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Terms in this set (90)
What are the 6 major goals of government, as established in the preamble to the Constitution?
To form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.
The Constitution's authority comes from who or what?
People of the US
What is established in Article I?
What is established in Article II?
What is established in Article III?
What is the Necessary and Proper clause? What is it also known as?
One of the powers of Congress that allows them to make any laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out their powers. Also called the "Elastic Clause". (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18)
How many amendments to the Constitution have been ratified?
How are amendments to the Constitution usually proposed?
The legislature passes an act to change the constitution. Proposed amendments appear on the ballot at the next state general election. Amendments must be approved by a majority voting in an election.
How are amendments to the Constitution usually ratified?
2/3 of the House and Senate approve of the proposal and send it to the states for a vote. 3/4 of the states must affirm the proposed amendment. (Article 5)
What are the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution called?
Bill of Rights
Why were the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution added?
Anti federalists needed the bill to guarantee that the new stronger federal government would not be able to abuse the people's rights.
What rights are guaranteed by the 1 st Amendment?
Protects the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, right to assemble and petition the government
Who or what is limited by the 1 st Amendment?
Does not include the right to endanger the government or people. No right to provoke a riot or other violent behavior, not free to speak or write in a way that leads to criminal activities or efforts to overthrow the government by force, not interfere the rights of others, and cannot spread lies (slander/libel) that harm a person's reputation.
What is libel? What is slander?
Libel: lies are printed
Slander: lies are spoken
What is the Establishment Clause, and what is the Free Exercise Clause?
Establishment Clause prohibits the government from "establishing" a religion.
Free Exercise Clause protects the citizens' right to practice their religion..
What right is guaranteed by the 2 nd Amendment?
Protects an individual's right to bear arms
What rights are guaranteed by the 3 rd Amendment?
Prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers during peacetime
What rights are guaranteed by the 4 th Amendment?
Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for
search warrants based on probable cause
What was decided in the case of Roe vs. Wade, and which Amendments are cited in the decision in Roe vs. Wade?
Women has a constitutional right to abortion. Based on an implied right to personal privacy from Amendment 9 and 14
What rights are guaranteed by the 5 th Amendment?
Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy
What was decided in the case of Miranda vs. Arizona?
Detained criminal suspects, prior to police questioning, must be informed of their constitutional right to an attorney (Amendment 6) and against self- incrimination (Amendment 5).
When the police read you your rights, which Amendment in particular are they reminding you of?
Amendment 5 and 6
Which rights are you exercising when you "take the 5 th " or "plead the 5 th" ?
What rights are guaranteed by the 6 th Amendment?
Protects the right to a fair and speedy
public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel (lawyer)
What rights are guaranteed by the 7 th Amendment?
Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law
What rights are guaranteed by the 8 th Amendment?
Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment
Is the death penalty considered cruel and unusual punishment by the Constitution? Why or why not?
What does it take to be convicted of treason in the United States of America?
What rights are guaranteed by the 9 th Amendment?
Protects rights not enumerated in the
What rights are guaranteed by the 10 th Amendment?
Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by
What does the 11 th Amendment provide for?
Immunity of states from suits from out-of state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders. Lays the foundation for sovereign immunity
What does the 12 th Amendment provide for?
Revises presidential election procedures
What historical event or events led to the creation of the 12 th Amendment?
After the 1800 Presidential Election, the 12th Amendment was adopted to fix a flaw in the Constitution that had allowed Thomas Jefferson to tie in the Electoral College with his vice presidential candidate Aaron Burr (Article 2, section 1)
What does the 13 th Amendment forbid?
Abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime
What rights are guaranteed by the 14 th Amendment?
Defines citizenship, contains the Privileges or Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and deals with post-Civil War issues
What is Due Process?
fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizen's entitlement.
What rights are guaranteed by the 15 th Amendment?
Prohibits the denial of suffrage based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude
What does the 16 th Amendment provide for?
Allows the federal government to collect income tax
What does the 17 th Amendment provide for?
Establishes the direct election of United States Senators by popular vote
Who or what originally elected Senators?
People of the US
What does the 18 th Amendment forbid?
Establishes prohibition of alcohol (repealed by Twenty-first Amendment)
What rights are guaranteed by the 19 th Amendment?
Establishes women's suffrage
What does the 20 th Amendment provide for?
