Question # 7: Why is the Constitution called a living document? Give examples.
The constitution is a living document because it applies to the citizens of the United States. The norms that reflect society change due to what the citizen holds to be acceptable at that current time. Laws are a reflection of norms in a society and change depending on what is acceptable or what isn’t. The constitution is a living document and the influences from society can change the constitution of the United States.
The separation of power in the constitution can be considered living because each branch of government must check each other. By checking each branch of government, it is like a living constitution. The book states, “It was designed to grow, develop, and be redefined if necessary to best serve the people’s needs. Study of the amendments and how they have been interpreted since their inception makes it obvious that the Constitution is a living document that grows with the citizens it was written to protect.” (Harr et al. 2018).
Applying the bill of rights to each person in the United States in my view is a living document. Throughout history the government has changed, edited, and added things to the Constitution or bill of rights. Society that changes must be kept updated and the laws should be based on what the people desire. The Founding Fathers used their experienced knowledge to create a government that would evolve with the changing community. The future is unknown, and the government will always be changing to fit the needs of the people. (Rehnquist, 2006)
As you can see, the constitution and the bill of rights are both living documents because they evolves from a changing society. When society changes, so does the constitution. The constitution evolves with the people and it can be viewed as a living document. Just like a living person that evolves and changes over time it is based on the laws that the people reflect upon; a living constitution that is for the people of the United States. No greater importance to the people than that of a living constitution.
Harr, J. S., Hess, K. M., Orthmann, C. H., ; Kingsbury, J. (2018). Constitutional law and the criminal justice system. (Seventh ed.).
Rehnquist, W. H. (2006). THE NOTION OF A LIVING CONSTITUTION*. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, 29(2), 401-415. Retrieved from https://proxy1.aims.edu:2443/login?url=https://proxy1.aims.edu:2090/docview/235212439?accountid=35907
Question # 3: Why is society considered the victim of a crime rather than the individual victimized?
Society is considered the victim of a crime for many reasons. Criminal behavior goes against the norms and laws of our culture. Criminal behavior impacts us as a nation and changes our ways of thinking. When crime occurs, it affects the community and the people. Crime poses danger to society and anyone can be a victim of the crime, but the community is mostly affected from the act of violence.
The first reason a society is considered a victim is when death is involved. The recent mass shooting that impacted the nation was the Las Vegas shooting that killed 58 people. Violence affects those closest to it. The loss of loved ones, injuries and psychological trauma affect the community forever and everyone must deal with the aftermath as a whole. As long as violence still exists there will always be fear in the community. The people in the community that are traumatized by school shootings would cause society to question themselves and would change the community as a whole. (Warnick, 2010) Society will change the way it operates due to what happens around them.
The community is considered the victim because it has to recover from crime and struggles to get back to how it once was. Dealing with the act of violence, they will increase security to stabilize further acts of crime. The strength of the community can be seen through the eyes of the actions of the community. People help each other and try to protecting the next generation to come will improve the resilience of the community. (Dumitrescu, 2018)
As you can see there are many more reasons that we as a community are considered the victim, but the ones I covered are the most important in terms of affecting all of us. Death that occurs in the neighborhood and the effect it has on the community are the most important. The future of the community lies with the individual members of a certain community. Adapting to changes will improve the efficiency of its citizens.
Dumitrescu, A. (2018). Personal and community resources for the victims of domestic violence. Revista De Asistenta Sociala, (3), 107-113. Retrieved from https://proxy1.aims.edu:2443/login?url=https://proxy1.aims.edu:2090/docview/2109222549?accountid=35907
Warnick, B. R., Johnson, B. A., ; Rocha, S. (2010). TRAGEDY AND THE MEANING OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS. Educational Theory, 60(3), 371-390. Retrieved from https://proxy1.aims.edu:2443/login?url=https://proxy1.aims.edu:2090/docview/744663795?accountid=35907
Question #7: Explain were you see the real power of the Supreme Court. What makes the justices so powerful as individuals and as a group?
Where I see the real power of the Supreme Court is that it is the highest court in both state and federal courts. The power of the supreme court and the individual justices are certainly powerful when they interpret lower court decisions and the constitution. Being able to set a standard across the nation that the lower courts must follow is indeed powerful. Justices are independent and cannot be persuaded by politics or their salary status.
