Bill of Rights
Be sure that you have read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights before you begin working on your assignment.
Then read the following scenario. Your task is to point out at which points in the story there is a Constitutional violation. You should also indicate which amendment or component of the Constitution is being violated.
Cite the incident and explain how it is a violation of the Bill of Rights or other Constitutional rights.
(Hint: the Tenth Amendment is not one of them, nor is the Eleventh 12th, 13th, and 15th through the 28th amendments).
In an essay respond to the following points.
Due to a budget cut in defense spending, the federal government messed up all military housing forcing people in the state of Washington and elsewhere to quarter troops in their own private homes. To raise money for military housing, the state of Washington is suing gun makers for $300 million dollars for costs incurred for law enforcement and other gun-related costs. The state courts denied the gun makers a jury trial, which they requested.
At the same time, a political science teacher from the area spoke out against both measures. The first time he spoke out was at a public hearing. The second time was in a letter to the editor published in a local paper. After the letter was published and after the public hearing, government officials who read and heard the professor’s oratory were outraged. Both federal and state legislatures enacted a set of laws precisely against this professor speaking out. One of the laws stated that newspapers were not allowed to publish letters or editorials unfavorable to certain government positions and actions because, they said, these letters and speeches were meant to incite violence, and threatened the public good. Yet this professor at no time advocated violence or dissension. His speech was based on the fact that he did not like having to quarter troops in his home nor should the state go after gun makers and deny them a jury trial.
Another new law was passed that forbade the professor from having a gun in his home, even though he possessed all the legal documentation for the weapon and it threatened no one. The professor’s home was searched by police on several different occasions and a tap was placed on his phone and hacked into his email. The professor was arrested and detained, without authorization by the district attorney or magistrate and without being told of the charges. Nor was the professor informed of his constitutional rights, and when ask to be represented by an attorney he was denied this right, even when he would offer to provide his own representation, he was still denied.
The Professor was rigorously and intensely interrogated questioned by police for hundred and ninety-six hours straight. During this intense interrogation, he denied food, water, sleep and any legal representation. The Professor claims during the questioning they (the state) used intensive physical pressure and forced him to sign blank confession form. He was held in jail for over 18 months without bail. Eventually bail was set for $250 million dollars. All the of the professor’s assets were seized by the government. Once the professor came to trial, the jury consisted solely of students that had failed his classes and ex-girlfriends. The first witness called in the trial was the professor himself. The D.A. asked the professor, “Did you write this letter to the editor? Did you make this statement at the public hearing? Did you not sign this confession?”