For the "Bush took my civil rights" crowd: exactly which ones were taken away?

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#1
Let's look at them:

1.) Gitmo/holding prisoners without trial:

Ok, if a foreign fighter is caught on US soil conducting war against the US (like, say the Brits in the War of 1812), let alone caught on foreign soil, they don't get US legal rights. They're POWs.

According to the Geneva Conventions, if those foreign fighters are not displaying the proper identification (ie- those pretty little flags you see on every country's military uniforms), they don't get international POW rights.

This isn't some legal right that guerrillas have: it's a legal right some ill-informed people THOUGHT they had, but never had.

2.) Warrantless US-to-international wiretaps:

I've gone over this before, but let's do it again.

Under the old rules, when a wiretap was literally a physical wire tap, if the phone on foreign soil was tapped and a phone call was made from or to a US number from that phone, the wiretap was legal. No warrant was required for a wiretap off US soil, and it's not like the CIA needed to fly back to the US and get a judge to sign a sheet of paper for that wiretap just in case someone called or was called from the US.

With modern technology, a dork in an air-conditioned office in Langley presses a button and the phone is tapped. Is the wiretap located in the foreign country, or is it located in the US? Is the phone number a US-numbered cellphone located on foreign soil? Does that mean someone with a US-numbered cellphone that is physically on foreign soil can call a US-numbered cellphone that is physically on foreign soil and they don't need to worry about the CIA listening in?

The rules are pretty simple: if the CIA has reason to believe a US-numbered cell is on foreign soil, they can listen to it without a warrant. If a foreign-numbered phone calls into or is called from a US number, it can be listened to without a warrant because you can legitimately say the call is being tapped on the "foreign" end of that call.

All reasonable updates in the face of modern technology.

Rights haven't been taken away: they're legal rights some ill-informed people THOUGHT they had, but never had.

3.) Warrantless searches:

There have always been warrantless searches. Has the frequency gone up? Yes. But it would be kind of shocking if we were in the kind of war we're in and searches of ALL kinds didn't go up. Warranted searches are up, legal warrantless searches have gone up as well. The exceptions to the rules have always been on the books. Just because the frequencies of the situations that fall into those exceptions have increased doesn't mean rights are being taken away.

Rights haven't been taken away: they're legal rights some ill-informed people THOUGHT they had, but never had.

Have there been excesses? Sure. Have there been overzealous FBI/CIA/NSA agents? Absolutely. And again, that isn't anything new. Excesses happened before 9/11, too. Like it or not, it happens. When you're working the FBI/CIA/NSA harder, more mistakes are going to be made. That's just grown-up reality. Unless you're saying the FBI/CIA/NSA should back off and do LESS work, an increase in those excesses are a fact of life. Nobody's saying we should be happy with those mistakes, but what exactly was anyone expecting?

When they've been discovered, they've been dealt with. Even in the case of that douchebag Muslim lawyer (fuck- if the FBI WEREN'T wiretapping a guy who VOLUNTEERED to defend 9/11 hijackers I'd want them fired).

If you're going to bitch about rights being taken away, you better be sure you had those rights in the first place.

The only right you've had taken away is the right to believe in the falsehood that you had those particular rights, and the reality is that you probably never thought it out in the first place.
 
Jul 13, 2006
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Well in the past they needed legitimate probable cause in order to persue warrants.

But yes, things have changed with the rules and now if you have a friend in the UK that happens to be a friend of a friend of a terrorist then you will be linked together and your oversea conversation is monitored.

It's a fucking invasion of privacy. That's what the 4th Amendment is all about. You're rights to privacy in your papers and domicile are protected by the Constitution and now for the sake of "security" those rights can be violated without any consideration.

To put it simply, it's like Andy Griffith told Opie once when he had recorded a criminal planning to commmit a crime and Opie wanted Andy to listen to it. Andy refused and said it was illegal and that you shouldn't break the law to try to enforce it.

That's the way cops should be. They shouldn't be out breaking the law trying to "enforce" it.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#5
I'd like the Second Amendment restored. No restrictions on any weapons, such as licenses or approval from the local Nazi in charge.
 

VMS

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Well in the past they needed legitimate probable cause in order to persue warrants.

But yes, things have changed with the rules and now if you have a friend in the UK that happens to be a friend of a friend of a terrorist then you will be linked together and your oversea conversation is monitored.
Except your overseas conversations have ALWAYS been open to warrantless monitoring.

ALWAYS.

As long as there has been international communication, once it travels across the US border it's been open to warrantless searches.

Period.

Again, this is a case where uninformed people thought they had a right, and complain that they've lost that right, when they never had that right in the first fucking place.