The supreme court indeed possesses immense power and their decision can impact the United States. The supreme court reviews lower court’s decisions to see if they applied the law and constitution correctly. The court’s authority to have lower courts follow their decision is proof of their power. The role and application of the supreme court’s power brings challenges that encompass laws about federal, state, and local levels are very sensitive and bring scrutiny against the justices and provides fuel for debates. (Lindquist & Rorie, 2007) Being able to invalidate a federal statute give the supreme court power regarding the laws and constitution.
Justices opinions give power to the supreme court. Based on the background of a justice and their political view, when ruling on a case, these factors come into play. Don’t forget that justices also must consider the constitution and the amendments. Their rulings can be impacted based on the type of case they are presented with. The power of the justices to change their decision, which is rare, gives the court the power of thought. Thoughts can change their decision on a case: In history this has happened to three justices, deciding on capital punishment. (Berry, 2011) As Justices opinions change so does their rulings on cases. The importance of a supreme court justices’ opinion can change the way they rule on a case. The legal significance in terms of opinions are most important in the outcome of the ruling. What drives the justices mind? Is it the facts of the case, outside influences or is the media? The decision of the court plays a critical rule that gives the high court accountability representing the court. (Cross & Spriggs, 2010)
The power of the Supreme Court can be seen. The power to make decisions in the interest of the US is critical. The power to review lower courts and making sure that the constitution is being followed correctly. Being able to invalidate federal statues, grants the supreme court with vast amounts of powers. Justices that are a group that come together and share their ideas and communicate what they think is the best for the country: this represents the power of the Supreme Court.
Berry,William W., I.,II. (2011). REPUDIATING DEATH. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 101(2), 441-492. Retrieved from https://proxy1.aims.edu:2443/login?url=https://proxy1.aims.edu:2090/docview/867686956?accountid=35907
Cross, F. B., & Spriggs,James F.,,II. (2010). THE MOST IMPORTANT (AND BEST) SUPREME COURT OPINIONS AND JUSTICES. Emory Law Journal, 60(2), 407-502. Retrieved from https://proxy1.aims.edu:2443/login?url=https://proxy1.aims.edu:2090/docview/858204723?accountid=35907
Lindquist, S. A., & Rorie, S. S. (2007). Judicial review by the burger and rehnquist courts: Explaining justices’ responses to constitutional challenges. Political Research Quarterly, 60(1), 71-90. Retrieved from https://proxy1.aims.edu:2443/login?url=https://proxy1.aims.edu:2090/docview/215326155?accountid=35907
Question #3: What is Implicit bias? Are there positive or negative effects, or both, of such bias?
Implicit bias is the unconscious manner referring to the attitudes/stereotypes that affect a person behavior and decisions. People have different backgrounds and have different views on issues. People have religious beliefs while others do not. Implicit bias, in my opinion, is mostly negative. One glance is all it takes for your mind to judge a person by their appearance. People tend not to judge a book by the cover, but it’s in their nature that is influenced by their subconscious thoughts.
Having implicit bias, that’s negative, is based on one’s life. The cultural norms in which people are raised becomes traditional in their daily life; anything that is different than that will have an effect of bias. The most commonplace for implicit bias is having to do with race, religion, and cultural differences. Judging others is easy to do and is common in today’s society. To avoid this, a person must check their thought process daily and what influences their bias. (Marks, 2015)
Implicit bias affects us in our daily lives and can affect our decisions. Since we interact with people on a regular basis the first impression effects our bias. Marks states, “They are attributed to acquired associations, favorable and unfavorable, learned from an early age after continued exposure to direct and indirect messages- the essence of socialization in our modern communities. They reflect a national consciousness created by our media, history, news, and political policy. We are bombarded by images, attitudes, and assumptions daily, and we are bound to internalize some of them.” (Marks, 2015).
In conclusion, the negative aspects to implicit bias are based on your background, your heritage, and your ideals that intrude your subconscious thoughts. The effect it has on your behavior and decisions are not a good aspect. People can become less bias by taking the effort to control your first impressions. What is learned can be unlearned and can reduce your thoughts. Are you guilty of implicit bias?
Marks, D. L. (2015). Who, me? AM I GUILTY OF IMPLICIT BIAS? The Judges’ Journal, 54(4), 20-25. Retrieved from https://proxy1.aims.edu:2443/login?url=https://proxy1.aims.edu:2090/docview/1789703334?accountid=35907
Question 4: Should the government tolerate people speaking against or criticizing it?
