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In Duncan v. Louisiana (1968), the defendant was charged with and found guilty of simple battery without a jury trial as Louisiana law stated that it was a misdemeanor and punishable by less than 2 years of imprisonment. At issue was whether Duncan’s 6th Amendment right to an impartial jury was violated by the state of Louisiana. This case is an example of selective incorporation, which is a constitutional doctrine that ensures that states cannot enact laws that take away the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens guaranteed to them by the Bill of Rights.
In your main post:
- Summarize the various tests for determining which rights are incorporated and applied to the states.
- Explain whether all content in the Bill of Rights is fundamental and should be automatically incorporated.
- Discuss why the Bill of Rights would be drafted as it is, if those rights were not fundamental.