Fixes the dates of term commencements
for Congress (Jan. 3rd) and the President
(Jan. 20th); known as the "lame duck
What does the 21 st Amendment do?
Repeals the Eighteenth Amendment and prohibits violations of state laws regarding
What does the 22 nd Amendment require?
Limits the president to two terms, or a maximum of 10 years (i.e., if a Vice President serves not more than one half of a President's term, he or she can be elected to a further two terms)
What does the 23 rd Amendment provide for?
Provides for representation of Washington, D.C. in the Electoral College
What does the 24 th Amendment provide for?
Prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of poll taxes
What does the 25 th Amendment provide for?
Codifies the Tyler Precedent; defines the
process of presidential succession
What rights are guaranteed by the 26 th Amendment?
Establishes the right to vote for those age 18 years or older
What does the 27 th Amendment forbid?
Prevents laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until the beginning of the next session of Congress
What was the Supreme Court's opinion in the case of Marbury vs. Madison?
Judicial review was established in this 1803 Supreme Court case
What was the Supreme Court's opinion in the case of McCulloch vs. Maryland?
The 1819 Supreme Court case, which established the supremacy of the national
government over the states, included both enumerated and implied powers of Congress.
What was the Supreme Court's opinion in the case of Dred Scott vs. Sanford?
The rights of slave-owners were constitutionally protected by the Fifth Amendment because slaves were categorized as property.
What was the Supreme Court's opinion in the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson?
The Supreme Court provided constitutional justification for segregation when it held that segregation in public facilities was not unconstitutional as long as the facilities were
substantially equal "separate but equal"
What was the Supreme Court's opinion in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education?
The Supreme Court held that school segregation was
What was the Supreme Court's opinion in the case of Lemon vs. Kurtzman?
The Supreme Court declared that aid to church-related schools must have a secular legislative purpose, cannot be used to advance or inhibit religion, and should avoid excessive government "entanglement" with religion
A member of the House of Representatives is elected to serve for how many years at a time?
2-year terms and are considered for reelection every even year. Every second year (Article I, section 2, Clause 1)
What are the Constitutional requirements to be eligible to run for the House of Representatives?
Must be older than 25,
Must be a citizen for 7 years,
Shall not be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen. (Article I, section 2, clause 2 )
A member of the Senate is elected to serve for how many years at a time?
Serve 6 year terms and reelected over even years. (article 1, section 3, clause 1)
What are the Constitutional requirements to be eligible to run for the Senate?
Being 30 years old, Being a US citizen for 9 years, Being a citizen of that state
(Article 1, section 3, clause 3)
A President is elected to serve for how many years at a time?
Limited to serving for 10 years in office. Can only be elected to 2 full terms (Amendment 22)
What are the Constitutional requirements to be eligible to run for President?
Natural born citizen, of 35 years old, 14 years a resident in the US (article 2, section 1)
A Supreme Court Justice is appointed to serve for how long? Why did the framers of the Constitution make this
assure the integrity of the power granted to Court Justices and protect them
against unwarranted interference from either the legislative or executive
How can the Legislative Branch check the Judicial Branch?
The legislative branch must approve the president's choice of judges
to the judicial branch; may propose constitutional
amendments to overturn judicial decisions
How can the Legislative Branch check the Executive Branch?
The legislative branch must approve appointments that the president makes; the Senate must approve treaties that the president makes; and the legislative branch may investigate the executive branch.
How can the Judicial Branch check the Executive and Legislative Branches?
Judicial branch may check both the legislative and
executive by declaring laws unconstitutional
justices cannot be fired by the president.
How can the Executive Branch check the Legislative Branch?
Executive branch has the power to check the
legislative branch by vetoing laws that Congress wants to pass
What is "reapportionment" and why can it become controversial?
Adjusting the seats b/w states based on population (gain or lose power).
legislators have often been more concerned with protecting their political power than protecting the civil liberties of voters.
Who or what actually elects the President of the United States?
The Constitution allows each state to elect a number of Electors equal to the sum of members it has in the U.S. House of Representatives plus its two U.S. Senators. These Electors actually elect the president and vice president by voting in the Electoral College
Why did the framers of the Constitution create the Electoral College?
They considered the average American uniformed and unable to select the right person for President so they wanted a group of informed people selecting the President
If no one wins a majority in the Electoral College, who or what gets to select the President? Why?
the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote.
If no one wins a majority in the Electoral College, who or what gets to select the Vice President? Why?
