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You have that right! Chapter 15: Civil Liberties and Mr. Rodman’s Top 12 Highlights

You have that right! Chapter 15: Civil Liberties and Mr. Rodman’s Top 12 Highlights

What protected civil liberties do you have? Do you have that right? In chapter 15, we differentiate between civil rights and civil liberties (we cover civil rights in the next chapter, so stay tuned next week!). Watch now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98bHbQnFiSQ&t=7s

In this chapter, we also look at selective incorporation — how the the US Supreme Court applied the Bill of Rights to the states, on a case-by-case, amendment-by-amendment basis. We also discover the difference between the establishment clause and the free exercise clause, the significance of Engel v. Vitale, and the ban of a religious test in Article VI of the US Constitution.

We also look at significant school cases, such as Tinker v. Des Moines (symbolic speech is free speech), Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (administrators can censor student publications), West Virginia Board of Ed. v. Barnette (Jehovah’s Witnesses, or anyone, including teachers, are not required to say the pledge of allegiance), Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut (seizing of private property by the government for public use is constitutional), Miller v. California (community standards of decency establish obscenity laws), the SLAPS test, and Morse v. Frederick (speech endorsing illegal drug use may be prohibited).

We also differentiate between procedural due process and substantive due process, as well as look at search andn seizure rules outlined in the 4th amendment — including cases like Mapp v. Ohio (illegally seized evidence may be excluded from a case and cannot be used in court), Kyllo v. US (thermal imaging of a home without a warrant is a violation of the 4th amendment), Board of Ed. v. Earls (drug test of students for extracurriculars is constitutional), and New Jersey v. TLO (reasonable cause for a students search on a school campus is all that is needed – no warrant).

In the 5th amendment, we address Miranda v. Arizona (you DO have the right to remain silent — and should be made aware of your rights prior to police questioning). In the 6th amendment we address the right to counsel in Gideon v. Wainwright, and in the 8th amendment we see the Court (SCOTUS) has ruled the death penalty as constitutional and not cruel and usual punishment. It’s a LOT of great content in this chapter, so please check it out!

Good luck! Live the 5! – Mr. R.

Watch now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98bHbQnFiSQ&t=7s

WaPo: In the Trump administration, it’s always ‘A Day Without a Woman’

WaPo: In the Trump administration, it’s always ‘A Day Without a Woman’

(OPINION) — By Dana Milbank — Let’s hope there’s generous funding in Republicans’ new health-care bill to prevent and cure tone-deafness. Wednesday was International Women’s Day, and to observe this annual commemoration House Republicans formally took up their legislation defunding Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of health services for women.

Read more at The Washington Post: Opinion | In the Trump administration, it’s always ‘A Day Without a Woman’

House Speaker Paul Ryan, at a news conference Wednesday morning, boasted about ending the funding of Planned Parenthood, listing it as one of the things “we’ve been dreaming about doing.” And what better time to make this dream come true than on International Women’s Day, on the eighth day of Women’s History Month?

Read more at The Washington Post: Opinion | In the Trump administration, it’s always ‘A Day Without a Woman’

Speaker Ryan issues Namath-like ‘guarantee’ on Obamacare repeal (Legislative process)

Speaker Ryan issues Namath-like ‘guarantee’ on Obamacare repeal (Legislative process)

“We’ll have 218 when this thing comes to the floor,” Ryan pledges.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday he can “guarantee” the GOP’s Obamacare alternative bill will get the 218 votes needed to pass the House.

“We will have 218 votes,” he said. “This is the beginning of the legislative process. We’ll have 218 when this thing comes to the floor. I can guarantee you that.”

Read more at Politico: Ryan issues Namath-like ‘guarantee’ on Obamacare repeal

Ryan said the health care reform legislation would go through the committee process, instead of forcing it on “an unsuspecting country,” which he accused the Democrats of doing with the Affordable Care Act.

“I believe in regular order,” he said. “I believe in going through the process the way it was meant to go through.”

Read more at Politico: Ryan issues Namath-like ‘guarantee’ on Obamacare repeal

Hillary coming to terms with her new life

Hillary coming to terms with her new life

“She’s in a much better place than she was in two months ago,” said one confidant.

For months, in private conversations, Clinton has griped about Trump’s connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin and suggested that no one seemed to care about it during the election.

At a gathering with donors in December, she was blunt. “Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people … that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election,” Clinton said, according to audio obtained by the New York Times.

Read more at The Hill: Hillary coming to terms with her new life

Months later, the former secretary of State is still plotting her next moves. It’s unclear if she will continue the work she started at the Clinton Foundation prior to launching her presidential campaign or if she’ll take on other work, those around her say. And while some have suggested a run for mayor of New York is possible, those close to her say she isn’t interested.

