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Terms in this set (25)

The first amendment has two religious clauses: the government may not establish a religion and it may not interfere with the free practice of religions.
The courts have ruled on establishment cases by trying to approximate Jefferson's wall separating church and state. The Court requires three things of government action: it must have secular purpose, neither advance nor inhibit religion, and not excessive entangle government in religion. A more recent view known as accommodation simply requires that government not promote one religious view over another.
In protecting the free practice of religion, the courts traditionally asked if the government had a compelling interest imposing a burden. Today, they simply require that government action be neutral and apply to everyone. Congress and some state governments have tried to return to original rule.

Free Speech
Crucial to democracy, and the COurt gives it a privileged position-even against angry public opposition to flag burning, or homophobic displays at military funerals.
Free Speech can be curtailed if it poses a clear and present danger. Today the court requires the danger to be both imminent and likely to occur.
There are limits to free speech, including fighting words and student speech.



Freedom of Press:

The rules for freedom of the press reflect those of free speech and strongly protect free expression.
THe courts are especially skeptical of any effort to impose prior restraint. The new media makes it especially difficult to even try.
Obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment. The court has spent a long time wrestling with just what counts as obscenity and now uses the three part miller test
1) Popular Sovereignty- All of the power lies in the hands of people of the United States who are sovereign. Government can only govern if it is given permission by those who are governed. The overall meaning of popular sovereignty is that the National Government draws its power from the people of the United States and that the people have given their government the power that it has threw the constitution. The government only has the power to make decisions because the people who are governed by them give them the power to do so but if the government abuses the power that they have been given the people have the right to overthrow their government and change it.
2) Limited Government- The principle of limited government explains itself in the title. Limited Government means that the government may only do things that the people that they have government give them the power to do. Unlike popular sovereignty limited government is the opposite where the people are the only source of any and all of governments authority and government has only that authority that people have given to it. The overall theme of this principle is that the government must follow the law. The government must follow all constitutional laws and principles for it to be able to have control over the people and to make decisions.

3) Separation of Powers- In a parliamentary system the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of government are all gathered in the hands of a single agency. Our government runs almost the same except the three powers are separated. This is called a presidential system where the three powers are separated into three distinct and independent branches. Our constitution distributes the powers of the National Government among Congress, the President, and the courts.

4) Checks and Balances- The government is organized around three separate branches. Though the constitution says that these three powers must be separated they are still connected and are not completely independent of each other. What ties them together is known as checks and balances. This means that each branch is subject to a number of constitutional restraints or checks by the other branches. This means that each branch has certain powers with which it can check the operations of the other two. Congress has the power to make laws but the president may veto any act of congress but Congress can also override a presidential veto by two-thirds vote in each house. Checks and balances gives power to each branch to override the other and make sure they are in line.

5) Judicial Review- The power of judicial review is the power of courts to determine whether what government does is in accord with what the constitution provides. The role of the Judicial branch is to determine whether or not a law is constitutionally acceptable. That means that any laws that the government creates cannot break any of our constitutional rights such as freedom of speech. Judicial review is the power to declare unconstitutional, illegal, null, and void of a government action that violates some provision in the Constitution.

6) Federalism- Our government works in a federal form by distributing the powers that they have on a territorial basis. The principle of federalism is the division of power among a central government and several regional government. By spreading the powers throughout the different states the Framers of the constitution built a stronger, more effective national government while preserving the existing states and the concept of local self government.
Constitution Written form of government
Upper House Senate
Congress Senate and House of Representatives
Executive branch Branch of the government whose principle duty is to enforce laws
Popular Sovereignty The political power or authority belongs with the people
Sovereignty Supreme Power
Lower House House of Representatives
Cabinet Presidential Advisors
Judicial Review The power to decide if laws and actions by legislative and executive branches conflict with the Constitution
Federalism System of government that balances power between the central government and state governments
Impeach To formally accuse an official of a crime related to official duties
Bill A proposed law
Veto To reject a proposed law or bill; only the President can veto bills
Amendment A change to the Constitution
Checks and Balances The system that allows each branch to government to limit the powers of the other branches.
Interstate commerce Trade and other business dealings that cross state lines
Party An organized political group
Interest Group An organization that actively promotes the views of some part of the public on specific issues
Bill of Rights The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution
James Madison Father of the Constitution
Bicameral Have two law-making bodies or parts in a government
Override Two-thirds of both houses of Congress disagee with a President's veto; the bill then becomes law in spite of the veto.
Electoral College The group of people who elect the President and Vice-President of the United States
Legislative Branch Branch of the government whose primary responsibility is to pass laws
Judicial Branch Branch of government whose primary responsibility to make sure laws and actions of government do not go against the Constitution
Amendment Process Amendments may be proposed by 2/3rds vote of each house of Congress or by national convention called by Congress as request of 2/3rds of state legislatures
Amendment Approval Amendments must be ratified by 3/4ths of state legislatures or 3/4ths of state conventions
Full faith and credit Each state agrees to accept other states' laws and decisions as legal
Preamble We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, proivde for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Abortion Debate
The case Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) struck down states' contraception ban and declared a dramatic new right: the right to privacy.
• In Roe v. Wade (1973) the Supreme Court drew on the right to privacy and struck down a Texas law banning abortion.
- Pro-choice people support the decision and view it as essential to gender equality, for it enables women to control when (and whether) they have children.
- Pro-life people oppose the decision, believing that life begins at conception and that abortion is murder. Many religious activists took Roe v. Wade as a call to enter politics.

