How has the supreme court influenced the process of incorporating the bill of rights?

How has the supreme court influenced the process of incorporating the bill of rights?

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The doctrine of selective incorporation, also known as the incorporation doctrine, binds the states to the first ten amendments to the Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights. Many constitutional rights are largely held to the same standards by state governments as they are by the federal government, including the FIRST AMENDMENT freedoms of expression, religion, and assembly, as well as the separation of church and state; the FOURTH AMENDMENT freedoms from unwarranted arrest and unreasonable SEARCHES AND SEIZURES; and the FIFTH AMENDMENT PRIVILEGE AGAINST SELF-INJURY. Via the incorporation doctrine, certain provisions of the Bill of Rights, such as the prerequisite of prosecution by a GRAND JURY (Sixth Amendment) and the right to a jury trial in civil proceedings (Seventh Amendment), have not been extended to the states.
The Bill of Rights was viewed as only applicable to the federal government until the early twentieth century. The Supreme Court specifically restricted the scope of the Bill of Rights to the federal government in Barron ex rel. Tiernon v. Mayor of Baltimore, 32 U.S. (7 Pet.) 243, 8 L. Ed. 672, in 1833. This viewpoint was questioned by the mid-nineteenth century. Republicans, for example, claimed that southern state legislation making it illegal to talk and publish against slavery violated the First Amendment’s rights to FREEDOM OF SPEECH and FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.

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In United States law, incorporation is the doctrine by which parts of the Bill of Rights are made applicable to states. When the Bill of Rights was adopted, the courts ruled that its provisions applied only to federal government acts and that the Bill of Rights did not restrict the power of state and local governments. The post-Civil War period, which began in 1865 with the Thirteenth Amendment, which declared slavery abolished, gave rise to the introduction of other Amendments, giving states and citizens more rights over time. By incorporation into the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 and the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, different portions of the Bill of Rights have gradually been held to be applicable to state and local governments.
Prior to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment and the introduction of the incorporation doctrine, the Supreme Court ruled in Barron v. Baltimore in 1833 that the Bill of Rights only extended to the federal government and not to state governments. The Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Cruikshank (1876), even years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, that the First and Second Amendments did not extend to state governments. Beginning in the 1920s, however, a series of US Supreme Court rulings interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to “incorporate” much of the Bill of Rights, making certain provisions enforceable against state governments for the first time.

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“No State shall create or implement any law that abridges the rights or immunities of people of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any individual of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall any State deny equal protection of the laws to any person within its jurisdiction.”
Barron v. Baltimore, decided in 1833, was the first time the Supreme Court faced a claim that a state or local government had violated one of the Bill of Rights’ clauses. In Mr. Barron’s case, he argued that the city government refused to compensate him for the loss of his private property, which he claimed was a breach of his federal Fifth Amendment rights. The Court ruled that the first ten “amendments” do not include any language suggesting that they should be applied to state governments. This court is unable to enforce them in this manner.” So, in 1833, the Supreme Court affirmed what the Constitution’s original Framers had intended: that the Bill of Rights only extended to the federal government, not to any state. The relationship between the federal government and the states, however, had changed drastically as a result of the Civil War.

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The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, including the First Amendment, make up the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to satisfy Anti-Federalists who felt the new Constitution lacked ample protections for people’s rights. (Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons)
In reaction to the Articles of Confederation’s flaws, which guided the fledgling nation from 1781 to 1798, the country’s representatives held a convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to amend the Articles. Nevertheless, delegates to the Convention believed that such a measure would be insufficient, and instead proposed a new constitution. A “Great (Connecticut) Compromise” was reached based on the Virginia and New Jersey Plans, which settled some of the factional differences between the large and small states. In establishing each of the three branches of the national government, as well as the relationship between this government and the states, the Convention reached a number of other compromises.