The Erosion and Limitations of Freedom

Do you really think your free?

A comprehensive list below of court cases and unresolved events that lists all the restrictions to your rights and freedoms.

Also check out: Historic American Government Oppression

The Right to Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness; Declaration of Independence, 1776

  • Local and State governments can limit your liberty and regulate your life if a “state of emergency” is declared (Coronavirus, Nationwide, 2020).
  • Local and State governments can restrict your liberty, force you to remain at home, indoors, for 14 days without due process, “state of emergency” is declared and deemed under “quarantine” (Religion, Kentucky, 2020)
  • Local Police Departments can enforce orders that “suspend rights” if a “state of emergency” is declared (Religion, Mississippi, 2020)
  • Public colleges may use race to discriminate against a certain race (Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003))
  • Government and businesses can use race to discriminate against another specific race (Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña, 515 U.S. 200 (1995))
  • The government can not prevent the people from killing their own babies and allow the violation of that pre-born person’s right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)) reenforced by Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, 2006.
  • 2000, Stenberg v. Carhart: In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court struck down a Nebraska ban on so-called “partial-birth abortion,” finding it an unconstitutional violation of Roe v. Wade.
  • Japanese Internment Camps ruled constitutional.  During war time, a certain people group may be deprived of their liberties and rights, at the order of the Government. (Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944))
  • The Selective Service Act of 1917 and, more generally, conscription do not violate the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition of involuntary servitude and can discriminate based on gender (Selective Draft Law Cases, 245 U.S. 366 (1918))
  • The Slaughter-House Cases (14 Apr 1873), the court reasoned that the two clauses protected different bundles of rights, with Article IV protecting the rights of state citizenship and the 14th Amendment protecting rights of national citizenship. The privileges and immunities of U.S. citizenship were narrow and only those specified in the Constitution, which included the right to freely travel throughout the states. Not included, Miller said, was the right to one’s livelihood or be protected against a monopoly. 
  • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (26 Jun 1978) The Supreme Court ruled in a severely fractured plurality that the university’s use of strict racial quotas was unconstitutional and ordered that the medical school admit Bakke, but it also said that race could be used as one of several factors in the admissions process.

Freedom of Movement;

  • Local and State governments can limit your liberty to move if a “state of emergency” is declared (Religion, Kentucky, 2020).
  • The Federal Government can limit the people’s use of public lands (Liberty, Bundy, Nevada, 2014-2018)
  • The Federal government can take land from States and local governments, and then prohibit the use of the land by the local communities (Sagebrush Rebellion, Nationwide, 1970-1980).
  • Local and State Police can be used to restrict movement of people based on their race (Private Businesses, Woolworth, North Carolina, 1960)
  • The National Guard may be used to enforce the State’s orders on the limitations of movement of the people (National Guard, Movement, Arkansas, 1957)

Free Speech; The Constitution, 1st Amendment, 1787

  • The government can control what theories are taught and arbitrarily determine what is and is not “science.”  (Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005))
  • The government can label ideas and theories as “religious” and then prevent them from being discussed in public school. (Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987))
  • Public schools can punish students for giving speeches that are not obscene (Bethel School District v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986))
  • Fighting words—words that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace—are not protected by the First Amendment. (Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942))
  • Gitlow v. New York (08 June 1925) advocating the forceful overthrow of the government speech was not protected under the First Amendment by applying the “clear and present danger” test.
  • “clear and present danger” standard  used to limit free speech.
  • “the Brandengurg Test “

Free expression

  • The government can determine “morality” and then can limit what it feels is “indecency” and contrary to its arbitrary moral standards (Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 U.S. 560 (1991))
  • The State government can prohibit your free expression and protest in the form of flag burning.  Overturned (Texas v. Johnson, 1990)
  • The government may limit any sort of expression or speech when justified by the significant governmental interest (United States v. O’Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968))
  • Public school students may not wear certain items in a peaceful protest (Protest, Des Moines, Iowa, 1965).  Overturned (Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District)
  • Motion pictures are not entitled to free speech protection because they are a business, not a form of art (Mutual Film Corp. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, 236 U.S. 230 (1915)) overruled by Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson (1952))

