case of Grutter v. Bollinger took place on April 1st of 2003. The case was filed because Barbara Grutter thought her rejection from the University of Michigan’s law school was unfair. She thought the school accepted minority candidates over her even if those individuals had worse grades than her. Similar to the case of Bakke v. California, Grutter claimed that the University of Michigan violated her 14th Amendment rights. Grutter v. Bollinger was heard in the United States Supreme Court. The case of Grutter v. Bollinger was decided on June 23rd of 2003. 
Grutter v. Bollinger: The Verdict
The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the University of Michigan. Because of this ruling, the court also required that the verdict in the case of Bakke v. California be overturned as well. The verdict in Grutter v. Bollinger was reached because the Law School admission process involved other facets outside of simply grades. Because of this, there was no way to prove that the school accepted or preferred candidates based on their race or ethnicity. 

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld: The Background

In 2001, YaserHamdi was arrested in Afghansitan. The arrest came during the war with Afghanistan. YaserHamdi, the defendant in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, was an American citizen who was fighting with the Taliban. 
The Taliban is a terrorist faction and one of the most dangerous enemies of the United States. When he was arrested, YaserHamdi was taken to the United States and held at a military prison within the state of Virginia. While in prison, YaserHamdi claimed that he was unfairly denied the right to consult with or speak to a legal professional. In addition to this claim, YaserHamdi also said that he was being detained unfairly. 
The foundation of the Hamdi v. Rumsfeld case is found in the United States Constitution. Article II of the United States’ Constitution states that the federal government cannot infringe on a citizen’s rights, even if the efforts are aimed to preserve and protect the country’s well-being. Because Hamdi was an American citizen he felt that he should be guaranteed—as all citizens are—the rights expressed in the United States Constitution. 
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld: The Case Profile
The case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld began on April 28th of 2004. The trial was filed by YaserHamdi after the man accused the Federal Government and more specifically Donald Rumsfeld (the Secretary of Defense of the U.S.) of violating his 8th Amendment rights. These rights entitle all American citizens to the due process clause. 
These rights guarantee citizens from the right to a fair trial and the ability to secure legal help from an attorney or legal professional. In addition to these rights, the due process clause also awards American citizens protection against unlawful imprisonment or detainment. Hamdi v. Rumsfeld was decided on June 28th of 2004 in the United States Supreme Court.
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld: The Verdict
The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hamdi, stating that the arrest violated the Due Process Clause outlined within the United States Constitution. The Due Process clause is defined as the government’s obligation to respect and uphold the legal rights of its citizens when they are arrested or detained. The case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld therefore found that the United States government did not award Hamdi the rights latent in the due process clause. 

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier: The Background
The case of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier is one of the most famous legal matters in U.S. history. Catherine Kuhlmeier was a student at East High School in St. Louis County, Missouri. The young student was a leading member of the school’s newspaper, titled “The Spectrum.” The case of Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier deals with what was published in the paper and how those stories affected the girl’s First Amendment rights or Freedom of Speech liberties. The school paper had a review process for what can and cannot be produced. This process consisted of the Principal of the School looking over the subject matter and content expressed in the paper. 
When the principal of East High School discovered that the paper wanted to produce stories dealing with teen pregnancy and divorce, he said that those stories were a violation of the student body’s right to privacy. The articles were specific in nature and used some students as examples. The principal claimed that the stories did not protect the identities of the students mentioned in the articles. In response to outlawing the articles from being posted, the school paper claimed that the principal had violated their 1st Amendment rights. 
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier: The Case Profile
The Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier case began on October 13th of 1987. Catherine Kuhlmeier filed the case because she claimed the Hazelwood school district violated her First Amendment rights to free speech. In Kuhlmeier v. Hazelwood, Catherine Kuhlmeier claimed that the news printed in her publication did not break any laws with regard to the public school system. 
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier: The Verdict
The case of Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier was heard in the United States Supreme Court. Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier was decided on January 13th of 1988. 
The United States Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the Hazelwood School District. The court stated that public settings, such as schools, will differ based on their location. As a result of this variance, the public school and their attached rules will govern over what can be produced by any publication associated with the school. Therefore, a school may not be entitled adhering completely to the 1st Amendment. 
The 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution ensures that all American citizens are granted the freedom to express themselves in accordance to the law. The 1st Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights, prohibits the passing of any law that impedes the free practice of religion, free speech and freedom of the press. 

