Constitutional Rights as Interpreted by the Supreme Court
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This lecture series will focus upon the present-day application and interpretation of important constitutional rights, such as rights to speech, religion, gun ownership and discrimination. The Supreme Court has interpreted the text of the Constitution to (at times) expand and (at times) restrict our constitutional freedoms. Discussions will review and discuss recent controversial Supreme Court decisions and pending cases.
1. Declaring a Law "Unconstitutional" and the meaning of the word "No" in the 1st Amendment Speech provision.
2. 1st Amendment "Rights" of Freedom of Speech, Religion and Association.
3. 2nd Amendment "Right" to own and use guns, plus introduction to the 4th Amendment restricting government Searches and Seizures.
4. 5th Amendment "Invoking the fifth" - What does such an invocation imply? The 6th Amendment Right to Counsel - When does the "Right" begin and end?
5. 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. All government discrimination is wrong, but some government discrimination is worse than others.
6. The Limited Powers of the three Branches of the Federal Government, as recited in the text of the Constitution. How have the federal government's powers grown so enormously since 1788?
7. Constitutional Conflicts between American Presidents and the Supreme Court.
8. Recent decisions and pending cases before the Supreme Court, including same sex marriage, restriction of political speech, the meaning of the words "force or violence," corporate religion and others.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Benton Becker began his legal career as a trial attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Later, in private practice, Becker represented the U.S. Congress, and a national political party and served as Special Counsel to President Ford throughout the pardon negotiations of former President Nixon. Becker recently retired as a Professor of Constitutional Law from St. Thomas University Law School. He has lectured at numerous law schools throughout the nation.
||9:30 am - 11:15 am
||Thursdays, January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26
||Hillel: Levine-Weinberger Jewish Life Center - Golden Pavilion
||$68 member / $98 non-member