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Civil liberties during war-time Essay

Civil Liberties are for example freedom of speech and freedom of the press as defined by the first amendment. These freedoms have been challenged by the threat of war, but should they be taken away because of it?

The first amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” These are our civil liberties that we are promised as citizens of the U.S.

In the past these liberties have been interfered with. The main cause for this interference was war. The government wanted to abolish any chances of treason or leaking of information to the enemies and to do this they passed act such as the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Alien and Sedition Acts made it illegal to write, print, speak, or publish anything false or untrue about to United States.

We can understand how certain precautions must be made to insure safety in times of war but to go so far as to take away our freedoms are out of bounds. There are numerous other ways to make us safe without interfering with our liberties. For example: tighter security. After 9/11 security became very tight at airports and other areas where terrorists might be able to enter the country. Although this extra security was tedious and time consuming to get through, it was well within the lines of the 1st amendment because it did not take away any of our freedoms.

I do not believe that our civil liberties should be taken away during wartime. This is a democracy and should remain one whether engaged in war or not. The government can think of more ways to protect us other than limiting our freedoms of speech or of the press, and certainly without interfering with our privacy unless there is just cause to do so.

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