Professor Aram Hessami
Since its inception, American government has primarily been viewed as a required means of establishing and promoting certain universally recognized public values. Of these values, none can be considered more important than those of equality, freedom and order. In our country, when an individual or group feels that their freedom or right to equality have been challenged by the government in pursuit of order, they look to that same government for protection from infringement. When this occurs, their complaints are heard by the various levels of our judicial system and within that system no court has higher authority than that of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Before considering the ramifications that these values have on specific cases heard by the Supreme Court, it is important to understand exactly what equality, freedom and order mean in the context of the civil liberties and civil rights afforded to citizens of the United States. It is also important to keep in mind that the process of balancing order with freedom and equality is the core responsibility of the judicial system as a whole and for one to make gains, the other must sacrifice. Order is the oldest proponent of the formation of governments. At their core, governments look to protect the lives of their citizens, as well as safeguard their property from others. Without order, we essentially can have no society as it would be marred with chaos and anarchy. This is a generally agreed upon function of the government and, although rarely disagreed upon as being necessary in some capacity, it begins to be called into question when a person feels that the government’s pursuit of order has infringed upon their personal freedoms. The term freedom is often broken down into two major categories; “freedom of” and “freedom from”. This delineation between the two types of freedom is often attributed to the historic “Four...
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