The government should tolerate people speaking against it. The First Amendment guarantees the government cannot infringe upon people’s freedom of speech, press, or assembly and redress of grievances. Since the First Amendment is in place, the government should tolerate what people say to the government. The government is limited on controlling people when they want to speak against the government as long as they don’t break the law or disturb the peace.
The government cannot evolve to the changing country if they don’t allow people to speak against it. The government was created to represent the people and different views people hold so the government should listen. There is always conflict between the government and the citizens. According to Dr. Mohamed he states, “THE right to freedom of expression and the right to redress grievances are enshrined in our Constitution, which details the principles and protocol of ethical and moral governance. It is a sacred document crafted by our former leaders in the best interest of the people in the democratic spirit of the government of the people for the people and by the people.” (Dr. Mohamed, 2016).
If the government doesn’t respond to the people’s grievances, then it will have an impact on the community. The grievances will keep piling up and the citizens will start to resent the government. To promote the wellbeing of the citizens it is important for the government to hear the complaints from its citizens. The benefits of both citizens and the government working together will benefit society and their needs. Expressing discontent will guide the government to check each other. (Dr. Mohamed, 2016)
Criticizing the government makes the government liable for its action. Not only are the three branches of government responsible for each other, but also for the citizens. The government was created for the people. If the people in the community are unhappy with the government, it should listen to the complaints from its citizens. The Government represents the people and the people represent the Government.
Dr Mohamed, G. N. (2016, Dec 25). People’s right to redress grievances. New Straits Times Retrieved from https://proxy1.aims.edu:2443/login?url=https://proxy1.aims.edu:2090/docview/1852856616?accountid=35907
Question #9: Most “mass casualty” shootings are over quickly, even before police can arrive. In light of this reality, does it make sense to allow citizens to arm themselves? What impact does terrorism have on your response to this question?
Mass casualty shootings are over quickly. Therefore, it would make sense to allow citizens to arm themselves. Over the recent year’s violence has increased, especially mass shootings that take the lives of many individuals. By arming citizens with guns, it would give citizens a fighting chance and reduce crime. Arming citizens with guns would reduce mass shootings because future perpetrators would think twice about getting shot by people with concealed weapons. Mass casualty victims can be reduced by stopping the perpetrator in the act, shooting the perpetrator will reduce further bloodshed.
Mass Shootings are over quickly, but for the people that are affected by the perpetrator it feels like time is going in slow motion. By carrying a concealed weapon, citizens can effectively stop the malicious act. Conceal carry not only is an effective way for citizens to reduce crime and make them feel secure but it also can reduce mass shooting. According to Geoffroy, Amad, and Metzl they state, “Mass shootings are horrific acts that seem to defy the rules that govern everyday life. A stranger shoots strangers. Fatalizing violence occurs seemingly out of the blue in the context of safe spaces such as schools, movie theaters, or workplaces. Death comes in ways that it seems as unpredictable as it is unavoidable.” (Geoffroy et al. 2016).
Citizens being able to arm themselves has little to no impact in defeating a terrorist plot. Terrorists typically do not involve themselves in mass shootings, on occasion they do. Instead, they use explosives in the way of suicide bombings, timed bombs or just bombs. The effectiveness of civilians that are armed doesn’t affect the situation. An explosive device can only be stopped by the bomb expert or bomb squad, and most of the time it goes undetected until it’s too late. Civilians are ill equipped to deal with the explosive devices and should leave it to law enforcement.
Conceal carry is an effective way to stop perpetrators in their tracks. Stopping more crimes in action will reduce future attacks. Citizens that are affected by crime and carry a weapon can impact the community by reducing corruption and stopping mass shootings. Unfortunately, the detriment of terrorism is that it is unpredictable and involves massive amounts of casualties. The effectiveness that citizens bring to the table regarding terrorism is very limited. The impact of one person that intervenes in a hostile shooting will affect the outcome of a situation. The more concealed weapons the less violence will occur.
Geoffroy, P. A., Amad, A., ; Metzl, J. (2016). SEASONAL INFLUENCE ON MASS SHOOTINGS/METZL RESPONDS. American Journal of Public Health, 106(5), E15-E17. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303065