Constitutional law is the study and interpretation of the principles that underlie individual rights and self-government in a given society. It guards against the encroachment of one person’s will over another and ensures that there are minimal government restrictions on individual liberty.
The Constitution provides the ‘supreme law of the land’ and guarantees citizens certain inalienable rights which cannot be taken away by any authority or state. These rights, called fundamental rights, are held in esteem as they are considered to be beyond price or material value.
The Constitution establishes several fundamental rights for all citizens such as right to life, freedom of speech and expression, right against arbitrary arrest; right to education, etc. These rights are granted equally to every citizen and cannot be subjected to any kind of dilution by either State or Central governments.
In order to safeguard these fundamental rights, it is essential that a person knows their constitutional legal implications at every stage—from understanding the basics of constitutional laws, how they operate within our system and up until when they can be implemented by state authorities.
What is Constitutional Law?
Constitutional law is the study and interpretation of the United States Constitution. The Constitution is a source of legal authority in the United States and when questions about democracy or authority are brought up, Constitutional law becomes important. The Supreme Court makes decisions about the Constitution and rules on cases which address laws within the Constitution.
Because Constitutional law involves interpreting the Constitution, this topic deals with issues of democracy, the Bill of Rights, and the power of state or federal government. When court cases appear that deal with these topics, it’s most likely a matter of Constitutional law.
Importance of Constitutional Law in Protecting Rights
As stated above, Constitutional law frequently deals with the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights are the first 10 Constitutional amendments which address American’s rights in relation to the power of the government. The first 10 amendments ensure that Americans’ inalienable rights are protected from the government. Thus, Constitutional law ensures that Americans’ rights are not being exploited by the government.
Additionally, Constitutional Law ensures there is a separation of power between the three federal branches of government: Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, and Executive Branch. The Constitution states that each branch of government has specific powers and authority and one branch cannot become too powerful over the others.
With these checks and balances in place, Constitutional law ensures that democracy continues and Americans’ rights are protected.
Constitutional Amendments That Protect Americans’ Rights
Because the Bill of Rights contains 10 amendments which specifically protect Americans’ rights, these are the key regulations which define American citizens’ fundamental rights.
The First Amendment gives the freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government. These freedoms provide Americans with the right to exist without the government interfering or restricting action. However, legislators have extended laws and situations where these freedoms are limited or adjusted – but they continue to exist.
The Fourth Amendment prevents unreasonable search and seizure for Americans. This means the government cannot search your property or take your possessions without a warrant.
The Fifth Amendment states that American citizens must not go through a criminal trial or punishment without due process – which means they must be treated fairly. This amendment also includes that citizens do not have to testify against themselves and they can not be tried for the same crime twice.
These three amendments are just a few examples of how the Constitution protects Americans’ rights and how Constitutional law follows these guidelines.
Constitutional Law and Supreme Court Cases
Cases that go to the Supreme Court deal with issues of Constitutional validity. The Supreme Court justices must review the case and decide if the issue at hand is supported or rejected by the Constitution. Once the justices have made their decision based on what the Constitution says, they make a ruling which impacts the entire nation.
Examples of Supreme Court Cases (Constitutional law) include:
- Marbury vs. Madison (1803) – The courts have the right to strike down legislation on the basis of it being unconstitutional.
- Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) – Racially segregated schools violated the Equal Protection Clause.
- Miranda vs. Arizona (1966) – Police are required to tell people in their custody that they have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.
The Supreme Court plays a crucial role in defending Americans’ rights based on the contents of the Constitution.
Learn More Today
The Constitution is the fundamental law of the country and it was written with the intent of protecting the rights of its citizens. Constitutional law is one of the most important components of the United States as it works to protect our rights.
Visit Hanlon Law Sarasota today to learn more about Constitutional law and more legal resources.
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