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​​How the Court Affects You

The United States Constitution sets forth the laws that establish our structure of government. The first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, define and protect our personal liberties as we go about our daily life.


What does this mean for you?


May Your Principal Search Your Locker?

The Fourth Amendment prevents government from conducting any unreasonable search of something that a person reasonably expects would be private. While the locker belongs to the school, the U.S. Supreme Court has not decided whether a student can reasonably expect the locker to stay private.


But even if a student does have that expectation of privacy, the law says the school can search the locker IF there is reasonable ground for believing that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated a law or a school rule. The search, however, must be conducted in a reasonable manner.


Can you think of other legal circumstances where an individual's private belongings might be searched?


What If You Are Driving And Get A Ticket?

Every day, police issue thousands of traffic tickets, also called citations. Officers issue tickets to drivers who do not follow the traffic rules. These drivers, when stopped, are asked to sign the ticket thereby saying they understand why they have received it.  

In some cases these drivers only pay a fine. In others, they may have to appear in court. Drivers who disagree with the ticket may also request a date to go to court, with or without attorneys, to present reasons why they should NOT get a ticket. It's your right to have a fair and public hearing and defend yourself if you are accused of a wrong.

Don't Like That Law?


For more than 200 years, Americans have enjoyed the free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Great changes in American society have occurred due to the free speech that is practiced every day in this country. This often times takes place through the media. Have you read the editorial page of your local newspaper? Have you heard people call in to local radio shows and share their opinion on an issue? This exchange of ideas is a testimonial to the uncommon freedom of speech that Americans are privileged to have.

Learn about one who disagreed and made a difference, Eva R. Belles and the Flint School Election in 1888.


Due Process under the Law


As you can see, the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights has guided the determination of the rights and freedoms for you and all U.S. citizens.


Another freedom under the Bill of Rights, Due Process, guarantees that our government provide justice for all its citizens. Due process includes the right to a fair and public hearing by the court if you feel you have been wronged or are accused of breaking the law. ​