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civil liberties

personal guarantees and freedoms that federal government cannot abridge by law, constitution, or judicial interpretation.

civil rights

gov. protected rights of individual against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment.

Bill of Rights

first 10 amendments of U.S. constitution which guarantees specific rights and liberties.

9th amendment

special list does not mean that others do not exist

10th amendment

powers not delegated to National gov. are reserved to states or the people

Barron vs. Baltimore (1833)

national bill of rights limited only actions of U.S. gov, not state

Due Process Clause

(5th &14th amend.) guarantee to individual a variety of rights

Substantive Due Process

judicial interpretation of 14th and 15th amend. due process clause states had legal burden to prove their laws were valid exercise of power

Gitlow vs. New York (1925)

states not completely free to limit forms of political interpretation

Incorporation Doctrine

due process clause requires state and local gov. to guarantee those rights

Near vs. Minnesota (1931)

state law violated freedom of press (for the 1st time)

selective incorporation

most protections found in the bill of rights are make applicable to states via 14 amend.

fundamental freedoms

rights defined by court to be essential to order, liberty, and justice; therefore, entitled to review and scrutiny

Palko vs. Connecticut (1937)

double jeopardy. supreme court "not bind states by 5th" double jeopardy not fundamental freedom. palko died 1938; overruled in 1969.

establishment clause

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

free exercise clause

prohibits u.s. gov. from interfering with citizen's right to practice religion (NOT ABSOLUTE)

Engel vs. Vitale (1962)

recitation of prayers in public school was unconstitutional

Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)

is policy dealing with religion const.? created lemon test

Lemon Test

1)secular purpose
2)neither adv. or inhitit religion
3)did not foster excessive entanglement w/ gov.

Equal access act

bars public schools from discriminating against groups of students on basis of "religion, political, philosophical"

Agostini v. Felton (1997)

approved program that sent public school teachers into parochial schools to provide edu. to disadv. students

Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002)

gov. can give money to parents to send child to private/religious schools.

Free Exercise Clause

"congress shall make no law... prohibiting free exercise of religion"

Gonzales v. Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal (2006)

overruled decitions and legalized use of sacremental substances

Prior Restraint

prevents gov. from prohib. speech or publication before fact; generally held to be violation of 1st amend.

Writ of Habeas Corpus

court determines if prisonners are rightfull detained

Ex Parte McCardle (1869)

courd had no authority to rule in the matter

Schenck v. US (1919)

congress right to restrict speech if in clear and present danger

direct incitement test

advocacy of illegal act protected by 1st unless imminent lawless action is intended to occur

New York Times Co v. US (1917)

"Pentagon Papers", gov. could not block publications of secret documents

Press Association v. Stuart (1976)

attempts of Gov. to rprevent expression carried heavy presumption against const.

symbolic speech

symbols, signs, and methods of expression protected by 1st

Federal Flag Protection Act (1989)

Fed. Persecution for anyone who intentially desecrated a national flag

Norma McCorvey

catalyst for pro-life/pro-choice. could not obtain legal abortion and put child up for adoption

Roe v. Wade (1973)

Women's right to abortion is protected by right of privacy

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989)

state requiretd fetal-visb. tet in second trimester

NY Times Co. v.Sullivan (1964)

"actual malice" must be proved to support a finding of libel against public figure

Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942)

fighting words= utterance inflicts injury or toen to incite an immediate breach of peace

Communications Decency Act

Prohibits transmission of obscene materials to anyone under the age of 18

1st Amendment

Freedom of: Religion, Assembly, Press, Petition, Speech

clear and present danger doctrine

in the first amendment/ prior restraint. Gov. can hold back information if it puts citizens in danger or state of panic


defamation by written words (false)


defamation by spoken words (false)

New York Times vs. Sullivan (1964)

defines libel and slander--material that is written in malice and disregard for truth.

fighting words

utterance inflicts injury or incite immediate breach of peace

due process rights

is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person.

4th amendment

guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

5th amendment

protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure; self incrimination and right to double jeopardy.

Miranda vs. Arizona

case that states an accused must be notified of their rights before being questioned by the police. created the Miranda rights.