If the CIA at ANY point since their founding wanted to listen to an Australian porn star's phone calls from her home in Sydney, they could do so. And they wouldn't need a warrant, they wouldn't need Congressional approval, nothing. If that Auzzie whore called someone in the US, they could keep listening in.

The only difference between three decades ago and today is that you no longer have to put the CIA agent's life at risk by actually making a physical wiretap onto the telephone line coming out of the house in Australia: some computer geek in Langley, VA, can press a button and the wiretap is made on that home in Australia.

You thought you had a right that you never had. Please feel free to actually read the facts and educate yourself.

Have a nice day.:action-sm
 
Jul 13, 2006
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#8
If the CIA at ANY point since their founding wanted to listen to an Australian porn star's phone calls from her home in Sydney, they could do so. And they wouldn't need a warrant, they wouldn't need Congressional approval, nothing. If that Auzzie whore called someone in the US, they could keep listening in.
The CIA can't just listen to phone conversations of other nations at will. They have to get permission from the government of that nation to monitor it's citizens.

If they do indeed get that permission then the citizens of that nation are simply being sold out by their government.

It still doesn't make the shit right.

And the FBI praises J. Edgar Hoover for leading the FBI from it's formation into the Cold War but he was a fucking criminal.

He is a piece of fucking garbage and they need to recognize that fact and stop praising him as their father. That motherfucker didn't go out getting warrants and he let/told his men do very criminal things in order to arrest citizens.
 

FMDoug

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#9
3.) Warrantless searches:

There have always been warrantless searches. Has the frequency gone up? Yes. But it would be kind of shocking if we were in the kind of war we're in and searches of ALL kinds didn't go up. Warranted searches are up, legal warrantless searches have gone up as well. The exceptions to the rules have always been on the books. Just because the frequencies of the situations that fall into those exceptions have increased doesn't mean rights are being taken away.
The police only need a warrant where the person or thing to be seized has an expectation of privacy (objectively and subjectively). This usually means a house, apt, hotel room, in the old days a phone booth... etc.

I'm not exactly sure whether warrantless searches have gone up or down in terms of when you actually need a warrant. My guess is they have gone up because once the gov't mentions international security the judge might feel the need to comply with the gov't. I'd say that just because it's international security it isn't right to search. You still need to comply with the 4th amendment in order for it to be a legal search.

If you are talking about airports or even the subway, you might not need a warrant. These searches have increased. The thing is, people don't like to be searched. Yesterday they were walking into the subway without a search; today there is a search. They feel their rights have been taken away. Most people feel this can be an invasion of personal privacy, but it might have nothing to do with warrants. It's the degree that the gov't is coming into peoples lives that they are annoyed at.

Then again, their civil rights might have been pushed aside. If you need a warrant to search a place that has an expectation of privacy, like a backpack, and the gov't says we are searching it in the subway, are your civil rights denied?

As for the telephone tap, the gov't probably can tap international lines (i'm not sure of the law on that). I'm sure if you tap internationally and the other gov't finds out about it, they wont be happy. But they can't tap national phone calls without the proper procedures like a warrant or something. I think that is where people were having a problem. I know I would.

These issues aren't exactly black and white. There are many sides to argue about what rights you have and don't have. For example the first amendment. There is no absolute right to free speech, etc. Because the courts have put exceptions on it and then it is up to people to argue if those exceptions apply.

My longwinded point is that the premise and answers you put forward are more complicated than you might think.
 
Jul 13, 2006
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Then again, their civil rights might have been pushed aside. If you need a warrant to search a place that has an expectation of privacy, like a backpack, and the gov't says we are searching it in the subway, are your civil rights denied?
The cops don't have the right to search your bags on public transit without probable cause.

It's your personal property. Being in a public place changes your right to privacy in the sense that youre conversations can be recorded as they are heard in public by everyone walking by while you're on your cell phone. They also can take photos and video of you.

But that doesn't mean that they can walk up to you and search your bag or your pockets. It's your private property and if you aren't doing anything suspicious then they can't just freely search you.

People for some reason feel obligated to comply though and they just allow cops to search them. There is no reason to let cops search you willingly since you're not a criminal.

I have been asked many times to be search and I refuse because I'm not walking/driving around doing illegal things.

Even with pat-downs cops can't search your pockets and materials but people allow them. If they start rummaging in your pockets then you tell them they are breaking the law and they must stop or face litigation.

