34 terms


Affirmative Action
programs intended to make up for past discrimination by helping minority groups and women gain access to jobs and opportunities
14th Amendment
Declares that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens and are guaranteed equal protection of the laws
concurrent powers
powers that are shared by both the federal and state governments
implied powers
Those delegated powers of the National Government that are suggested by the expressed powers set out in the Constitution; those "necessary and proper" to carry out the expressed powers
enumerated powers
The powers explicitly given to Congress in the Constitution.
inherent powers
The powers of the national government in foreign affairs that the Supreme Court has declared do not depend on constitutional grants but rather grow out of the very existence of the national government
Civil Rights Act of 1964
This act made racial, religious, and sex discrimination by employers illegal and gave the government the power to enforce all laws governing civil rights, including desegregation of schools and public places.
Establishment clause
the First Amendment guarantee that the government will not create and support an official state church
Free exercise clause
the First Amendment guarantee that citizens may freely engage in the religious activities of their choice
Roe vs. Wade decision
the Court ruled that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion (during the first trimester)
Plessy vs. Ferguson decision
the 1896 case in which the U.S. supreme court upheld segregation by enunciating he seperate-but-equal doctrine.
De jure segregation
Racial segregation that occurs because of laws or administrative decisions by public agencies.
de facto segregation
segregation (especially in schools) that happens in fact although not required by law
gag orders
legal restrictions prohibiting the press from releasing preliminary information that might prejudice jury selection
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, containing a list of individual rights and liberties, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press.
supremacy clause
The constitutional provision that makes the Constitution and federal laws superior to all conflicting state and local laws.
mcculloch vs maryland
The state of Maryland taxed banknotes produced by the Bank of the United States, claiming that the Bank was unconstitutional. Using implied powers, Marshall countered that the Bank was constitutional and ruled that Maryland was forbidden from taxing the Bank.
Bills of attainder
a law that punishes a person accused of a crime without a trial or a fair hearing in court
Expost facto laws
a person can't be charged for an action that wasn't illegal at the time but became illegal at a later date
Prior restraint
government censorship of information before it is published or broadcast
Right to privacy
the right to a private personal life free from the intrusion of government
Separate-but-equal doctrine
the doctrine established by Plessy v Ferguson (1896) that African Americans could constitutionally be kept in separate but equal facilities
Brown vs. Board of Education
1954- court decision that declared state laws segregating schools to be unconstitutional. Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
dual federalism
A system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies.
cooperative federalism
system in which both federal government and state governments cooperate in solving problems
new federalism
a policy in 1969, that turned over powers and responsibilities of some U.S. federal programs to state and local governments and reduced the role of national government in domestic affairs (states are closer to the people and problems)
contemporary federalism
mixture of cooperation and conflict. competitive because states and federal gov compete for leadership of national domestic policy
new new federalism
Clinton delegating rule implementation to state agencies, but insisting on the right of federal agencies to set national standards.
state centered federalism
one of several perspectives on federalism, which argues that the constitution and the federal government are creations of the state and therefore can be overruled by the states.
Block grant
broad grant with few strings attached; given to states by the federal government for specified activities, such as secondary education or health services
regressive taxation
A system of taxation in which tax is levied at a decreasing average rate as income rises. This form of taxation takes a greater proportion of tax from the low-income taxpayer than from the high-income taxpayer.
texas reggressive because ?
Why do we have such low voting turnout?
Voter registration
federal madates
A federal law or act compelling State to take certain actions sometimes without providing funding, such as No Child Left Behind- - that's called an un-funded mandate