GOVT 2301
Week Eleven
Readings, Notes, and Assignment

Civil Liberties


- The Founders' Constitution: Chapter 14: Rights (Read the Introduction)
- The Founders' Constitution: Chapter 16: Property (Read the Introduction)
- The Bill of Rights

The term "civil liberties" refers to the protections citizens have from the arbitrary use of governmental power. It is one of three restrictions placed on governmental power in the Constitutional system--the other two being the separated powers and federalism. Civil liberties are established in a legal sense in the Bill of Rights, which places substantive and procedural limitations on the powers of government. There are certain things Congress cannot pass laws about, there are certain actions the executive cannot do unless done in a particular manner, and the judiciary must ensure that court proceedings happen in a particular way.

Above you will finds two readings from the Founders' Constitution. The chapters on Rights and Property. You will also find a link to the Bill of Rights itself.

Internet Students: I want you to write three 200 word answers to the following questions:
1 - What role did--does--the concept of individual liberty and property play in influencing the design of the Constitution?
2 - Outline the liberties established in the Bil of Rights. Speculate on why these specific liberties were written into it and about whether others might have been included as well--or instead.
3 - Look through the statements made by McCain and Obama. Do they seem to have similar understandings of the concept of liberty and the Bill of Rights?

Lecture students be prepared for a quiz on the following topics