In the meantime, she has made several appearances on the speaking circuit, including one this week at Wellesley College, her alma mater.

Read more at The Hill: Hillary coming to terms with her new life

And even all these months later, she can’t escape questions about what went wrong.

Asked at Wellesley what she’d change about her campaign, Clinton replied: “I’d win.”

Read more at The Hill: Hillary coming to terms with her new life

Revised executive order bans travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from getting new visas (Executive Orders)

Revised executive order bans travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from getting new visas (Executive Orders)

President Trump signed a new travel ban Monday that administration officials said they hope will end legal challenges over the matter by imposing a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas for citizens of six majority-Muslim nations, authorities said.

In addition, the nation’s refu­gee program will be suspended for 120 days, and it will not accept more than 50,000 refugees in a year, down from the 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration.

Trump signed the new ban out of public view, according to White House officials. The order will not take effect until March 16, officials said.

Read more at The Washington Post: Revised executive order bans travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from getting new visas

Knives are out for Reince Priebus (White House Chief of Staff)

Knives are out for Reince Priebus (White House Chief of Staff)

Trump’s chief of staff is becoming a singular target of criticism as persistent controversies plague the presidency.

With the White House struggling to gain its footing almost two months into Donald Trump’s presidency, administration officials are increasingly putting the blame on one person: Reince Priebus.

Read more at Politico: Knives are out for Reince

In interviews, over a dozen Trump aides, allies, and others close to the White House said that Priebus, the 44-year-old chief of staff, was becoming a singular target of criticism within the White House.

They described a micro-manager who sprints from one West Wing meeting to another, inserting himself into conversations big and small and leaving many staffers feeling as if he’s trying to block their access to Trump. They vented about his determination to fill the administration with his political allies. And they expressed alarm at what they say are directionless morning staff meetings Priebus oversees that could otherwise be used to rigorously set the day’s agenda and counterbalance the president’s own unpredictability.

Read more at Politico: Knives are out for Reince

The finger-pointing further complicates life in an already turmoil-filled West Wing, one that has been hobbled by dueling power centers and unclear lines of command.

“There’s a real frustration among many — including from the president — that things aren’t going as smoothly as one had hoped,” said one senior administration official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “Reince, fairly or not, is likely to take the blame and take the fault for that.”

Read more at Politico: Knives are out for Reince

Lawmakers stunned, baffled by Trump’s wiretap allegations

Lawmakers stunned, baffled by Trump’s wiretap allegations

The White House, meanwhile, is pushing for a probe of the Obama administration.

Congressional Republicans were flummoxed Sunday by President Donald Trump’s and his White House’s continued assertions — provided without evidence — that President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.

A day after Trump made the charge, Hill Republicans were largely mute, and those who spoke out were perplexed at the source of Trump’s information, which the White House has yet to disclose.

 Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday he had seen “no evidence” to back up Trump’s wiretap claims. Rubio is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Trump’s ties to Russia and has received classified briefings on the issue.

Source: Lawmakers stunned, baffled by Trump’s wiretap allegations

AG Sessions recuses himself from Trump-Russia probe

AG Sessions recuses himself from Trump-Russia probe

The attorney general is removing himself following reports he met twice with the Russian ambassador during Trump’s campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday that he will recuse himself from any investigations related to campaigns for president, including any probe into contacts between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

“I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign,” Sessions told reporters Thursday at a news conference at the Justice Department.

Sessions, who maintained support from Trump himself, said he consulted senior Justice Department staff for their “candid and honest opinion about what I should do.”

“My staff recommended recusal,” he said. “They said that since I had involvement with the campaign, I should not be involved in any campaign investigation. I have studied the rules and considered their comments and evaluation. I believe those recommendations are right and just.”

Read more at Politico: Sessions recuses himself from Trump-Russia probe

Trump tries on normal

Trump tries on normal

Sticking to the teleprompter, he embraces a more polished and traditionally presidential tone.

President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress was remarkable for how unremarkable it was.

Stately, scripted and subdued, Trump delivered perhaps the most traditional speech of his political career on Tuesday night. Sounding much like so many of the other presidents who have preceded him, he drew on history and the personal narratives of his hand-selected guests as he recited a prosaic laundry list of policy proposals, interrupted with spurts of soaring rhetoric and paeans to American exceptionalism.

Read more at Politico: Trump tries on normal

Democratic FEC commissioner resigns, appeals to POTUS

Democratic FEC commissioner resigns, appeals to POTUS

Ann Ravel, a Democratic member of the Federal Election Commission, submitted her resignation letter to President Donald Trump on Sunday with a plea to embrace campaign finance reform.

Ravel’s last day will be March 1.

In her letter, which she posted on Medium, Ravel blasted the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which she said has made political campaigns “awash in unlimited, often dark, money.” She also noted Trump had criticized the role of money in politics during his campaign, including the influence of wealthy donors and rise of powerful super PACs. And she urged him to prioritize campaign finance reform.