Freedom of Religion; The Constitution, 1st Amendment, 1787, The Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause

  • Local and State governments can prohibit churches from worshiping  and individuals, in their own home, hosting bible studies of a certain number of people, deemed by the state, if a “state of emergency” is declared (Religion, Nationwide, 2020).
  • Local and State governments can influence and direct churches on how they can and can not worship, if a “state of emergency” is declared (Religion, New York, 2020).
  • The IRS can target certain ideological groups and religions more heavily (Religion, IRS, Nationwide, 2017)
  • Students can not exercise their religion in school (Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000))
  • The government can pass laws that target and limit specific religious rituals (Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993))
  • The case-law test that is used to limit, prohibit, and inhibit religion, the Lemon Test.  Which leaves the door wide up for future and additional limitations on religion (Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971))
  • Religions can not use Public facilities to give religious instructions to public school students, even if the group of students were of the same religion and participated voluntarily (McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948))
  • The Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act of 1882 does not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment even though it directly targeted specific religious beliefs (Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333 (1890))

Freedom of Press; The Constitution, 1st Amendment, 1787

  • The Federal government can punish investigative journalist who expose war crimes and the killing of unarmed citizens by the federal government (Press, Assange, Nationwide, 2019)

Free Assembly; The Constitution, 1st Amendment, 1787

  • Local and State governments can prohibit people from meeting if a “state of emergency” is declared. (Religion, Nationwide, 2020)
  • State governments may limit the type of assembly, such as personal military organization or groups (Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886))
  • “unlawful assembly”  When three or more people meet with the intention of carrying out an unlawful act to deliberately disturb the peace.

Freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances; The Constitution, 1st Amendment, 1787

  • State governments can prohibit people from petitioning their state government, on state grounds, if they are exercising their 2nd Amendment right, bearing arms (Firearms, Protest, Virginia, 2019).
  • Local Police Departments can prohibit people from protesting if a “state of emergency” is declared. (Protest, North Carolina, 2020)
  • The National Guard may kill unarmed non-compliant protesters (Protests, Kent State University, 1970)
  • The FBI may conduct hostile operations against organizations and individuals that lead protests and civil rights movements. (Civil Rights, FBI, 1960s)
  • State and Local governments may use police to enforce a limit or prohibit protests (Protest, Selma, 1965)

Freedom to keep and bear firearms; The Constitution, 2nd Amendment, 1787

  • The State can limit where you can and cannot bear arms arbitrarily (Firearms, Protest, Virginia, 2019)
  • The federal government and the states can limit access to all weapons that do not have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.”  Which has since been used to broadly limit the 2nd Amendment.  (United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939))
  • The federal government can kill people who refuse to give up their right to bear arms (Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1890)

Right to Privacy; The Constitution, 3rd, 4th, Amendment, 1787

  • 1986, Bowers v. Hardwick: By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court upheld a Georgia sodomy statute challenged by a gay man. The Court declined to extend the right to privacy enumerated in Roe and Griswold to protect consensual sex between same-sex partners. (overruled by Lawrence v. Texas, found in Lawrence’s home engaging in private, consensual sex, “are entitled to respect for their private lives.)

