PS1010 Columbia Southern Unit III Right to Privacy Safety and Security Essay Unit III Scholarly Activity Right to Privacy Assignment Certain freedoms, or

PS1010 Columbia Southern Unit III Right to Privacy Safety and Security Essay Unit III Scholarly Activity

Right to Privacy Assignment

Certain freedoms, or civil liberties, and privacy, a civil right, are concepts highly revered by Americans; however, there are

times when the two conflict in the name of safety and security. The Digital Age is having a profound effect on the issue as

cameras catch our every move, whether it is running a red light, entering a building, playing in a park, or using an ATM


This assignment is based on your opinion regarding privacy versus safety and security. Answer the following questions in a

cohesive essay consisting of at least two pages, double-spaced, using 12-point Times font. You must use at least three

sources. Make sure that all sources are cited and referenced using APA style.

1. Begin by identifying which part of the Constitution provides for your privacy rights. Do you believe that with today’s

technology the Constitution still adequately protects those rights? Why, or why not?

2. Select and describe an issue that has been in the news within the last 15 years related to how politics and the right to

privacy have intersected and led to an invasion of privacy. If you believe no rights were violated, select a relevant

article and discuss what actions would have created violation of privacy and why.

3. Take a stand. Do you agree with the invasion of privacy story you discussed in #2 above, or do you object? Where do

you draw the line in this privacy issue? Explain your response.

4. Explain how historical thought and tradition affect civil liberties and rights as they pertain to the issue you chose.

5. What consequences do you support for those who cross the line?

6. What, if any, compensation do you recommend for the victims?

Please view the webinar linked here for help in preparing your introduction to this assignment.

