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36 terms

Advanced Placement: U.S. Government & Politics; Key Terms for Civil Liberties/Civil Rights

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Civil liberties
constitutional freedoms (speech, assembly, religion). guaranteed to all citizens.
Civil rights
positive acts of government designed to prevent discrimination and provide equality before the law
Clear and present danger doctrine
judicial interpretation of Amendment 1 that govt. may not ban speech unless such speech poses an imminent threat to society
De facto segregation
segregation "by fact"
De jure segregation
segregation by law
Double jeopardy
being prosecuted twice for the same offense. Banned by Amendment 5
Due process clause
prohibits the national government (5th Amendment) and states (14th Amendment) from denying life, liberty, or property without due process of law
Equal protection clause
14th amendment clause that prohibits states from denying equal protection under the law, and has been used to combat discrimination
Eminent domain
the right of government to take private property for the public good. Fair compensation must be paid to the owner of such property.
Establishment clause
Provision of Amendment 1 that prohibits Congress from est. an official state religion. Basis for separation of church and state.
Exclusionary rule
Supreme Court guideline that excludes the use of illegally obtained evidence in a criminal trial
Free exercise clause
Provision of Amendment 1 stating that Congress may prohibit the free exercise of religion
Grandfather clause
Southern laws that excluded blacks from exercising suffrage by restricting the right to vote only to those whose grandfathers had voted before 1865.
Grand jury
determines whether or not to bring criminal charges against a suspect
Incorporation
applying the Bill of Rights to the states.
Total Incorporation
states must obey all provisions of the Bill of Rights because of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment
Selective Incorporation
Bill of Rights is to be applied to the states in a more gradual manner on a case by case basis, also via the due process clause of the 14th Amendment
Indictment
Grand jury order that a suspect must stand trial for a criminal offense
Jim Crow Laws
Southern laws that required racial segregation in places of public accommodation
Libel
Written untruths that damage a reputation
Literacy test
Southern method of excluding blacks from exercising suffrage by requiring that voters prove their ability to read and write
Miranda Warnings
Warnings that must be read to suspects prior to questioning. Suspects must be advised that they have the rights of silence and counsel
Plea bargain
Arrangement in which a suspect pleads guilty to a lesser offense in order to avoid a trial. The manner in which most cases are disposed of.
Police powers
Powers that allow states to pass laws protecting the health, welfare, safety, and morals of their residents
Poll tax
Southern method of excluding blacks from exercising suffrage by requiring payment of a tax prior to voting
Prior restraint
When a court stops expression before it is made. Presumed to be unconstitutional.
Racial gerrymandering
Drawing of legislative boundaries to give electoral advantages to a particular racial group. "Majority-minority" districts include large numbers of racial minorities in order to ensure minority representation in legislatures.
Sedition
Advocacy of the overthrow of the govt.
Separate but equal
Supreme Court doctrine est. in the case of Plessy v Ferguson. Allowed state-required racial segregation in places of public accommodation as long as the facilities were equal
Shield Laws
State laws that protect journalists from having to reveal their sources
Slander
Spoken untruths that damage a reputation
Strict scrutiny
Supreme Court guidelines for determining if a govt. can make racial distinctions. Such distinctions are highly suspect and are allowed only if they are narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest.
White Primary
Primary election in which Southern states allowed only whites to vote
Writ of habeas corpus
a court order requiring that the govt. show cause for detaining someone and charge him/her with a crime
Ex post facto law
a law that declares something illegal after it has been done
Bill of Attainder
a bill passed by the legislature that declares a person guilty of a crime