They are only cleared to lightly search you in a "Terry Search" if you display suspicious behavior. That just means they can only brush you to see if they feel any large items such as weapons for their personal security. If they don't feel a gun or knife then they can't go through your pockets to shake you down and see if you have drugs on you. They aren't even allowed to finger the items in your pockets from the outside of your clothes to try to see what you're carrying. That's not the purpose of the terry search.
 

Treat_Yourself

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Freedom of speech for one. If the government decides to force a librarian to turn over a list of what you've read the librarian can't tell anyone that the demand has been made. That violates his freedom of speech.

How about by using government funds to support religious charities that then have the right to hire and fire based on religious affiliation, sexual orientation and other criteria that other government funded organizations are prohibited from using to choose who to hire and fire?

Then there is the fact that courts have found parts of the patriot act to be unconstitutional. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59626-2004Sep29.html
 

FMDoug

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The cops don't have the right to search your bags on public transit without probable cause.
I know that. I wasn't talking about when a cop comes up to a guy and reaches in his bag. I was talking the controlled airport like searches that were going on in NYC two summers ago. The police were actually opening peoples bags just becuase they wanted to ride the subway (without reasonable suspicion).

That was the type of intrusion I was talking about. I'm sorry I didn't make that more clear.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#13
The War on Drugs is another fine example of disregarding the right to privacy.
 

VMS

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#14
My longwinded point is that the premise and answers you put forward are more complicated than you might think.
No, I pretty much know how complicated the situation is. That's my point. The people bitching about the loss of civil liberties DON'T know what they're fucking talking about.

You said you don't know what the law is on international phone tapping: I do. It's what I said it was (yes, in simplified form) above. Fuck, I had an hour long international phone call less than 12 hours ago. It's kind of my JOB to know about this kind of shit.

The CIA has virtually no restrictions on what they're able to do with regard to surveillance overseas. There is an obligation for the CIA to inform the Congressional Select Committee on Intelligence *AFTER* an operation, and if Congress tells them "you can't do that anymore" they're under obligation not to do it any more (sort of...), but the CIA can fudge what's an "operation", too.

Under the old rules, if an international phone that is already tapped calls or is called by an American phone, that's still a legit wiretap and the information from that wiretap is still actionable by the CIA.

The ONLY thing different today is that you no longer need to put an agent's life at risk by actually attaching a fucking wire to the phone that's being tapped. You press a button from a cubicle in Langley.

Actually READ what the new rules are: there isn't some kind of carte blanche to listen in on every US-to-international or international-to-US phone call. There aren't the fucking resources to do that for fuck's sake, even with Echelon support. If you HAPPEN to call an international phone number (or are called by the same) that's already under CIA surveillance, they don't have to shut down their wiretap. Just like the old days, except we're not putting that agent's life at risk by making him physically tap a telephone in a country that might not be happy with what he's doing.

And, yes, there are cases where the CIA can listen in on a US phone number to US phone number call without a warrant. IF they have a reasonable reason to believe (like, they can SEE it on a satellite photo) that they're two US-numbered cell phones both being used outside US borders. If I'm in China with my cellphone (which has international service) and I call by buddy's cellphone while he's in Thailand, the CIA (well, NSA, but I'm saying CIA to keep things simplified) can listen in without a warrant, just like they could before we had cellphones and I would have called his hotel in Thailand from my hotel in China.

Is it more complicated than that? Sure. But that is the legal essence of what we're looking at with these wiretaps. Boil it all down to the bare bones, get rid of all the Alberto Gonzalez baggage and the President Bush baggage, get rid of all the bells and whistles that confuse the average retar... errrr... voter, and that's EXACTLY what all of this bullshit is about: reasonable interpretations of existing rules and laws updated to match new technologies.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
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#15
Freedom of speech for one. If the government decides to force a librarian to turn over a list of what you've read the librarian can't tell anyone that the demand has been made. That violates his freedom of speech.
No it doesn't. It's a gag order. Ever watch CourTV (well, TruTV now)? Gag orders are as common as blades of grass on a lawn. If you've ever been to court, you've had a gag order of some sort or the other placed on you. Shit, when my accountant was subpoenaed by the IRS, he wasn't allowed to tell me what the IRS was looking for. Pisses me off, but it's not some new thing that Bush or the Patriot Act invented.

I'll keep saying this until you get it: these aren't right of ours that have been taken away. These are rights the ignorant THOUGHT they had but never actually had, and are now bitching because they don't have them and think they were "taken away".

How about by using government funds to support religious charities that then have the right to hire and fire based on religious affiliation, sexual orientation and other criteria that other government funded organizations are prohibited from using to choose who to hire and fire?
Dude, Alcoholics Anonymous can be considered a religious charity. The most effective substance abuse organizations are in fact religious charities. The statistical advantage of religion-based substance abuse recovery organizations over purely secular ones is HUGE.

