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Civil liberties and rights

Civil Liberties

individual legal and constitutional protections against the government.

Civil Rights

protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials or individuals.

First amendment

The constitutional amendment that establishes the four great liberties: freedom of the press, of speech, of religion, and of assembly.

Incorporation Doctrine

case-by-case process by which liberties listen in the Bill of Rights have been applies to the states using the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment

Due proccess of law

everyone has the right to a trial, with a jury, with a lawyer, and cant be forced to speak against them selves, All the procedures for fair treatment that must be carried out whenever a citizen is accused of a crime

Establishment Clause

Clause in the First Amendment that says the government may not establish an official religion. Also separates church and state.

Free Exercise Clause

prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion or worship

Prior Restraint

Censorship imposed on a speech before it published in a newspaper; usually unconstitutional

Shield laws

state laws that protect journalists from having to reveal their sources


Written statement of a public official that contains false statements that are malicious and in reckless disregard of the truth, damaging their reputation


Spoken statement that refers to spoken Defamation (insult) that is malicious and is in reckless disregard of the truth

Symbolic Speech

nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The Supreme Court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the first amendment.

Commercial speech

Advertisements and commercials for products and services; they receive less First Amendment protection, primarily to discourage false and misleading ads.

The federal Communications Commission (FCC)

regulates the public airways

right to associate and assemble

Right to gather together except for the limits as to ( TIME PLACE AND MANNER)

Probable cause

reasonable cause for issuing a search warrant or making an arrest; more than mere suspicion

unreasonable search and seizure

Obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner, a practice prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. Probable cause and/or a search warrant are required for a legal and proper search for and seizure of incriminating evidence.

exclusionary rule

Supreme Court guideline that prohibits evidence obtained by illegal searches or seizures from being admitted in court

right to counsel

the guarantee in the sixth amendment to the constitution that a defendant in a criminal case have the assistance of an attorney

Plea bargaining

a legal negotiation in which a prosecutor reduces a charge in exchange for a defendant's guilty plea

6th amendment

Right to a fair, speedy trial

8th amendment

Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment


Most classifications- bear a rational relationship to some legitimate governmental purpose (such as age classification) is constitutional

Strict Scrutiny

Racial and ethnic Classifications- inherently suspect and are valid only if they serve a compelling public interest

medium scrutiny

Gender Classifications- somewhere in between, they are presumed to be constitutional nor unconstitutional.Must bear a substantial relationship to an important legislative purpose.

Grand Jury

A jury that see the evidence in a case to see if there is enough to conduct a trial. They do not decide innocence or guilt.

Equal Protection Clause

14th amendment clause that prohibits states from denying equal protection under the law, and has been used to combat discrimination

de jure segregation

Segregation imposed by law.

de facto segregation

Segregation resulting from economic or social conditions or personal choice.

writ of heabeas corpus

court order directing that a prisoner be brought before a court and that the court officers show cause why the prisoner should not be released

civil rights act of 1964

the law that made racial discrimination against any group in hotels, motels, and restaurants illegal and forbade many forms of job discrimination

civil disobedience

refusal to obey a law. Blacks Americans did sit-ins, protests, marches, and bus boycotts

bill of rights

the first ten amendments to the united states constitution. it contains a listing of the rights a person enjoys that cannot be infringed upon by the government

ex post facto law

a criminal law that is retroactive and that has an adverse effect upon one accused oa a crime

freedom of association

the right to organize for political, religious, or other social purposes

freedom of the press

the right to publish and disseminate information without prior restraint, subject to penalties for abuse of the right

freedom of religion

freedom of worship and religious practice

freedom of speech

the right to speak without prior restraint, subject to penalties for abuse of the right

habeas corpus

a court order directing an official who has a person in custody to bring the prisoner to court and to show cause for his detention


a privilege granted to a person that exempts him from prosecution for any self-incriminating testimony given by him before a court, grand jury, or investigating committee

Equal Rights Amendment

constitutional amendment passed by Congress but never ratified that would have banned discrimination on the basis of gender

Comparable worth

Women should be paid salaries equal to men for equivalent job responsibilities &skills


the separation of the white and black races in public and private facilities


the situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court. YThis is forbid against the 5th amendment


the right to vote

reverse discrimination

Discrimination against whites or males in hiring or promoting

Civil rights and women's Equality in employment Act of 1991

proof in justifying hiring and promotional practice to employers who must show that employment practices are related to job performance

Sexual harassment

no single factor is required to prove to win a sexual harassment case and the law is violated when the workplace environment "would reasonably be perceived, and is perceived, as hostile or abusive."

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

prohibits discrimination against disabled people and requires covered entities to reasonably accommodate individuals who are protected by the act

Graying of America

aging of American population due to decline in birth rate and increase in life expectancy

affirmative action

programs intended to make up for past discrimination by helping minority groups in employment, promotion, or admission for member of groups who have suffered the effects of past discrimination .

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