49 terms

American Government Final Exam

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statute
A law enacted by a federal, state, or local legislature
common law
A legal system based on custom and court rulings
equity
A system of rules by which disputes are resolved on the grounds of fairness.
Property law
Branch of law that deals with obtaining mortgages, deeds to land, and titles and insurance.
Constitutional law
Branch of law that involves the interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution, as well as state constitutions
Torts
A wrongful act for which the injured party has the right to sue for damages in a civil court.
Civil Law
Branch of law that relates to disputes among two or more individuals or between individuals and the government.
Contract
A voluntary arrangement between two or more parties that is enforceable at law as a binding legal agreement
Injunction
A judicial order that restrains a person from beginning or continuing an action that violates the legal right of another
Administrative law
Branch of law that spells out the authority, procedures, rules, and regulations to be followed by government agencies
1st Amendment
Freedom of religion, assembly, petition, press, speech
2nd Amendment
Right to bear arms
3rd Amendment
No lodging of troops in your home
4th Amendment
No unreasonable searches or seizures
5th Amendment
The rights of the accused.
1) Right to grand jury indictment, 2) no double jeopardy, 3) freedom from self-incrimination, 4)due process of law
6th Amendment
The right to counsel in criminal trials.
1) Speedy and public trial, 2) Accused must be told charges, 3) right to counsel (free lawyer if poor), 4) right to jury in criminal cases
7th Amendment
Guarantees the right to jury trial in civil suits involving $20.00 or more.
8th Amendment
no cruel and unusual punishment or excessive bail
9th Amendment
Citizens entitled to rights not listed in the Constitution
10th Amendment
Powers not expressly given to federal government by the Constitution are reserved to states or the people.
Early influences in the American legal system
Code of Hammurabi
The 10 Commandments
Presumption of innocence
the principle that one is considered innocent until proven guilty.
Court of Equity
Issue injunctions that prevent a party from committing an unfair act
Indictment
A formal charge by a grand jury
non-resident alien
a person from a foreign country who expects to stay in the United States for a short, specified period of time
denaturalization
the loss of citizenship through fraud or deception during the naturalization process
resident alien
a person from a foreign nation who has established permanent residence in the United States, but who has not completed the naturalization process.
Naturalization
A legal process to obtain citizenship
Expatriation
act of giving up citizenship by leaving your country to live in a foreign country.
Martin Luther King
an African American civil rights leader who took a nonviolent approach to the change, he was assassinated in 1968
President Lyndon B. Johnson
put the presidential signature to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, KS
Landmark ruling made by the U.S. Supreme Court declaring that segregated schools were unconstitutional
Nonviolent protest
A peaceful way of protesting against restrictive racial policies. Included freedom rides, marches and sit ins.
Effect of Martin Luther King's assassination on Civil Rights Movement
The effectiveness of non-violent protest began to wear off.
14th Amendment
Contains Equal Protection Clause
American citizens cannot be denied "the equal protection of the laws"
Amending process of the Constitution
Proposed by 2/3 Congress votes, then must be ratified by 3/4 State Legislatures
Checks and balance of the legislative branch
Can override a presidential veto with 2/3 majority vote, Confirms presidential appointments, has the power to declare war
Elastic Clause
A statement in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8) granting Congress the power to pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the enumerated list of powers. Gives Congress more flexibility.
McCulloch vs. Maryland
1819 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that Congress has the authority to take actions "necessary and proper" to fulfill its constitutional duties
executive order
A rule issued by the president that has the force of law
Branch of government that handles impeachment
Congress
Chief Justice of Supreme Court
Appointed by the President, confirmed by the Senate
federalism
A system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
Number of senators in the Senate
100
Number of Reps in the House of Representatives
435
James Madison
wrote the Bill of Rights
Number of Amendments
27
Treason
Waging war against your country, or purposely acting to aid its enemies.
Marbury vs. Madison
1803 Supreme Court case that established the principle of judicial review