28 terms

Civil Rights

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Affirmative Action
A policy designed to redress past discrimination against women and minority groups through measures to improve their economic and educational opportunities.
Bill of Attainder
a law that punishes a person accused of a crime without a trial or a fair hearing in court.
Bill of Rights
A formal statement of the fundamental rights of the people of the United States, incorporated in the Constitution as Amendments 1-10, and in all state constitutions.
Civil Liberties
Constitutional freedoms guaranteed to all citizens.
Clear and Present Danger
Government can interfere with speech if it will lead to evil or illegal acts.
De facto discrimination
Discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, and the like that results from social, economic, and cultural biases and conditions.
De jure discrimination
Racial segregation that is a direct result of law or official policy.
Due Process
An administrative agency decision-making, notice of charges or potential rule making coupled with opportunity to appear, present evidence, and confront witnesses if warranted.
Equal Protection Clause
14th amendment clause that prohibits states from denying equal protection under the law, and has been used to combat discrimination.
Establishment Clause
Clause in the First Amendment that says the government may not establish an official religion.
Ex Post Facto Law
a law that would allow a person to be punished for an action that was not against the law when it was committed.
Exclusionary Rule
a legal principle in the United States, under constitutional law, which holds that evidence collected or analyzed in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights is sometimes inadmissible for a criminal prosecution in a court of law.
Free-Exercise Clause
The second clause in the First Amendment, which prevents the government from interfering with the exercise of religion.
Libel
A written defamation of a person's character, reputation, business, or property rights.
Miranda rights
A list of rights that police in the United States must read to suspects in custody before questioning them, pursuant to the Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona.
Prior Restraint
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.
Probable Cause
reasonable grounds (for making a search, pressing a charge, etc.)
Procedural Due Process
legal doctrine in the United States that requires government officials to follow fair procedures before depriving a person of life, liberty, or property
Right to a fair Trial
Best means of separating the guilty from the innocent and protecting against injustice. Without this right, the rule of law and public faith in the justice system collapse.
Right to a jury Trial
Jury decides whether a criminal defendant did whatever it takes to satisfy the elements of a charged offense
Right to counsel
A defendant has a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney during trial.
Right to privacy
Personal information is protected from public scrutiny. U.S. Justice Louis Brandeis called it "the right to be left alone." Not directly stated in the Constitution
Search Warrant
a legal document authorizing a police officer or other official to enter and search premises
Sedition
the crime of saying, writing, or doing something that encourages people to disobey their government
Selective Incorporation
Constitutional doctrine that ensures states cannot enact laws that take away the constitutional rights of American citizens that are enshrined in the Bill of Rights
Self-incrimination
"Pleading the fifth" protects citizens from this -- exposing yourself to criminal prosecution
Slander
the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation
Symbolic Speech
legal term in United States law used to describe actions that purposefully and discernibly convey a particular message or statement to those viewing it
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