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1st Amendment

The Establishment Clause comes from the...

1st Amendment

The Free Speech Clause comes from the...

1st Amendment

Freedom of the press, the right to assemble, the right to petition government, and the "freedom of association" come from the...

4th Amendment

The right to be secure against government searches of homes and other personal items without permission or a search warrant comes from the...

2nd Amendment

The right to keep and bear arms comes from the...

5th Amendment

The right to protection against right violation without due process of law comes from the...

5th and 6th Amendments

The rights of criminal defendants in investigations (for example, the right to a public jury trial) come from the...

7th Amendment

The right to a jury trial in civil cases comes from the...

8th Amendment

The right to security against cruel and unusual punishment comes from the...

10th Amendment

The inherent rights of the States and the people (except for the specific rights given to the federal government) come from the...

14th Amendment

The Equal Protection Clause,
"incorporation doctrine,"
and the Due Process Clause come from the...

15th Amendment

The right of all people to vote, regardless of their ethnicity, their race, or (through interpretation) their literacy, comes from the...

17th Amendment

The right of the people of each State to directly elect their U.S. Senators comes from the...

22nd Amendment

The restriction of the number of terms a president can serve to two terms comes from the...

Engel v. Vitale

In 1962, this Supreme Court decision inappropriately applied the Establishment Clause to prohibit classroom prayer. As a result, public schools do not allow classroom prayer.

Brown v. Board of Education

In 1954, this Supreme Court decision ended racial public school segregation.

Marbury v. Madison

In 1803, this highly influential decision gave the judiciary branch the power of "judicial review:" the power to invalidate laws passed by Congress and the president. Although President Thomas Jefferson was happy that he won the case, he was not pleased that the Court's decision gave it the power to invalidate laws made by the other branches of government.

Miranda v. Arizona

In 1966, this decision reached by the Supreme Court resulted in questioners being obligated to read the "Miranda warning" before questioning criminals.

Roe v. Wade

This decision is an example of "judicial activism." The U.S. Supreme Court combined the Due Process Clause and "incorporation doctrine" to illogically declare that abortion is a constitutional right and to invalidate State laws regarding abortion, issuing this decision in 1973. The March for Life has protested it annually since.

the Constitution

Written at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and ratified by the States by 1788, it was supported by a series of articles called the Federalist Papers.

Federalist Papers

These papers were penned by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Their purpose was to pursuade NY to ratify the Constitution.

separation of powers

This phrase refers to the separation of the U.S. federal government into the three legislative, judicial, and executive branches.

checks and balances

The three branches of the federal government "check" and "balance" the power of each other by preventing each other from growing too powerful.

judicial review

This "doctrine" allows the judicial branch of the federal government to review and, if necessary, invalidate laws passed by Congress/the president.


The root word of this term has many different meanings, but the term itself refers to the combination of the state governments and the federal government.

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