What the fuck do you want to do? Pour government money down fucking holes that don't work as well as the religious ones because the religious programs are, well, religious?

And frankly, this comment of your displays a VAST ignorance of what the actual rules regarding the separation of Church and State are.

If the money is awarded based on PERFORMANCE, without regard to either religious views or the lack thereof, then it's allowed.

And look at your hypocritical ass. You realize if the government decided NOT to award money based on a religion's views on hiring gays, that'd be an example of government interfering with, *gasp*, religion?

That's a pretty clear violation of the Constitution, my friend.
:action-sm

Shit, here's a question for you: is it legal for a publicly funded school bus to stop along its route to drop off kids at a religious after-school center?

Then there is the fact that courts have found parts of the patriot act to be unconstitutional. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59626-2004Sep29.html
Yup. See the section on "excesses" above. It happens. You'd be AMAZED at how much of how many laws Congress passes are deemed unconstitutional. Congresscritters are actually really bad at writing laws (look at their gun control attempts, for one).

But the truth of the matter is that the things people really bitch about, from gag orders on librarians to wiretaps on international phone calls ARE ALL BULLSHIT. A fucking introductory course in Constitutional Law and a reasonable understanding of how things worked BEFORE 9/11 would tell you that. Or even, Heaven forbid, some actual fucking research on your own instead of being another fucking zombie to MoveOn.org or The Daily Kos.
 

Vyce

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Feb 11, 2006
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#16
I know that. I wasn't talking about when a cop comes up to a guy and reaches in his bag. I was talking the controlled airport like searches that were going on in NYC two summers ago. The police were actually opening peoples bags just becuase they wanted to ride the subway (without reasonable suspicion).

That was the type of intrusion I was talking about. I'm sorry I didn't make that more clear.
Airports are different. It would surprise people to know this, but you actually have less freedoms in airports than you do in other areas. It's even easier, for example, to restrict your freedom of speech in airports than it is if you were just standing out on the street talking shit.

I agree with VMS on the premise that people are ignorant of their rights. Furthermore, people seem to think that their rights are absolute - they're most definitely not. We have a historic amount of freedom in this country, but just about everything is subject to some sort of restriction.
 

Jerry1

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Jan 26, 2006
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#17
That's the way cops should be. They shouldn't be out breaking the law trying to "enforce" it.
Somebody better tell this guy....

(He does it all the time...LOL!)


From what the first poster said it seems the government instead of outright breaking laws they seem to find the ole loophole to them. Well, since terrorists like to find loopholes in things then this seems only fair right? ?And if in exploiting the loopholes, the Feds are able to stop or prevent another Sept 11 type attack(or worse)?
 

Vyce

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#18
And frankly, this comment of your displays a VAST ignorance of what the actual rules regarding the separation of Church and State are.

If the money is awarded based on PERFORMANCE, without regard to either religious views or the lack thereof, then it's allowed.

And look at your hypocritical ass. You realize if the government decided NOT to award money based on a religion's views on hiring gays, that'd be an example of government interfering with, *gasp*, religion?

That's a pretty clear violation of the Constitution, my friend.
Correct, the law regarding the first amendment - and specifically, the Establishment Clause, which is what we're dealing with here (in regards to religion), was stated in the Lemon v. Kurtzman case. The Supreme Court developed the "Lemon test":

1. The government's action must have a legitimate secular purpose;
2. The government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
3. The government's action must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion.

So long as the government's grant of funds (which is pretty much always what it boils down to, the issue is almost always one of the government giving money to some religious institution or another) fits into this test, it's constitutional.
 

Treat_Yourself

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No it doesn't. It's a gag order. Ever watch CourTV (well, TruTV now)? Gag orders are as common as blades of grass on a lawn. If you've ever been to court, you've had a gag order of some sort or the other placed on you. Shit, when my accountant was subpoenaed by the IRS, he wasn't allowed to tell me what the IRS was looking for. Pisses me off, but it's not some new thing that Bush or the Patriot Act invented.

I'll keep saying this until you get it: these aren't right of ours that have been taken away. These are rights the ignorant THOUGHT they had but never actually had, and are now bitching because they don't have them and think they were "taken away".



