searching for sensible alternatives

Links:

American Civil Liberties Union
Amnesty International
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
CATO Institute
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Democracy and Technology
Constitution Project
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Privacy Information Center
First Monday
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
National Lawyers Guild
National Security Agency
People for the American Way
Privacy International
Rights and Liberties - AlterNet
Southern Poverty Law Center
U.S. Department of Justice

Documents:

Declaration of Independence
Bill of Rights
U.S. Constitution
Homeland Security Act of 2002
The Patriot Act
Patriot II - draft

Credits:

Posters on each page - Copyright 2003, Micah Ian Wright, Visit The Propaganda Remix Project for more information.

Law and Liberty in a
"Secure Homeland"

- Civil Liberties -

Civil Liberties

U.S. Constitution

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution asserts that laws passed by Congress, and actions by the president, must comply with the Constitution. Article VI is intended to assure that the rights and liberties of citizens are secure. Unless the government can prove that it has a very good reason for regulating individual freedom, any law restricting personal liberty is a violation of the Constitution.

Bill of Rights

Most civil liberties are protected by the Bill of Rights - the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. These liberties include freedom of thought, belief, expression, and assembly; protection against unreasonable searches and seizures; and provisions for a court hearing prior to government taking of a person's life, liberty, or property.

Judicial Review

During certain times the government may place limits on civil liberties. This is allowed during times of war or other national crisis. Citizens have the right to challenge government actions by initiating legal action. In such a case the U. S. Supreme Court uses its power of judicial review, which included the power to void any legislative or executive action that violates constitutional rights.

Civil Liberties - History

The following sites include information about the progression of cases in which civil liberties were examined and defined. Constitutional law examines the interpretation and implementation of the U.S. Constitution. Constitutional law defined many of the fundamental relationships within our government and society. The Constitution defines role of the three branches of the federal government (Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary). The Constitution also defines the relationships among citizens, states, and the federal government. Rights of the individual, while not necessarily state in absolute terms, spring from the Constitution. The Supreme Court plays a crucial role in interpreting the Constitution. As such, the progression of civil liberties can be tracked by examining Supreme Court rulings.

Constitutional Development

Overview of Constitutional Law

Civil Rights Overview

Reflection #2

These Constitution and Bill of Rights were created during a very different time. Our society has changed in ways that could not have been predicted when the writers of these documents, often refered to as the "framers," debated the details to be included. Is it important to consider the intent of the framers, or has society changed so much that it is not helpful to consider what the framers were thinking when these documents were prepared?

Civil Liberties - War on Drugs

The "War on Terror" is the most recent threat to civil liberties. Some suggest that the "War on Drugs" has been chipping away at our civil liberties for many years. These links provide some comparisons.

A Society of Suspects

ACLU - War on Drugs

Personal Liberties and the War on Drugs

Drug War Redux

Reflection #3

In what ways are the "War on Drugs" and "The War of Terror" similar?

Other Civil Liberties Links

These links provide general information, and a range of perspectives, regarding civil liberties. In some cases we see unexpected linkages between "liberal" and "conservatives" regarding the issue of civil liberties.

Alliance for Justice

American Civil Liberties Union

Amnesty International

ABA - Individual Rights and Responsibilities

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Cato Institute

Center for Democracy and Technology

Constitution Project

Freedom Forum

Internet Law Library

NAACP

Southern Poverty Law Center

Your Rights: Use 'Em or Lose 'Em

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