Read more at Politico: Democratic FEC commissioner resigns – POLITICO

Four weeks into his presidency, Trump returns to campaign mode

Four weeks into his presidency, Trump returns to campaign mode

The president used an adoring crowd in an airport hangar to project his strength after a rocky first month in the White House.

President Donald Trump’s rally here on Saturday featured all the classic signatures of his campaign: boasts about his poll numbers and magazine appearances, grandiose promises of quick action, protesters lining the streets, stinging attacks on the media, false statements and a large, roaring and adoring crowd that loved every minute.

It was a raucous campaign appearance — light on specifics and heavy on braggadocio — just four weeks after he was inaugurated and almost four years before he faces reelection.

Read more at Politico: Four weeks into his presidency, Trump returns to campaign mode

Who Told Flynn to Call Russia?

Who Told Flynn to Call Russia?

Let’s stop focusing on the resignation, and start focusing on the real issue here: The mystery of Trump’s Russia ties.

Hours after national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned amid reports that he misled top officials about his pre-inauguration talks with the Russian ambassador, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to encourage everyone to move on. “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?” he tweeted out Tuesday morning.

In a sense, Trump is right: The real story is not Flynn. But it isn’t government leaks, either. No, the “real story here” is Trump himself—and the continuing mystery of his ties to Russia.

Read more at Politico: Who Told Flynn to Call Russia?

As official Washington and the press home in on the permanent disarray in the White House, whether the disgraced Flynn broke the law and who will succeed him after his three-week tenure, the key question is getting lost in the shuffle: Who told Flynn to call Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States? Because I’m convinced Flynn didn’t do it of his own accord. Flynn is a bit player in a much larger story regarding the president’s relationship with the Kremlin, and it’s this story the press needs to focus on.

Read more at Politico: Who Told Flynn to Call Russia?

WaPo: Michael Flynn resigns as national security adviser

WaPo: Michael Flynn resigns as national security adviser

Flynn said he “inadvertently” gave Vice President Pence “incomplete information” on contacts with the Russian ambassador.

Michael Flynn, the national security adviser to President Trump, resigned late Monday over revelations about his potentially illegal contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and his misleading statements about the matter to senior Trump administration officials.

Flynn stepped down amid mounting pressure on the Trump administration to account for its false statements about Flynn’s conduct after The Washington Post reported Monday that the Justice Department had warned the White House last month that Flynn had so mischaracterized his communications with the Russian diplomat that he might be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

Source: Michael Flynn resigns as national security adviser

How can I differentiate between the bureaucratic agencies within the executive branch?

How can I differentiate between the bureaucratic agencies within the executive branch?

Many students find it challenging to differentiate between the four types of bureaucratic agencies: (1) Cabinet Departments, (2) Independent Executive Agencies, (3) Independent Regulatory Commissions, and (4) Government Corporations.

1 – Cabinet Departments
The first category of agencies is the cabinet departments. Because of the “Department” in the name, we know that if the agency is called Department of Health & Human Services, we know it is part of the cabinet. You should be able to explain what each of the agencies does within the bureaucracy. For example, the Department of Transportation works to implement laws associated with highways, interstates and public transportation like buses and subways.

2 – Independent Executive Agency
The second type of agency is probably the most difficult because there is not an easy way to identify them. But students should use the process of elimination from the other three to determine this type of agency.

Students should ask: (1) is it a cabinet position? (2) is it regulating something? (3) is it charging for its services? If the answers to all three of these questions is no, then you know it’s an independent executive agency. And if any of the answers to the questions above is yes, then you know it’s that respective agency.

If it’s not a cabinet department, and it’s not a regulatory agency, and it’s not a government corporation that charges for its services, then chances are good that it’s an independent executive agency. Great examples are NASA (fits this description: not Cabinet, not regulatory and not charging for its services …. so it has to be an independent executive agency). Another example is the National Archives, that is not a Cabinet Department, it is not a regulatory agency, it does not charge for its services, so it is an independent executive agency.

3 – Independent Regulatory Commission
The third category of agency is the independent regulatory commission. These are agencies that regulate or punish wrongdoing for people, groups, corporations, etc. that do not follow the rules. Examples are the FCC (regulate broadcasting, say something inappropriate and be fined or banned from the airwaves), the SEC (determining if people bought and sold stocks illegally or had information that the public didn’t have), and the Federal Trade Commission (determining if a product is being advertised to do something that it can’t possibly do … age-reducing cream, you’ve won $1 million, cigarettes are good for you).

