Welcome to Lira’s Law!
Course Description: This course offers a comprehensive study of civil liberties, exploring the fundamental rights and freedoms protected by the Constitution and examining their historical development, interpretation, and application. Through engaging discussions, case studies, and legal analysis, students will gain a deep understanding of civil liberties, their significance in a democratic society, and the ongoing challenges in their protection.
- To develop a thorough understanding of the concept of civil liberties and their importance in a democratic society.
- To explore the historical foundations and evolution of civil liberties in the United States.
- To analyze landmark Supreme Court cases related to civil liberties and their impact on society.
- To critically examine contemporary issues and challenges in the protection of civil liberties.
- To enhance critical thinking, research, and legal analysis skills through class discussions, case studies, and written assignments.
Unit 1: Introduction to Civil Liberties
- Defining civil liberties and their role in a democratic society
- Overview of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
- Sources and foundations of civil liberties
- Key legal concepts and terminology
Unit 2: Freedom of Speech and Expression
- First Amendment rights and limitations
- Free speech in schools, public spaces, and digital platforms
- Symbolic speech, hate speech, and obscenity
- Balancing rights and societal interests
Unit 3: Freedom of Religion
- Establishment Clause and the separation of church and state
- Free exercise of religion and its limitations
- Religious accommodations and conflicts
- Religion in public schools and government settings
Unit 4: Right to Privacy
- Historical development of the right to privacy
- Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures
- Privacy in the digital age
- Abortion rights and reproductive privacy
Unit 5: Due Process and Equal Protection
- Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment protections
- Procedural due process and substantive due process
- Equal protection under the law
- Civil rights and anti-discrimination laws
Unit 6: Individual Rights in Criminal Justice
- Miranda rights and the right to counsel
- Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendment protections in criminal cases
- Capital punishment and cruel and unusual punishment
- Rights of the accused and the presumption of innocence
Unit 7: Emerging Issues in Civil Liberties
- Technology and civil liberties
- Surveillance and privacy concerns
- LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality
- Balancing national security and civil liberties
- Class participation and engagement in discussions
- Quizzes and in-class assignments
- Case briefs and legal analysis exercises
- Research papers or projects on specific civil liberties topics
- Midterm and final exams