Information about accessing the grading rubric for this assignment is provided below. UNIT III STUDY GUIDE
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit III
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1. Summarize the origins of American political thought.
1.1 Explain how historical thought and tradition affect civil liberties and rights.
6. Discuss how policies affect change.
6.1 Describe how politics intersects with civil rights.
6.2 Express an opinion regarding right to privacy violations.
Learning Outcomes
Learning Activity
Unit III Lesson
Required Reading:
Vote dilution and suppression in Indian country
Equality and American Democracy
The Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Divide
Unit III Scholarly Activity
Unit III Lesson
Required Reading:
Black Lives Matter and the Struggle for Freedom
Unit III Scholarly Activity
Unit III Lesson
Required Reading:
Social and Political Implications of the Infringement of
the Right to Private Life
Unit III Scholarly Activity
Reading Assignment
Allen, D. (2016). Equality and American democracy. Foreign Affairs, 95(1), 23–28. Retrieved from
Jones, B. P. (2016). Black Lives Matter and the struggle for freedom. Monthly Review, 68(4), 1–8. Retrieved
Schmidt, C. W. (2016). The civil rights-civil liberties divide. Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties,
12(1), 1–41. Retrieved from
Schroedel, J., & Hart, R. (2015). Vote dilution and suppression in Indian country. Studies in American Political
Development, 29(1), 40–67. Retrieved from
PS 1010, American Government
Voinea, R. E. (2015). Social and political implications of the infringement of theUNIT
life. Revista de
Stiinte Politice, (47), 187–195. Retrieved from
Unit Lesson
Through the decades, the intentions of the Framers for each of the amendments comprising the Bill of Rights
have been stretched and modified according to the needs of society. No matter the application or
interpretation, as Thomas Jefferson said in 1787, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against
every government on earth” (Jefferson, 1787, para. 2).
A person’s civil liberties are those individual rights, such as speech, that are protected by the U.S.
Constitution from infringement upon by the government. The Bill of Rights serves to limit the government by
recognizing the rights of the people and detailing what actions the government may or may not take. While
these rights are protected, the protection is not unlimited. Even though the courts have broadened these
individual rights and helped protect these liberties, the courts have also put limits on a person’s rights. A
person’s rights are not limited unless they infringe upon the rights of others.
The Bill of Rights includes provisions for freedom of speech, assembly, and religion unless they infringe upon
the safety and rights of others. Citizens also have protection from unreasonable search and seizure, arrest
without probable cause, and self-incrimination. In the United States, a person cannot be criminally prosecuted
twice for the same crime if innocence is ruled in the first trial. Indeed, a citizen may not be deprived of life,
liberty, or property without a fair and proper trial. Regardless of his or her economic status, every citizen has
the right to an attorney and can confront witnesses in a speedy and open trial. Bails and fines must also be
set reasonably. Further, if found guilty, citizens are protected against any cruel and unusual punishment.
Over the years, the Supreme Court has ruled on various cases, explaining, expanding, or protecting many of
the rights noted within the Bill of Rights. For example, the Supreme Court in Gitlow v. New York (1925) used
the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause to protect the First Amendment right of free speech, and,
within the next decade, the Supreme Court also expanded such protections to the rights of press, religion,
and assembly.
Even though the Supreme Court has expanded the protection of our First Amendment rights and freedoms,
the Court has also put limits on these freedoms. In Schenck v. United States (1919), the Supreme Court
upheld the Espionage Act of 1917, allowing the federal government to limit free speech in the interest of
national security. In the ruling, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “The most stringent protection of free
speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic” (Schenck v. United
States, 1919, p. 52). This case would result in the creation of the clear-and-present-danger test of determining
when the government could legally limit free speech (Schenck v. United States, 1919). Chelsea Manning, a
private first class in the Army, was arrested in 2010 for giving classified military information to WikiLeaks for
release on the Internet. In July 2013, Manning was convicted by court martial of violations of the Espionage
Act in addition to various other charges although she did avoid the most serious charge of aiding an enemy
(Tate, 2013).
Some forms of hate speech have been protected if such speech falls in line with the imminent lawless action
test. Symbolic speech such as the burning of the American flag has also been protected except in the case of
draft card burning because that deals with the military’s work force needs. The Supreme Court ruled in the
Texas v. Johnson (1989) flag burning case that expression could not be prohibited for the sole reason that
society is offended by the idea or disagrees with its substance.
While the court did not believe that protection of criminal rights was as important as the right to free
expression, they did rule in Powell v. Alabama (1932) that no matter the ability to pay, a defendant in a capital
punishment case must be provided legal counsel. The Supreme Court would not visit criminal rights again
until the 1960s when it would overturn the conviction of Dollree Mapp in Mapp v. Ohio. In that case, the court
concluded that evidence acquired through an unconstitutional search, known as poison fruit, cannot be used
to obtain a conviction in state courts (Mapp v. Ohio, 1961).
PS 1010, American Government
The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (U.S. Const. amend. I). This is known as Title
the establishment clause and
the free-exercise clause. The Supreme Court has ruled on several occasions that the establishment clause
requires that the government not favor any one religion over another or support religion over non-religion
(First Amendment Center, n.d.). Through the years, this interpretation has been extended to prohibit prayer in
school, religious displays on public property, and teaching of creationism or intelligent design in public
schools; however, the court has ruled that public money can go to religious schools for secular textbooks, and
tax-supported school vouchers can be used to attend a private or religious school (First Amendment Center,
