freedoms to think and act without government interference or fear of unfair legal treatment
The term associated with Senator Joseph McCarthy who led the search for communists in America during the early 1950s through his leadership in the House Un-American Activities Committee.
the legal concept under which the Supreme Court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the fourteenth amendment
No state can make or enforce any law which will take away the privileges and immunities of citizens; nor deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its borders the equal protection of its laws
Equal protection clause
14th amendment clause that prohibits states from denying equal protection under the law, and has been used to combat discrimination
Due process clause
prohibits the national government (5th Amendment) and states (14th Amendment) from denying life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
the Supreme Court's practice of making applicable to the states only those portions of the Bill of Rights that a majority of justices felt to be fundamental to a democratic society
certain protection in the bill of rights such as free speech and free press that are considered even more important than other freedoms
the First Amendment guarantee that the government will not create and support an official state church
Free Exercise Clause
the First Amendment guarantee that citizens may freely engage in the religious activities of their choice
Wall of Separation Principle
An interpretation of part of the First Amendment that prevents government involvement with religion
The three-part test for Establishment Clause cases that a law must pass before it is declared constitutional: it must have a secular purpose; it must neither advance nor inhibit religion; and it must not cause excessive entanglement with religion.
Equal Access Act
act that stated that student religious groups have the same right as other student groups to use public school buildings for meetings, led and created by students
Schools associated with a church, usually Roman Catholic. The funding of these schools became a major political issue in the 1850s.
movement dating to the 1950s to allow taxpayer dollars to be given to families to use at whatever public, private, or parochial schools they choose.
Freedom of Expression
right to express oneself and one's views in spoken words, actions, printed materials, assemblies or gatherings and petitions submitted to the government. It refers to the collective rights guaranteed in the First Amendment to the US Constitution: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Supreme court justice 1902-1930. He viewed the law as a social instrument, rather than a set of abstract principles. Famous decision on preserving freedom of speech except when clear and present danger.
"Clear and Present Danger"
In Schenck v. US (1919), The Supreme Court ruled that government may prohibit speech that creates an immediate threat of criminal action. Essentially established different standards for speech during wartime than in peacetime.
"time, place, and manner" restrictions
rules, when justified by a substantial governement interest, that can regulate the time, place and manner of speaking or publishing and the distribution of printed material
nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The Supreme Court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the first amendment.
a criminal offense committed because of the offender's bias against a race, religion, ethnic group, national origin, or sexual orientation
how words have power: guard or guideline. A speech code is any rule or regulation that limits, restricts, or bans speech beyond the strict legal limitations upon freedom of speech or press found in the legal definitions of harassment, slander, libel, and fighting words. Such codes are common in the workplace, in universities
A government preventing material from being published. This is a common method of limiting the press in some nations, but it is usually unconstitutional in the United States, according to the First Amendment and as confirmed in the 1931 Supreme Court case of Near v. Minnesota.
a written or published falsehood injuring the reputation of the written piece's subject; to lie maliciously in print about someone
A condition that exists when a person makes a statement with either knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard for the truth. In a defamation suit, a statement made about a public figure normally must be made with actual malice for liability to be incurred.
Miller v California; quality or state of a work that taken as a whole appeals to a prurient interest in sex by depicting sexual conduct in a patently offensive way and that lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value
The Supreme Court's 1973 ruling that a work is obscene if it is "utterly without redeeming social importance" and, "to the average person, applying contemporary 'community standards,' the dominant theme of the material, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interests."
That which incites lascivious or lustful interest in sex. If it is a morbid or shameful (as opposed to a healthy) interest in sex, then it is not within the prurient interests. - Community standard
*All three parts of the obscenity test must be met
An interpretation of the First Amendment that holds that freedom of expression is so essential to democracy that governments should not punish persons for what they say, only for what they do.
a situation that poses the strong possibility of risk to people nearby
Neutrality and Clarity
Part of the establishment clause saying that relationship between church and state should be neutral and clear
If one right must be restricted to protect another right, the restriction must be as minimal as possible.
John Peter Zenger
Journalist who questioned the policies of the governor of New York in the 1700's. He was jailed; he sued, and this court case was the basis for our freedom of speech and press. He was found not guilty.
secret government documents published In 1971; revealed that the u.s. government had misled americans about the vietnam war.
words falsely spoken that damage the reputation of another
communication in the form of advertising. It can be restricted more than many other types of speech but has been receiving increased protection from the Supreme Court.
Right to assemble
The right or legal claim provided for in the First Amendment that allows people to meet to discuss and express their beliefs, ideas, or feelings, especially in a political context.
Right to associate*
The freedom to meet with others for political or any other lawful purposes
a warrant authorizing law enforcement officials to search for objects or people involved in the commission of a crime and to produce them in court
a formal document written for a prosecuting attorney charging a person with some offense
group that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial
Substantive due process
Constitutional requirement that governments act reasonably and that the substance of the laws themselves be fair and reasonable; limits what a government may do.
Procedural due process
how a law is applied, government must proceed by certain methods; limits how government may exercise power, laws may violate this if they are too vague; limits mostly the judicial and executive branch
reasonable cause for issuing a search warrant or making an arrest; more than mere suspicion
the rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained. The rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure.
"fruit of the poison tree"
A legal principle that excludes from introduction at trial any evidence later developed as a result of an illegal search or seizure
"good faith" exemption*
The exemption allows evidence collected in violation of privacy rights as interpreted from the Fourth Amendment to be admitted at trial if police officers acting in good faith reliance upon a defective search warrant
A list of rights that police in the United States must read to suspects in custody before questioning them, pursuant to the Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona.
punishment by death
the situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court. The Fifth Amendment forbids self-incrimination.
This contraversial 2001 law allows anti-terrorism authorities to monitor e-mail and Internet traffic in order to prevent terrorist attacks.