Independent regulatory commissions act as judges in their respective areas of expertise, determining if someone acted legally or illegally in what they have done. But they only can pursue violators within their area of expertise. The FCC cannot take action against illegal stock traders, as that’s the SEC’s job. Likewise, the SEC cannot take legal action against people who said something inappropriate on the television or radio airwaves because that’s the FCC’s job.

4 – Government Corporation
The last category is the government corporation. This one is easier to identify because they charge for their services. The US Postal Service is a great example because they charge us to mail a letter. The Tennessee Valley Authority also charges for electricity and AMTRAK charges for us to ride on their trains.

These government corporations operate separately from the government, like a private corporation does, but they are funded by the government when they cannot pay all of their bills. Many times, these agencies tend to operate in the red (they lose money) because of the constraints that Congress has placed on them to be open in money-losing parts of the country (USPS and AMTRAK) and won’t let them shut down locations that lose money or not stop in locations that aren’t worth servicing. But because members of Congress fear what constituents might think about their only railroad station shutting down, they keep the pressure on, which keeps the bills piling up, and in many cases keeps these agencies from being profitable.

… So how do I tell the difference between these agencies?

To determine the classification of an agency, ask: (1) is it a cabinet position? (2) is it regulating something? (3) is it charging for its services? If the answers to all three of these questions is no, then you know it’s an independent executive agency. And if an answer to any of the questions above is yes, then you know it’s (1) a cabinet agency/department, (2) an independent regulatory commission, and (3) a government corporation, respectively.

Hogan focuses on bipartisanship, state issues in annual address to Maryland General Assembly

In his third State of the State address, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan spoke of a need for bipartisanship in Annapolis and pressed the Democratic-controlled General Assembly to approve his most ambitious legislative agenda yet.

Read more at The Baltimore Sun: Hogan focuses on bipartisanship, state issues in annual address to Maryland General Assembly

In the roughly 30-minute speech, he bypassed any mention of the political division roiling the country since the election of President Donald J. Trump. Instead, the popular moderate — who is frequently at odds with Maryland’s legislative leaders — focused on state policy.

He said in the last two years he had “chosen action over apathy,” and delivered on the “unifying promise of bipartisan change.”

Read more at The Baltimore Sun: Hogan focuses on bipartisanship, state issues in annual address to Maryland General Assembly

“We have already accomplished a great deal,” he said. “But together, we can — and we must — do more.”

Democrats, seeking to retake the governor’s mansion in 2018, had called on Hogan to use the annual address to weigh in on actions by Trump that have drawn thousands of Marylanders out to protest.

Read more at The Baltimore Sun: Hogan focuses on bipartisanship, state issues in annual address to Maryland General Assembly

Who is SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch? (Nominations)

Who is SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch? (Nominations)

Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49, is President Donald Trump’s choice to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated a year ago by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Gorsuch has the typical pedigree of a high court justice. He graduated from Columbia, Harvard and Oxford, clerked for two Supreme Court justices and did a stint at the Department of Justice.

Read the full story at Politico: Neil Gorsuch: Who is he? – POLITICO

He attended Harvard Law with former President Barack Obama. On Tuesday, Obama’s former ethics czar, Norm Eisen, another classmate, tweeted: “Hearing rumors Trump’s likely Supreme Court pick is Neil Gorsuch, my (and President Obama’s!) 1991 Harvard Law classmate.If so, a great guy!”

Since 2006, he has served on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Colorado. He is an outdoorsman who fishes, hunts and skis. On the court, conservatives hope he will become the intellectual heir to Scalia, long the outspoken leader of the conservative bloc.

“The real appeal of Gorsuch nomination is he’s likely to be the most effective conservative nominee in terms of winning over Anthony Kennedy and forging conservative decisions on the court,” said Jeffrey Rosen of the National Constitution Center. “He’s unusual for his memorable writing style, the depth of his reading and his willingness to rethink constitutional principles from the ground up. Like Justice Scalia, he sometimes reaches results that favor liberals when he thinks the history or text of the Constitution or the law require it, especially in areas like criminal law or the rights of religious minorities, but unlike Scalia he’s less willing to defer to regulations and might be more willing to second-guess Trump’s regulatory decision.”

Gorsuch is a favorite of legal conservatives because he has sharply questioned a three-decade old legal precedent that many on the right believe has given too much power to the regulatory state. The landmark 1984 Supreme Court ruling involving the Chevron oil company held that courts should defer to federal agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous federal laws.

In a ruling last August in an immigration case, Gorsuch questioned the wisdom of that doctrine, arguing that the meaning of the law is for judges to decide, not federal bureaucrats.

“Where in all this does a court interpret the law and say what it is?” Gorsuch asked in an extended digression on the subject. “When does a court independently decide what the statute means and whether it has or has not vested a legal right in a person? Where Chevron applies that job seems to have gone extinct.”

Read the full story at Politico: Neil Gorsuch: Who is he? – POLITICO