GOVT 2305 Unit 7


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Unit 7: The Justice System



A.  Read the following selections from the Margin Notes by clicking on each link.


B.  Watch these presentations. When you click on one of the links below, a new screen will pop up. Use the scrollbar on the side of the new screen to navigate. You need Adobe Reader to view PDF files.


C.  (Optional) Read the following chapters from the textbook.

Chapters 14 - 16


D.  The following Optional Links are designed to help you do better in your course but they are not required.


E.  Activity #4: Small Country (10 points)To Do Note

Pretend that you live in a very small country with a constitution,  Bill of Rights and government very much like those of the United States.

Creatures from another planet have conquered your country. The alien conquerors agree to allow your people to retain five of the civil liberties listed below and will let you choose the five civil liberties you want to keep. (Each of the numbers below counts as one civil liberty. For example, #7 has three things listed but all three together count as one civil liberty.)

1.    freedom of religion

2.    freedom of speech and press

3.    right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for redress of grievances

4.    right to bear arms

5.    freedom from unreasonable search and seizure

6.    right to a speedy and public trial by jury

7.    right to be confronted by witnesses, be informed of the nature of accusations and compel witnesses to testify

8.    right to reasonable bail and the assistance of an attorney, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment

9.    freedom from compulsion to testify against oneself

10.  right to due process of law

The citizens of Small Country are proud of their traditions of freedom and have grown accustom to their civil liberties but -- unfortunately –- they are not particularly knowledgeable about what those civil liberties mean and what they would be losing or keeping in making such an important decision.

After looking over the list, they have decided to designate you as the official decision-maker in this matter. You will decide which 5 civil liberties to keep and which 5 civil liberties to give up. Your fellow citizens will abide by your decision. [Caution: If you’re behind in the margin notes and presentations, you must catch up before making your decisions. Do not attempt to “fake” an answer if you are not familiar with civil liberties and do not understand what will be lost with each civil liberty you give up.]

As you consider each civil liberty, keep the following in mind.

Why is this civil liberty important?

What would I really lose if I let this civil liberty go?

How would giving up this civil liberty affect future generations – my children and grandchildren?

Resources to Help You Make Your Decision

Bill of Rights in Simple Language

The Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age

Life Without the Bill of Rights? – This a kid’s game but it does a pretty good job of showing how life would change without some of our rights.

College Bill of Rights

Do I Have a Right? – This is another kid’s game but it does a good job of explaining our rights.

Civil Liberties – This link takes you to a topic overview at the top of which is a menu of items – video, readings, critical thinking and resources – with very good material.

After you have carefully thought about each civil liberty, choose the five civil liberties you feel are most important. (You must choose five civil liberties … you

may not respond with something such as “I simply could not decide between…”)

Once you've made your choices, send me a discussion based on your answers to the 4 points below. Your discussion should be thorough, specific, include relevant concepts from the course material and be free of spelling and grammar errors.

1.  the five civil liberties you have chosen to keep and, for each, the specific rationale on which you based your decision (Your rationale may or may not include the three questions above that I asked you to consider but it must include specific reasoning rather than “because it’s the most important right.”)

2.  the five civil liberties you have chosen to give up and, for each, the specific rationale on which you based your decision (Again, your rationale may or may not include the three questions above that I asked you to consider but it must include specific reasoning rather than “because it’s not very important.”)

3.  a brief discussion about what you think Small Country’s society, politics, government and etc will look like two or three generations in the future after having lost the five civil liberties you chose to give up

4.  specific and detailed connections to course content (If you are as thorough as you should be in answering the first three questions, you will most likely have already made several connections to course content!)


Activity Submission Instructions

By the deadline shown in the Course Schedule on the main page of the syllabus:

  • Send your discussion addressing the 4 points given above in the body of a new email to

  • Put only your name and Activity #4 at the beginning of your email.

  • Be careful to use the correct subject line.

  • Late summaries will lose one point per day late, including weekends and holidays.



Copyright 1996 Amy S Glenn
Last updated:   02/10/2024 0130

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