n.d.). Additionally, the free-exercise clause holds that an individual can have any religious belief he or she
chooses and may opt out of saluting the flag, but the court has ruled that an individual cannot act on those
beliefs if they violate a valid law, such as the prohibition on polygamy (First Amendment Center, n.d.).
The mere act of enumerating the civil liberties named in the Bill of Rights does not guarantee these civil or
equal rights under the law. Civil and equal rights mean that every individual has the right to equal protection
under the law and to the same access to opportunities and facilities as everyone else (Patterson, 2012). The
Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868 after the Civil War, states that “No state shall … deny to any person
within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (U.S. Const. amend. XIV). With the Plessy v. Ferguson
(1896) Supreme Court ruling of “separate-but-equal,” the door would be slammed on the equal rights of
African Americans for decades to come. The Plessy ruling would not begin to unravel until the late 1940s and
early 1950s with cases such as Brown v. Board of Education that did away with the principle of “separate but
In 1954, the court began the process of reversing Plessy with its ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Using
the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled saying, “Racial segregation of public schools generates
[among Black children] a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts
and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone…Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”
(Brown v. Board of Education, 1954, p. 494). It would still be years before the South would be forced to
integrate by busing children out of their neighborhoods. The children sometimes spent hours on buses to and
from school in order to attend desegregated schools. To get around this court order, many White families
moved to the suburbs because busing across school districts was prohibited.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 would bring our nation’s biggest leap in achieving equal protection for minorities.
There was much resistance to this act, with many establishments still refusing to serve Black customers. The
Supreme Court would use the commerce clause to force
compliance in cases such as Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v.
United States and Katzenbach v. McClung.
Perhaps the most notable figure of this era was Martin Luther
King, Jr. King was a vocal supporter of civil rights. His fierce
determination and dedication to the cause led to his becoming
the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. He
was 35 years old when he received this honor (“Martin Luther
King Jr.,” 1972). Though he was deeply revered by many who
favored equal rights, he was deeply loathed by those who did
not. On April 4, 1968, while in Memphis, Tennessee, to lead a
protest march, King was assassinated (“Martin Luther King Jr.,”
1972). His efforts would prove inspirational for generations to
come, particularly the “I Have a Dream” speech he delivered
on August 28, 1963, at the March on Washington for Jobs and
Freedom political rally.
Martin Luther King, Jr. showing his medallion
received from Mayor Wagner
(Stanziola, 1964)
PS 1010, American Government
Significant strides would continue. The Voting Rights Act of
1965 would outlaw the literacy tests used to keep many Blacks
from voting. It would also give federal agents the power to
register voters. This act has been renewed several times, with
the latest renewal keeping it in effect until 2030 (American Civil
Liberties Union, n.d.).
Inspired by the Black Civil Rights Movement, other minority
groups would begin to demand their equal rights as well. These
groups included women, who were seen as the property of their husbands; and
GUIDE migrant
farm workers who worked long hours for little pay and were forced to live in shacks
Title and were refused
schooling. Native Americans, whose numbers had been severely reduced, also began to demand their equal
rights under the law. Native Americans were at last given U.S. citizenship in 1924 (A&E Television Networks,
Affirmative action was an executive order issued in 1961 by then-president John F. Kennedy (Leadership
Conference on Civil and Human Rights, n.d.). This order was supposed to make sure that applicants are
given employment regardless of race or background. While it had many good intentions in attempting to
eliminate de facto discrimination, it has been challenged in the Supreme Court many times because it has at
times had reverse discrimination outcomes (Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, n.d.).
For more than five decades, the court system has attempted to remedy many of the injustices faced by
minority groups. There are still many issues to be argued, especially in the realm of gay rights, transgender
issues, and age discrimination. It is ironic and perhaps a bit tragic that such issues are pervasive in the United
States—a country which has idealized the concept of equality. Unfortunately, it appears as if we have much
more to accomplish in order to achieve justice for all.
A&E Television Networks. (2010). The Indian Citizenship Act. Retrieved from
American Civil Liberties Union. (n.d.). The Voting Rights Act. Retrieved from
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
First Amendment Center. (n.d.). Frequently asked questions—Religion. Retrieved from
Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925).
Jefferson, T. (1787, December). To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 20 December 1787. Retrieved
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. (n.d.). Affirmative action. Retrieved from
Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961).
Martin Luther King Jr.—Biography. (1972). In Haberman, F. W. (Ed.), Nobel Lectures, Peace 1951-1970.
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. Retrieved from
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).
Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45 (1932).
Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919).
Stanziola. P. (1964). Martin Luther King Jr with medallion NYWTS [Photograph]. Retrieved from
PS 1010, American Government
Tate, J. (2013, August 21). Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks
The Washington
Retrieved from
Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989).
U.S. Const. amend. I.
U.S. Const. amend. XIV.
Suggested Reading
This reading discusses civil rights and civil liberties, as well as identifies the distinctions between the two.
Independence Hall Association. (n.d.). 10. Civil liberties and civil rights. Retrieved from
This brief reading provides a quick comparison of civil liberties and civil rights.
FindLaw. (2016). Civil rights vs. civil liberties. Retrieved from
PS 1010, American Government

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