This paper explores the idea that the American government's most important role is to protect civil liberties. Civil liberties are enjoyed every day by many citizens and include such freedoms as the right to bear arms, freedom of religion, and protection from cruel and unusual punishment. This paper uses several online resources as well as the United States Constitution, course textbook, and the author's own theory of constitutional interpretation in order to justify this claim. The paper also examines three current event issues and whether or not the government should take action. These current event issues all deal with civil liberties and are currently being debated. The current events are capital punishment, gun control, and the building of a mosque in New York. The author concludes that the government is not able to take action that goes against the amendments stated in the Bill of Rights that establish civil liberties.
The current government of the United States of America was founded for many important reasons. Our government is an intricate establishment that regulates many personal freedoms, businesses, laws, and other institutions. It is the government's job to protect the civil liberties granted to each citizen. Issues that deal with civil liberties are prevalent in today's society; many debates have arisen recently over the death penalty, gun control, and the building of a mosque in New York. Of all of the reasons that government must exist, I feel the most important role is ensuring civil liberties because without them, we are not truly free citizens.
[...] A final example of a current issue dealing with civil liberties is the plan to build a mosque at a site near ground zero in New York City. After September the United States has been very sensitive to Muslims because of the attacks. Although this is obviously a type of profiling that should not be allowed, the main point of this current event is religious freedom. There are legal citizens in America who are Muslim, and since they are legal citizens, they are guaranteed the rights and liberties listed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. [...]
[...] Recent examples of violence in American society such as the Columbine shootings and the Virginia Tech massacre contribute to the mindset of those in favor of limiting firearms. It is obvious that some citizens have attained guns either illegally or too easily, and tragedies such as these school shootings do occur. Many citizens in favor of having the freedom of owning a gun point to the Bill of Rights which states, 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” (U.S. [...]
[...] After the Constitution was ratified, many Americans desired to have their civil liberties (such as freedom of religion) guaranteed by the government. The Constitution did not have any articles dealing with such freedoms, thus the Bill of Rights was added. The four main areas of the civil liberties are, “freedom of expression, freedom of religion, the right of privacy, and rights of persons accused of crimes” (“Civil Liberties,” 2005, par. 4). There are many important freedoms that Americans value in today's society, and we enjoy these today thanks to the Bill of Rights. [...]
[...] The responsibility of ensuring every citizen is granted their civil liberties falls on the American government. The Bill of Rights establishes our civil liberties, and these liberties act as limits on the government's power. The government has the right to enforce everything written in the Constitution, but on the flip side, it cannot do anything to infringe upon the rights and liberties granted to the people. Civil liberties are seen throughout many current issues today such as capital punishment, gun control, and the building of a mosque in a sensitive area. [...]
[...] Civil Liberties in Current Issues Several current event issues stand to either threaten or strengthen our civil liberties, depending on the final outcome. As for my own personal interpretation of the Constitution, I mostly lean towards strict constructionism. Because I identify with this type of interpretation, I have certain views on these current issues that others would not necessarily possess, since I favor a strict interpretation of the constitution instead of a loose interpretation. The Constitution should be read as it was written, and the original intent of the framers should also be at the front of one's mind. [...]
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