American Government chapter 9, 10, 11, and 12

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Common Law

often called "judge-made" law. a set of rules that have been created by judges in the course of rendering decisions on court cases.

Stare Decisis

a legal rule that requires courts to apply existing precedents to cases involving similar facts.

Equity

a system of law that provides relief in situations in which common law or statutory remedies are inadequate, especially through the issuance of injuntions to prevent injuries.

Injunction

a court order issued by and quity court forbidding a person or group of persons to commit and act that they are attempting to commit, or restraining them from continuing to commit such an act, or requiring them to perform an act.

Statutory Law

law written and enacted by a legislative body.

Statute

a law that has been formally declared by a legislature.

Constitutional Law

results from the interpretation and application of a national or state constitution. includes all the statements made by both federal and state courts in interpreting constitutional provisions.

Administrative Law

rules and regulations issued by departments and agencies of the executive branch or government.

Criminal Law

law that defines acts that constitute a violation of the public order and provides specific punishment for those acts.

Plaintiff

the party who brings suit or intiaties court action.

Defendant

the part against whom a legal suit is brought.

Misdemeanors

less serious forms of crimes, such as trespassing.

Felonies

the more serious forms of crimes, such as robery or murder.

Civil Law

deals primarily with disputes between private individuals or corporations and defines the rights of the parties in the dispute.

Adversary System

a judicial process characterized by the conflict of two or more opposing parties before and impartial third party, the court.

Dual Court System

a federal court system and fifty state court systems.

Jurisdiction

the right of a court to hear a particular type of case. this right is granted either by a constitution or by a legislative statue.

Appellate Jurisdiction

handle appeals; they review the decisions of lower courts to determine whether they applied the correct rule of law.

Constitutional Court

a court authorized and created under the provisions of Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution.

Legislative Courts

a court created by Congress under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

Majority Opinion

an opinion of a court that has the support of a majority of the members of the court.

Concurring Opinion

a written opinion of a judge who agrees with the decision of the majority but feels that the majority opinion does not adequately express his or her own reasoning.

Dissenting Opinion

an opinion written by a judge who record disagreement with the majority decision and to express reasons for voting against it.

Writ of Certiorari

"to be made certain" an order directing a lower court to send the record of a case to the Supreme Court for review. it is a discretionary writ; enables the Court to decide which cases are importanct enough for it to consider.

Statutory Interpretation

involves deciding the meaning and intent of a statute enacted by the legislature.

Judicial Self-Restraint

the belief that judges should exercise self-control in using their judicial power and should generally defer to the policies of the elected branches of the government.

Judicial Activism

the belief that judiciary should be willing to exercise its authority to declare unconstitutional actions of the other branches of government and to establish new rules of public policy.

Textualism

the belief that judges should interpret the provisions of a constitution according to the meaning of the language at the time the document was composed.

Living Constitution

the judicial philosophy that believes that constitutions should be interpreted in light of present-day circumstances.

Civil Liberties

individual freedoms and legal protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights that cannot be denied or hindered by government.

Due Process Clause

Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which declares that no state ". . . shall. . .deprive any person of life, liberty, or property withouth due process of law. . ." also found in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

Incorporation

the process through which the Supreme Court examined individual provisions of the Bill of Rights and applied them against state and local officials.

Establishment Clause

a provision of the First Amendment that limits the power of Congress to create a state religion or provide aid to any religion by legislation. this restriction also applies to state governments through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Free Exercise Clause

a provision of the First Amendment that prohibits the national government from restricting an individual's right to the free exercise of his or her religion, as long as the religious practices involved do not violate the law. the free exercise clause is also applicable to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Separationist

government must avoid contacts with religion, especially those that lead to government support or endorsement of religious activities.

Accomodationist

permit the government to provide support for religion and associated activities.

Lemon Test

a court is to ask three questions about any governmental practice challenged as a violation of the establishment clause: 1. Does the law or practice have a secular (nonreligious) purpose? 2. Does the primary intent or effect of the law either advance or inhibit religion? 3. Does the law or practice create and excessive entanglement of government and religion?

Strict Scrutiny

the compelling government interest test which places the burden on the government to demonstrate the necessity of a specific law in order to outweigh an individual's desire to engage in a religious practice.

Clear and Present Danger Test

a test for permissible speech articulated by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Schneck v. United States (1919) that allows government regulation of some expressions.

Political Speech

expresses their viewpoints about government and public affairs.

Commercial Speech

may be subject to greater regulation because of concerns about protecting the public from misleading advertisements and other harms.

Defamation

false, harmful statements either through spoken words (slander) or through written words (libel).