Right to Private Property;  the Constitution, 3rd, 4th, 10th Amendment, 1787

  • Local and State governments can deem private property as “non-essential” and then force the owner of such property to close it, if a “state of emergency” is declared. (2020)
  • Local governments may seize property for economic development purposes. (Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005))
  • Government agencies may seize property if it is related to the agencies interests. (Dolan v. City of Tigard, 512 U.S. 374 (1994))
  • Private property can be taken for a public purpose with just compensation.  But it is the government that decides what is “just compensation” (Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26 (1954))

Parental Rights

  • 1976, Planned Parenthood v. Danforth: the Supreme Court invalidated a requirement that a married woman obtain her husband’s consent for an abortion; and the court struck down a statute requiring minors seeking abortions to obtain the written consent of one parent, again reasoning that it provided unconstitutional veto power to a third party.
  • 1976: In Bellotti v. Baird (Bellotti I), the Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, declined to rule on the merits of a Massachusetts statute requiring minors seeking abortions to obtain parental consent or a court order waiving parental consent. Instead, the Court held that the federal district court should have sought an interpretation of the statute from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The Supreme Court held the statute unconstitutional three years later.
  • 1977, Carey v. Population Services International: The Supreme Court invalidated a New York statute making it a crime to sell or distribute contraceptives to minors under 16, for anyone other than a pharmacist to distribute contraceptives to anyone over 16, and for anyone to display or advertise contraceptives. The Court thus expanded the right to obtain and use contraceptives established in Griswold and Eisenstadt to minors.
  • 1979, Bellotti v. Baird (Belotti II): Before the Supreme Court for the second time, this case involved a Massachusetts parental consent statute as interpreted by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The Massachusetts court interpreted the statute to: (1) require the consent of both parents for any non-emergency abortion for a woman under 18, (2) require that a parent, if available, be notified of a court procedure to authorize the abortion, and (3) allow the court to withhold consent for the abortion even if the minor is capable of making an informed and reasonable decision. Eight Justices found the statute unconstitutional — four because it granted absolute veto power of the minor’s decision to either the parents or the court, and four because the court procedure required parental consultation and allowed the court to override the decision of a mature minor.  a framework for testing the constitutionality of parental involvement statutes in the future. Under this framework, a parental involvement requirement must contain an alternative bypass procedure in which the minor is entitled to a waiver of parental involvement if she is mature enough to make the abortion decision or if an abortion would be in her best interest.
  • 1983, Planned Parenthood v. Ashcroft, the Supreme Court likewise invalidated a second-trimester hospitalization requirement, but upheld a number of other restrictions. For the first time, the Court approved a parental consent statute that contained a judicial bypass mechanism. The Court also upheld a provision requiring a pathology report for each abortion and the presence of a second physician during all post-viability abortions.
  • 1990: In Hodgson v. Minnesota, a closely divided Supreme Court held that Minnesota’s blanket requirement that minors notify both parents before obtaining an abortion is “unreasonable” and hence unconstitutional, but that an alternative Minnesota statute, which includes a judicial bypass mechanism, is valid.
  • 1990, Ohio v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, the Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s one-parent notice requirement

The Right to Due Process, 14th Amendment, Due Process Clause

  • Police Departments do not have to grant Due Process in certain situations. (Due Process, Memphis, 1983)

The Right to a Fair Trial, 14th Amendment, Equal Protection Clause

  • The government’s use of recanted and potentially coerced testimony in trial (Pine Ridge reservation, 1975)
  • The doctrine of executive privilege is legitimate, and to resist some subpoenas and other oversight by the legislative and judicial branches of government in pursuit of particular information or personnel relating to those confidential communications; holding the President above the law and the people (United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974))
  • Juries do not have to represent the local community (Trial, Emmett Till murder, Mississippi, 1955)

Rights of the States and The People; The Constitution, 10th Amendment, 1787

  • Local and State governments may enforce the doctrine of “separate but equal” in their communities.  (Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)) overturned (Brown v. Board of Education (1954)).

The Right of Revolution; Declaration of Independence, 1776

  • The Federal government can punish you for exposing war its own war crimes and illegal activities on the people (Liberty, Snowden, Nationwide, 2019).
  • The Federal government can kill unarmed children, US citizens (FBI, Waco, 1993)(Ruby Ridge, FBI, 1992)