Planned Parenthood v. Casey
• Challenges to Roe v. Wade led to a string of Supreme Court decisions.
• In 1989, the Court upheld a Missouri prohibition on abortions in public hospitals.
• In 1992, the Court took up a Pennsylvania law that seemed to directly challenge Roe by imposing regulations on women seeking abortions, even in the first trimester.
• In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the Court voted (5-4) to take a middle ground.
• The original Roe decision had propounded a judicial rule.
• Rules set clear boundaries between what is lawful and what is not: the states may not
interfere in the first trimester.
• Casey replaced the rule with a judicial standard.
• A standard establishes a more general guiding principle rather than a hard-and-fast rule.

The Court discovered a right to privacy implicit in ( or in the shadows of) of the first third fourth fifth ninth amendments
The court applied the right to privacy to strike down laws banning abortion,
In Roe vs Wade, the court issued a rule prohibiting states from interfering during the first trimester. In Planned Parenthood vs Case, the Court replaced the rule with a standard forbidding laws that put " an undue burden" on the right to privacy.
1860s: Civil War; end of slavery; Congress passes 14th Amendment guaranteeing blacks equal protection and seemingly, public accommodation.

1870s-1890s: Southern states turn back freedoms guaranteed to blacks by the 14th Amendment. Supreme Court decides Hall v. DeCuir (1878), which holds that one state cannot enforce an integration law on another state due to the Interstate Commerce Clause, and Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which allows segregation so long as facilities are "separate but equal," which in fact they were not.

April 28, 1941: Arthur Mitchell, a black congressman from Chicago, wins Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in first class travel, establishing that "separate, but equal" accommodations must indeed be equal.

April 1942: Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) formed in Chicago by Jim Farmer, George Houser and Berniece Fisher. Houser and Farmer also work as race relations secretaries for the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

July 17, 1944: Irene Morgan arrested in Gloucester, Va., for refusing to give up her seat on an interstate bus headed to Maryland. NAACP lawyers Thurgood Marshall and Spottswood Robinson take her case.

June 3, 1946: Marshall and Robinson win Morgan v. Virginia in the Supreme Court, basing their argument not on the 14th Amendment, but Hall v. DeCuir. Their logic was if it is an "undue burden on commerce" for one state to enforce an integration law on another, so too would it be for a state to impose its segregation laws on interstate passengers.

Fall 1946: With few Southern states enforcing the Morgan decision, George Houser, Bayard Rustin and other leaders of the Congress of Racial Equality devise the idea of an interstate "Journey of Reconciliation" to the Upper South, in which whites and blacks would travel together, purposely violating local Jim Crow laws.

April 9-23, 1947: Rustin and Houser lead eight white men and eight black men in the Journey of Reconciliation through Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. A second trip is suggested for an interracial group of women, but does not materialize.

1949: Rustin, Igal Roodenko and Joe Felmet sentenced to 30 days on a chain gang for violating North Carolina Jim Crow laws on the Journey.

May 17, 1954: Supreme Court decides Brown v. Board of Education, overturning Plessy v. Ferguson and holding segregation unconstitutional.

August 1955: 14-year-old Emmett Till is lynched in Money, Mississippi.

December 1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Ala., sparking a year-long bus boycott, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Bayard Rustin serves as an advisor to the boycotters.

The pace of civil rights protests rose sharply in response to the Supreme Court's decision. Martin Luther King, Jr., led a boycott that ended segregated busing in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1957, National Guard troops under orders from President Dwight D. Eisenhower enforced the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. But, even after Little Rock, school integration was painfully slow, and segregation in general remained largely untouched.
In February 1960, four black college students sat down at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., and asked to be served. They were refused service, and they refused to leave their seats. Within days, more than 50 students had volunteered to continue the sit-in, and within weeks the movement had spread to other college campuses. Sit‑ins and other protests swept across the South in early 1960, touching more than 65 cities in 12 states. Roughly 50,000 young people joined the protests that year.