Dude, Alcoholics Anonymous can be considered a religious charity. The most effective substance abuse organizations are in fact religious charities. The statistical advantage of religion-based substance abuse recovery organizations over purely secular ones is HUGE.
I can't say anything about the statistics for religious charities in general, but I have looked into AA and it's not anywhere near as effective as people claim. http://www.addictioninfo.org/articles/647/1/AA-Is-Not-The-Only-Way/Page1.html
What the fuck do you want to do? Pour government money down fucking holes that don't work as well as the religious ones because the religious programs are, well, religious?
As for religious programs that work, there is no requirement for government to monitor if groups recieving faith based initiative money are actually doing a good job. We don't know if they work.
And frankly, this comment of your displays a VAST ignorance of what the actual rules regarding the separation of Church and State are.

If the money is awarded based on PERFORMANCE, without regard to either religious views or the lack thereof, then it's allowed.
But it's clearly not if the government doesn't monotor the performance of the faith based groups.
And look at your hypocritical ass. You realize if the government decided NOT to award money based on a religion's views on hiring gays, that'd be an example of government interfering with, *gasp*, religion?
Government shouldn't fund religion at all. In fact, it's not government's job to provide alcohol and drug treatment. Government should pull a durnk's license if he breaks the law by driving drunk an lock him up if he continues to endanger people's lives, but where in the constitution does it say government is supposed to fund or run such programs? Let the market decide which programs are worth funding and let the indivudual donate to groups that they like. When you start funding a religious institution you're already interfering in other people's religious freedom by forcing them to pay taxes to support that institution.
That's a pretty clear violation of the Constitution, my friend.
:action-sm

Shit, here's a question for you: is it legal for a publicly funded school bus to stop along its route to drop off kids at a religious after-school center?
I'd be inclined to say no because you're not forcing the kids to get off there and it's on the way, so it's not like you're using taxpayer money that wouldn't otherwise be spent, but anyway don't the states pay for bus service? The states have more leeway in this matter. The constitution applies to the federal government and Jefferson, in his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, the separation of church and state letter, didn't address their concerns about the state's establishment of religion. He only addressed it on a national level.
Yup. See the section on "excesses" above. It happens. You'd be AMAZED at how much of how many laws Congress passes are deemed unconstitutional. Congresscritters are actually really bad at writing laws (look at their gun control attempts, for one).

But the truth of the matter is that the things people really bitch about, from gag orders on librarians to wiretaps on international phone calls ARE ALL BULLSHIT. A fucking introductory course in Constitutional Law and a reasonable understanding of how things worked BEFORE 9/11 would tell you that. Or even, Heaven forbid, some actual fucking research on your own instead of being another fucking zombie to MoveOn.org or The Daily Kos.
I'm not a democrat, nor do I read MoveOn's page or the Daily Kos.
 

CougarHunter

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Mar 2, 2006
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#22
Right to privacy is an illusion. Show me where it is in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Take your time.

Hint: It's right next to the seperation of church and state clause.
 

FMDoug

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#23
Right to privacy is an illusion. Show me where it is in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Take your time.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

People and things are private from the gov't from them prying unless the gov't can get a warrant. Of course this is the most simplistic of explanations. But you asked where it is. It lies in the interpretation of the 4th amendment.
 

Vyce

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#24
People and things are private from the gov't from them prying unless the gov't can get a warrant. Of course this is the most simplistic of explanations. But you asked where it is. It lies in the interpretation of the 4th amendment.
Key word - interpretation. There is no specifically granted right of privacy elucidated in the Constitution.

It was created last century as part of the so-called "penumbra" of rights.

Basically, the Justices pulled it out of their ass, and came up with some VERY shaky legal reasoning to support it.

Now I'm not necessarily against the right of privacy, and I'm in favor of some of the things that it has brought about - right to an abortion, for example, and, eventually, it will lead to allowing gay marriage as well.

But I think, since we're discussing civil rights here, it's important to understand the history of the "right of privacy" and get the proper context. A lot of people are arguing that their rights are taken away (usually, arguing that their rights are being taken away by the BUSH administration, as they weren't bitching about it during past administrations when a lot of this same shit was being done), many times referencing those rights given by this "right to privacy". That's fine, and I'm not arguing that we shouldn't have many of those rights - but you have to understand, the legal reasoning supporting those rights? Is pretty fucking flimsy at times. Arguing for rights stemming from the right of privacy, it's not coming from the same rock-solid basis of strength as it would be arguing first-amendment freedoms, or 5th amendment right against self-incrimination, or etc.
 

Razor Roman

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#25
Correct, the law regarding the first amendment - and specifically, the Establishment Clause, which is what we're dealing with here (in regards to religion), was stated in the Lemon v. Kurtzman case. The Supreme Court developed the "Lemon test":

1. The government's action must have a legitimate secular purpose;
2. The government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
3. The government's action must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion.
Liberals LOVE to ignore that word... because they can't fathom the fact that there are people who believe in something more powerful than their precious government.