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15th Amendment

Amendment to the United States Constitution stating: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

16th Amendment

This amendment, passed in 1913, made the tax on personal income permanent.

17th Amendment

This amendment provided for the direct election of U.S. senators.

18th Amendment

This amendment prohibited the sale and use of alcoholic beverages.

19th Amendment

This amendment gave women the right to vote.

1st Amendment

In Bethel School District v. Frasier (1986), the Supreme Court ruled that school districts can limit these kinds of rights in order to keep standards of good taste and public morality.,** freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition

26th Amendmen

This amendment to the constitution allowed citizens 18 years and older to vote.

4th Amendment

In New Jersey v. TLO (1985), the Supreme Court ruled restrictions on rights from this amendment do NOT apply to school officials. ** Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures

Amendment Process

This is a method by which the Constitution may be changed or added to.

Appellate Jurisdiction

This is the authority of a court to hear or review a case after it has been decided at a lower court level.

Bill Of Rights

This is the first ten amendments to the constitution, generally directed at protecting the individual from abuse of power by the national government.


This means to formally reprimand a member of Congress or the Federal government for their actions. It has no force of law.

Checks And Balances

This is the system of overlapping powers among judicial, executive, and legislative branches to allow each branch to oversee the actions of the others.

Civil Law

This is the body of law that regulates interactions between individuals in a state.


This is the term for a Congressional procedure that is used to limit or quickly end debate on issues before the Senate. It requires the support of 60% of the Senate

Concurrent Powers

Powers that are held by both the federal and state governments.

Declaration Of Independence

This was an act passed by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 declaring the thirteen American Colonies independent of British rule.

Delegated Powers

Powers specifically given to the government by the Constitution.

Direct Democracy

This is a system of government in which the people participate directly in making all public policy.

Due Process

This is a policy that the government's actions towards its citizens must follow established rules and procedures.

Ex Post Facto

This is a law that punishes someone for an act that is now illegal but was not when the person committed it. These types of laws are illegal in the United States.

Exclusive Powers

These are powers that can only be executed by the federal government.


This is the branch of government that is responsible for carrying out the laws.

Executive Order

This is an edict from a President (or Governor) that has the force of law without having to be passed or approved by Congress (or a state legislature).


This is the part of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services that regulates and enforces laws about food production and standards in the United States.


This system of government has powers divided between the central government and regional governments, with central government being supreme.

Federalist Papers

This was a series of Articles written to persuade New York to ratify the Constitution.


This is the term for a tactic in which a Senator attempts to delay a vote on a bill by talking continuously, refusing to "yield the floor" to other Senators.

Fourteenth Amendment

This is one of the post-Civil War amendments to the US Constitution that includes the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. ** required states to grant citizenship to "all persons born naturalized in the U.S." and promised "equal protection of the laws."


This is the formal accusation against a Federal (or state) official for wrong-doing while in office. It is the first step in the process of removing the official from office.

Implied Powers

Powers that are not expressed but that the government may be inferred to have from another power.

Judicial Review

This is the power of a court to review a law or an official act of a government employee or agent for constitutionality or for the violation of basic principles of justice.


This is the branch of government that creates and makes laws.


This is an illegal form of printing (newspaper, magazines, or internet) in which false statements are made about a person or group, resulting in damage to that person or group's image or reputation.


These are actions of an interest group or agents to influence the policy of the governments.

McCulloch V. Maryland

This Supreme Court case upheld the Federal government's use of "implied powers," those that are necessary to keep the government running and are not expressly listed in the Constitution.


This is a political organization within a business or industry that is legally allowed to raise money for candidates who favor or are sympathetic to the group's cause(s).


This is a statement of a political party's beliefs and positions on many- if not most- issues


This is a proposed law that is placed on the ballot for the general public to approve or disapprove for passage.


This is when citizen are allowed to directly vote on whether to accept or reject a proposed law.

Reserved Powers

These are powers that are held for the states to execute, not for the federal government.


This is an illegal form of speech in which false statements are made about a person or group, resulting in damage to that person or group's image or reputation.


This is the right to vote, synonym: 'franchise'.

Thirteenth Amendment

Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing and prohibiting slavery. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."


This is the power of the executive to prevent a bill from passing.

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