Press Shield Laws

a statue enacted by a legislature establishing a reporter's privilege to protect the confidentiality of sources.

Compelled Self-Incrimintation

during questioning, criminal suspects can fully confess or provide police with partial details about their involvement in crimes, but cannot be made to provide statements that will be used against them.

Material Policies

those policies of government that provide tangible resources or power to their beneficiaries or impose costs on groups in society.

Symbolic Policies

those policies of government that provide little or no tangible benefits but appeal to widely held valuse, such as justice, equality, and patriotism.

Liberal Policies

seek government intervention to bring about some type of social or economic gain

Conservative Policies

oppose intervention and favor private, nongovernmental solutions to problems.

Domestic Policies

deals with problems or situations existing in the United States.

Foreign Policy

concerned with the interests of the nation in the global arena.

Issue

a subject becomes an issue after the attention of policymakers is drawn to a particular problem that requires action.

Agenda

"things to be done" the list of issues to which government and nongovernmental actos are paying serious attention at any given time.

Supply-Side Economics

based on the idea that reducing taxes has the effect of benefiting society as a whole.

Monetary Supply

that area of public policy that seeks to control the economy through the control of the money supply and the raising or lowering of interest rates.

Welfare

services provided by government that cover a wide range of socual and economic benefits, such as health care and education.

Realism

the theory of international affaris that holds that cooperation among nations is limited by competition among states and by the lack of ant institution capable of enforcing good behavior.

Liberalism

a view of international affairs that believes that capitalism and democracy working through international institutions can produce peaceful cooperation among nations.

Anarchy

a view of international affairs that holds that nations are free to act according to their interests as they define themm since there is no institution or supreme authority in the world capable of defining rules of good conduct or punishing countries that violate these rules.

Balance of Power

the theory in foreign affairs that holds that threats to the security of a country from another nation or a coalition of nations are best prevented by increasing armaments and by creating countervailing power through alliances with other countries.

Monroe Doctrine

the doctrine stated by president James Monroe in 1823 that European nations would not be allowed to interfere with or colonize any country in the Western Hemisphere.

Isolationism

a theory of world affairs that holds that a nation's interests are best served by having a minimum involvement in world affairs and by avoiding all alliances with other nations.

Unilateralism

theory that a nation should act alone in international affairs without seeking the approval or cooperation of other countries.

Hegemon

the dominant nation in a particular geographic area.

Public Policy

ongoing, goal-oriented action that deals with both real and percieved public problems

Group Theory

the theory that hold that public policy is a product of competition among groups in society.

Pluarlism

the theory that hold that public policy is dispersed among mand individuals and groups.

Elite Theory

the theory that holds that public policy is made by a relatively small group of influential leaders who share common outlooks and goals

Corporatism

the theory that holds groups in society do not merely attempt to influence public policy but are themselves part of the decision-making and implementation system.

Subgoverments

also known as "iron triangles." the theory that hols that government does not make policy choices on its own but endorses decisions made by sections of the governmentin alliance with interest groups. are coalitions of like-minded legislators, bureaucrats, and interest groups.

Regulatory Policy

those rules established by government that embody rules of conduct enforced by sanctions.

Distributive Policy

those policies of government that provide tangible benefits to groups or individuals in a noncompetitive manner.

Redistributive Policy

those policies of government that reallocate resources among groups in society.

Fiscal Policy

that area of public policy that seeks to control the economy through the raising and lowering of tax rates and levels of public expenditure.

Roper v. Simmons

the protection against cruel and unusual punishment prohibits applying the death penatly to teenagers who commit murders while under age 18.

Barron v. Baltimore

Bill of Rights applies only against federal government.

Roe v. Wade

Right to privacy includes women's right to make choices about abortion in the first 6 months of pregnancy.

Lemon v. Kurtzman

1st Amendment test for establishment clause violations focuses on the intent of government policies and the entanglement of government with religion.

Schenck v. United States

1st Amendment right of free speech is subject to a "clear and present danger" test.

Near v. Minnesota

1st Amendment freedom of the press applies against states through the 14th Amendment.

Columbia v. Heller

applies only to laws enacted by Congress or other federal entities.

Weeks v. United States

evidence obtained improperly by the police cannot be used to prosecute someone accused of a crime. the Supreme Court applied the exclusionary rule in this case.

Mapp v. Ohio

exclusionary rule protection of the 4th Amendment applies against states through the 14th Amendment.

Miranda v. Arizona

5th Amendment protection against compelled self-incrimination requires officers to inform suspects about rights prior to questioning while in custody.

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