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Various Assignments - Essay Example

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Constitutional Issues Course Date Question 1: The Bill of Rights The Bill of Rights has been described as the “center piece” of “constitutional order” in the US (Amar, 1131). The Bill of Rights establishes restraints on state power and at the same time protects the individual’s right in the criminal and civil process and permits several fundamental freedoms ranging from freedom of expression, the right to privacy, the right to bear arms to the right to due process (US Constitution)…
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Various Assignments
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Download file to see previous pages In this regard, the procedural fairness provided for in the Bill of Rights is arguably its most important value. Procedural fairness is important because it preserves unto the individual the right to freely participate in political and economic life (Nueborne, p. 83). Moreover, procedural fairness counter-balances the fact that the freedoms and rights contained in the Bill of Rights are not absolute. In other words, there are exceptions to the right to free expression in that the government may curtail freedom of expression in situations where the speaker utters words that can be construed as hate crime or incitement to riot. Thus procedural fairness permits the speaker the right to a fair trial and the right to confront his or her accusers and to defend his or her right to free speech. Procedural fairness recognizes that any government can overstep its power to the detriment of the governed (Nueborne, p. 83). With entitlements to the right to privacy, protection of private property, the right to a fair trial, the right to bail, and so on, the Bill of Rights plays a supervisory role in the constitutional order. ...
Institutional enforcement mechanisms are captured by procedural fairness by allowing for judicial review of the exercise of powers by the federal government, state governments and their agents. Even at the state level, state and state agents’ conduct is scrutinized by state judges by reference to the rights and freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights. Thus, as Nueborne puts it, procedural fairness establishes a “nationwide network” that are “engaged in constant surveillance of the activities of the governing majority” so that the rights and freedoms articulated by the Bill of Rights “are respected in everyday life” (Nueborne, p. 84). Procedural fairness is all the more important since the rights and freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights are not expressed in uncertain terms. Many of these rights and freedoms are “ambiguous” so that they can be open to interpretation (Nueborne, p. 84). Procedural fairness curtails the risk of inconsistent interpretations of the rule of law in relation to the individual rights and freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights. In promoting procedural fairness judges interpret and apply the Bill of Rights by reference to a system of precedents and thus assures consistency and greater uniformity of rights and freedoms for all (Nueborne, p. 85). In the final analysis procedural fairness ensures that in addition to ensuring that the government treats all individuals equally, procedural fairness also ensures that the government exercise its powers fairly and consistently and that any departure from the fundamental freedoms and rights contained in the Bill of Rights is done so in a way that is only necessary ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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