Miranda rights

is a warning given by police in the United States to criminal suspects in police custody (or in a custodial interrogation) before they are interrogated to preserve the admissibility of their statements against them in criminal proceedings.

double jeopardy clause

protects individuals from being tried twice.

exclusionary rule

prohibits police from using illegally seized evidence at a trial

6th amendment

right to counsel: attorney provided by federal courts.
right to public/speedy trial: juries reflect fairness of community, confront witness, be assured reasonable amount of preparation time

8th amendment

prohibiting the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments

right to privacy

not stated but implied due to the 1st, 3rd, 4th amendments
(birth control, homosexuality, abortion, right to die)

13th amendment

outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime; first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted after the American Civil War.

black codes

laws that deny legal rights to free slaves

14th amendment

guarantees equal protection and due process of law to all citizens

Jim Crow Laws

southern laws that discriminate against African american

Civil rights cases (1883)

private discrimination; not public. group of five similar cases consolidated into one issue for the United States Supreme Court to review

poll tax

part of jim crow laws; a de facto or implicit pre-condition of the exercise of the ability to vote. must pay to vote

grandfather clause

part of jim crow laws; which allowed any adult male whose father or grandfather had voted in a specific year prior to the abolition of slavery to vote without paying the tax.

Plessey v. Ferguson (1896)

case that established "seperate but equal" treatment as constitutional

suffrage movement

was achieved gradually, at state and local levels, during the late 19th century and early 20th century, culminating in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided: "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 sex."

19th amendment

women's suffrage. prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex.

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

case that overturned Plessey v. Furgeson by stating that "seperate but equal" treatment is unconstitutional

equal protection clause

"no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

15 amendment

right to vote regardless of color

Civil Rights Act of 1964

1) outlawed arbitrary discrimination in voter registration and law suits
2) barred discrimination in public accommodation
3) authorized dept. of justice to initiate lawsuits to desegregate public facilities and schools
4) provide for withdrawing fed. funds from discrim. state/local programs
5) prohib. discrim. in employment on grounds or race/color/religion/nat. origin/ sex
6) Equal oppourtunity fo monitor/enforce bans on employ. discrim. employment

de jure discrimination

racial segregation that is a direct result of law or official policy

de facto discrimination

unintentional discrimination (attributed to house hold/private acts than law)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

ederal law enforcement agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination

Equal Rights Amendment

wanted to bar discrimination against women by gov. failed to pass due to Roe. v. Wade (states rescinded their votes)

Suspect Classification

category or class that triggers highest standard of scrutiny from supreme court

strict scrutiny

heightened standard of review used by Supreme Court to constitute validity of challenged practice

Title IX

bars educational institutions from receiving funds from discrimination against female students

affirmative action

policies designed to give special attention to members of a previously disadvantaged group

Equality of opportunity

results may not reflect everyone having the same opportunity

Equality of results

shows equal number "quota" in results

amicus curiae

"friend of the court" ; have interest in outcome of the case

2nd amendment

right to bear arms; added to ensure congress could not pass laws to disarm state militia

Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg

eliminated de jure discrimination

Bollinger v. Grutter

preference to minority/ affirmative action. yes look for more diversity but other factors were looked at when admitting into grad. program

Bollinger v. Gratz

struck down because students were automatically given points for being a minority (reverse discrimination)

solicitor general

person appointed to represent the federal government of the United States before the Supreme Court of the United States. determines the legal position that the United States will take in the Supreme Court. In addition to supervising and conducting cases in which the government is a party, the office of the Solicitor General also files amicus curiae briefs in cases in which the federal government has a significant interest in the legal issue.

activist judge

judge going beyond their appropriate powers and engaging in making laws and not merely interpreting it

3rd amendment

It prohibits, in peacetime or wartime, the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner's consent

probable cause

signed warrant by judge
fairly specific in what you're looking for

plain sight

if police can see the evidence

property owning classification

part of jim crow laws; must own land to be able to vote

literary test

part of jim crow laws; must pass a test to be able to vote

Black Predicament

blacks could not vote b/c no political power.
only other was was through judicial system

Gaines, Sweat, and Mclaurin cases

Test cases: for separate but equal
GOAL: overturn plessey v. Ferguson (they did not)

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