The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President.
In which part of Congress must all spending bills originate? Why did the framers give this power to them?
Originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills. (Article 1, section 7, clause 1)
To ensure that the executive would not spend money without congressional authorization.
Which part of Congress has the power to ratify treaties? Why did the framers give this power to them?
The Constitution's framers gave the Senate a share of the treaty power in order to give the president the benefit of the Senate's advice and counsel, check presidential power, and safeguard the sovereignty of the states by giving each state an equal vote in the treaty-making process. The Senate does not ratify treaties—the Senate approves or rejects a resolution of ratification.
Which part of Congress has the power to confirm or reject Presidential appointees? Why did the framers give this power to them?
The advice and consent of the Senate.
Under the Necessary and Proper Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8), Congress has often established qualifications for those who can serve in the offices it has created, thereby limiting the range of those the President can nominate.
Which part of the government has the power to declare war? Why did the framers give this power to them?
The framers of the Constitution attempted to balance the power of the President as commander-in-chief with that of Congress, the representatives of the People. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives to the Executive Branch the command of the nation's armed forces, while Article I, Section 8 gives to the Legislative Branch the power to decide when the United States goes to war
What is "Full Faith & Credit"? Why is it important?
Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State (Article 4, section 1)
Ensures comity among the states. Each state is considered a legal equal in the union, and each state must honor the lawful orders issued by another state government.
What is the Privileges and Immunities Clause? Why is it important?
The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states. (Article 4, section 2). This clause protects fundamental rights of individual citizens and restrains state efforts to discriminate against out-of-state citizens.
What is the Supremacy Clause? Why is it important?
Federal over state laws; no conflict. It establishes us as 'the supreme law of the land' of the legal system.
What is Habeas Corpus? Why is it important?
By issuing a writ of habeas corpus, a judge or court may compel those holding a prisoner to produce the prisoner and prove that they have legally incarcerated the individual. This power is an important check against an inordinate concentration of power in the executive branch as it allows the judiciary to challenge
What is Eminent Domain? Why is it important?
The power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they provide just compensation to the property owners.
What is extradition? Why is it important?
Extradition is the transfer of an accused person from one country to another country that seeks to place them on trial. Extradition is an important part of prosecuting cross-border crime, but there should always be safeguards that ensure extradition serves the interests of justice. People cannot escape the consequences of their criminal acts simply by leaving the place where they committed it, and travelling to someplace else.
What is the Exclusionary Rule? Why is it important?
a judge‐made rule that evidence obtained by the government in violation of a defendant's constitutional rights can't be used against him or her. A remedy for illegal searches that violate the rights set forth in the Fourth Amendment
What is a search warrant, and when are they needed?
an order signed by a judge that authorizes police officers to search for specific objects or materials at a definite location.
Police officers obtain search warrants by convincing a neutral and detached magistrate that they have "probable cause" to believe that criminal activity is occurring at the place to be searched or that evidence of a crime may be found there.
What is symbolic speech?
a legal term in United States law used to describe actions that purposefully and discernibly convey a particular message or statement to those viewing it.
How was the Interstate Commerce Clause used to compel desegregation?
They argued that the Commerce Clause was designed to allow Congress to regulate interstate economic matters, and not as a front for Congress to promote a particular moral vision under the guise of economic regulation. They also argued that a congressional ban on racial discrimination in places of public accommodation trampled on private property rights. In particular, they said that the ban intruded on the right of private business owners to do business, or to decline to do business, with any person they want.
The Court ruled in Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. U.S. (1964) that Congress had plenty of authority under the Commerce Clause to ban racial discrimination at the hotel because the hotel catered to interstate travelers and it therefore affected interstate commerce.
The President is allowed to issue Executive Orders. Where does the power to do so come from?
The President's source of authority to issue Executive Orders can be found in the Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution which grants to the President the "executive Power."
What is "Prior Restraint" and under what circumstances might it be allowed?
censorship (before publication) imposed, usually by a government, on expression that prohibits particular instances of expression. If they tell classified information
Which amendments deal with the right to vote (suffrage)?
15 (don't deny race), 19 (women), 26 (voting age)
What are the requirements to be considered an eligible voter in the state of California?
-be a United States citizen.
-be 18 years of age on or before the day of the election.
-be a resident of the State of California.
-not be in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony.
-not judicially determined to be incompetent to vote.
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