Unit 3: Individual Liberty, Public Safety, and Immigration
In this unit, we examine different ethical dilemmas policy makers face in the areas of individual liberties, public safety, and criminal justice. We focus on the rights we find in the U.S. Constitution, such as the protection of speech and political acts under the First Amendment, the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, punishment of felons, and issues involving drugs and illegal immigration.
We examine responses to the questions: How do we balance individual rights with the security needs of the state? Where do the rights of individuals end and the rights of society as a whole begin?
We use the five frameworks we discussed in Unit 2 to examine each of these questions. We explore the frameworks lawmakers, judges, and officials tend to apply to different types of issues and circumstances. Understanding how to approach and resolve these ethical questions in practice is important for students of political science and public policy. It is also essential knowledge for those planning to enter the legal, public service, and lobbying professions.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 13 hours.
3.1: The First Amendment
3.2: The Second Amendment
3.3: Punishment of Criminal Offenders and the Criminal Justice System
3.4: The Legalization of Drugs
3.5: Illegal Immigration
Unit 3 Assessment