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier: The Background
The case of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier is one of the most famous legal matters in U.S. history. Catherine Kuhlmeier was a student at East High School in St. Louis County, Missouri. The young student was a leading member of the school’s newspaper, titled “The Spectrum.” The case of Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier deals with what was published in the paper and how those stories affected the girl’s First Amendment rights or Freedom of Speech liberties. The school paper had a review process for what can and cannot be produced. This process consisted of the Principal of the School looking over the subject matter and content expressed in the paper. 
When the principal of East High School discovered that the paper wanted to produce stories dealing with teen pregnancy and divorce, he said that those stories were a violation of the student body’s right to privacy. The articles were specific in nature and used some students as examples. The principal claimed that the stories did not protect the identities of the students mentioned in the articles. In response to outlawing the articles from being posted, the school paper claimed that the principal had violated their 1st Amendment rights. 
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier: The Case Profile
The Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier case began on October 13th of 1987. Catherine Kuhlmeier filed the case because she claimed the Hazelwood school district violated her First Amendment rights to free speech. In Kuhlmeier v. Hazelwood, Catherine Kuhlmeier claimed that the news printed in her publication did not break any laws with regard to the public school system. 
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier: The Verdict
The case of Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier was heard in the United States Supreme Court. Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier was decided on January 13th of 1988. 
The United States Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the Hazelwood School District. The court stated that public settings, such as schools, will differ based on their location. As a result of this variance, the public school and their attached rules will govern over what can be produced by any publication associated with the school. Therefore, a school may not be entitled adhering completely to the 1st Amendment. 
The 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution ensures that all American citizens are granted the freedom to express themselves in accordance to the law. The 1st Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights, prohibits the passing of any law that impedes the free practice of religion, free speech and freedom of the press. 

Preamble

Preamble

What is the Preamble?
 
 
The Preamble is the opening statement to the United States Constitution. The preamble explains the reasons why the Framers of the Constitution made our government a republic. By doing this, the founding fathers replaced the Articles of Confederation.  The Preamble along with the rest of the Constitution was written over a period of about 6 weeks. The Preamble helped explain why the Constitution was written. However, it is not the law.
 
Text of the Preamble
The preamble of the United States Constitution is the following:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
 
 
Understanding the Preamble
The Preamble can be broken down into many important phrases. All of these phrases are very important for understanding the purpose of the United States Constitution.
We the people: This phrase means all the citizens of the United States of America. Even though the Constitution was written up by some of the most well-educated men of the new country, the rights given under the document were given to all American citizens.
In order to form a more perfect union: The previous government was based on the Articles of Confederation, which were very limited.  When the Framers wrote this, they felt that they were making new government that would be a better way to govern the country.
Establish justice: The reasons why there was Revolution against England were still important to the American citizens, so they wanted to make sure that they would have justice under the Constitution.
Insure domestic tranquility: One of the main reasons why the Constitutional Convention was held was because of Shays’ Rebellion. This was an uprising of farmers in Massachusetts against the state for having to repay war debts. Citizens were worried with the keeping peace within the country’s borders.
Provide for the common defense: There was still a change of being attacked by other countries. No individual state had the power to defend itself against attacks. Because of this, the Framers knew that it was important for the states to defend the nation together.
Promote the general welfare: This phrase meant that the well-being of the citizens would be taken care of as well as possible by the Federal government.
Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity: The point of this phrase in the Preamble, and the constitution as a whole was to help protect the country’s hard-earned rights for liberty, unjust laws, and freedom from a tyrannical government.
Ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America: This last phrase of the Preamble is a powerful statement saying that the people made this document, and the people give the country its power.

13th Amendment

12th Amendment

William Paterson

James Wilson

United States v. Lopez

Roper v. Simmons

McCulloch v. Maryland

Miranda v. Arizona

James Wilson

United States v. Lopez

Roper v. Simmons

McCulloch v. Maryland

Miranda v. Arizona

Third Amendment

Brandenburg v. Ohio

Bowers v. Hardwick