The legal constitutional protections against government. Are formally set down in the Bill of Rights, the courts.intepret their meaning.
Bill of Rights
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution
The constitutional amendment that establishes the four great liberties: freedom of the press, of speech, of religion, and of assembly.
due process clause
14th amendment clause stating that no state may deprive a person of life, liberty, or property
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
Clause in the First Amendment that says the government may not establish an official religion.
free exercise clause
a first amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion
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.
false and defamatory printed statement
nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband.
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.
The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, police are allowed legally to search for and seize incriminating evidence.
unreasonable searches and seizures
obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner, a practice prohibited by the fourth amendment.
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
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.
the constitutional amendment designed to protect the rights of persons accused of crimes, including protection against double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and punishment without the due process of law.
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.
the constitutional amendment designed to protect individuals accused of crimes. It includes the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a speedy and public trial.
a bargain struck between the defendant's lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime (or fewer crimes) in exchange for the state's promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious (or additional) crime.
the constitutional amendment that forbids cruel and unusual punishment, although it does not define this phrase. Through the fourteenth amendment, this bill of rights provision applies to the states.
cruel and unusual punishment
court sentences prohibited by the eighth amendment. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory death sentences for certain offenses are unconstitutional, it has not held that the death penalty itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
right to privacy
The right to a private personal life free from the intrusion of government.