By the 1960 presidential campaign, civil rights had emerged as a crucial issue. Just a few weeks before the election, Martin Luther King, Jr., was arrested while leading a protest in Atlanta, Georgia. John Kennedy phoned Coretta Scott King to express his concern while a call from Robert Kennedy to the judge helped secure her husband's safe release. The Kennedys' personal intervention led to a public endorsement by Martin Luther King, Sr., the influential father of the civil rights leader.
Across the nation, more than 70 percent of African Americans voted for Kennedy, and these votes provided the winning edge in several key states. When President Kennedy took office in January 1961, African Americans had high expectations for the new administration.
But Kennedy's narrow election victory and small working margin in Congress left him cautious. He was reluctant to lose southern support for legislation on many fronts by pushing too hard on civil rights legislation. Instead, he appointed unprecedented numbers of African Americans to high-level positions in the administration and strengthened the Civil Rights Commission. He spoke out in favor of school desegregation, praised a number of cities for integrating their schools, and put Vice President Lyndon Johnson in charge of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. Attorney General Robert Kennedy turned his attention to voting rights, initiating five times the number of suits brought during the previous administration.

May 1961: Under Jim Farmer, CORE launches a second Journey of Reconciliation. This time, it's called a "Freedom Ride,", and this time, it targeted segregated bus stations as well as the buses themselves. The travelers, which include women and men, head to the Deep South, where they are brutally beaten. Jim Peck is the only veteran of the 1947 journey to participate.

In 1962, James H. Meredith, Jr., an African American Air Force veteran, was denied admission to the University of Mississippi, known as "Ole Miss." Meredith attempted to register four times without success.
Long telephone conversations between the president, the attorney general, and Governor Ross Barnett failed to produce a solution. When federal marshals accompanied Meredith to campus in another attempt to register for classes, rioting erupted. Two people died and dozens were injured. President Kennedy mobilized the National Guard and sent federal troops to the campus. Meredith registered the next day and attended his first class, and segregation ended at the University of Mississippi.
See Integrating Old Miss, an interactive website that tells the story of James Meredith and the tumultuous events surrounding his historic admission to the University of Mississippi.
Integrating the University of Alabama
Governor George Wallace had vowed at his inauguration to defend "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever." In June 1963, he upheld his promise to "stand in the schoolhouse door" to prevent two black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama. To protect the students and secure their admission, President Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard. And on June 11, the president addressed the nation.
Kennedy defined the civil rights crisis as moral, as well as constitutional and legal. He announced that major civil rights legislation would be submitted to the Congress to guarantee equal access to public facilities, to end segregation in education, and to provide federal protection of the right to vote.

August 28, 1963: March on Washington held, in which Dr. King gives his "I Had a Dream" speech. The event, then the largest mass protest to date in American history, is largely organized by Rustin.

November 22, 1963: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
The March on Washington and the Civil Rights Act of 1964
In August 1963, more than 200,000 Americans of all races celebrated the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation by joining the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Key civil rights figures led the march, including A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Bayard Rustin, and Whitney Young. But the most memorable moment came when Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Later that fall, the comprehensive civil rights bill cleared several hurdles in Congress and won the endorsement of House and Senate Republican leaders. It was not passed, however, before November 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. The bill was left in the hands of Lyndon B. Johnson. Before becoming vice president, Johnson had served more than two decades in Congress as a congressman and senator from Texas. He used his connections with southern white congressional leaders and the outpouring of emotion after the president's assassination to pass the Civil Rights Act as a way to honor President Kennedy.
Provisions of the legislation included: (1) protecting African Americans against discrimination in voter qualification tests; (2) outlawing discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce; (3) authorizing the U.S. Attorney General's Office to file legal suits to enforce desegregation in public schools; (4) authorizing the withdrawal of federal funds from programs practicing discrimination; and (5) outlawing discrimination in employment in any business exceeding 25 people and creating an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to review complaints.
Passed on July 2, 1964, the Civil Rights Act was a crucial step in achieving the civil rights movement's initial goal: full legal equality.


1964: Congress passes Civil Rights Act, permanently guaranteeing equal public accommodations.

1965: Congress passes Voting Rights Act
Black Power Movement
The Black Power movement grew out of the Civil Rights Movement that had steadily gained momentum through the 1950s and 1960s. Although not a formal movement, the Black Power movement marked a turning point in black-white relations in the United States and also in how blacks saw themselves. The movement was hailed by some as a positive and proactive force aimed at helping blacks achieve full equality with whites, but it was reviled by others as a militant, sometimes violent faction whose primary goal was to drive a wedge between whites and blacks. In truth, the Black Power movement was a complex event that took place at a time when society and culture was being transformed throughout the United States, and its legacy reflects that complexity.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) worked with blacks and whites to create a desegregated society and eliminate racial discrimination. Their efforts generated positive responses from a broad spectrum of people across the country. Rev. martin luther king jr., who headed the SCLC, made significant headway with his adherence to nonviolent tactics. In 1964, President lyndon b. johnson signed the civil rights act and a year later he signed the voting rights act.

Civil Rights legislation was an earnest and effective step toward eliminating inequality between blacks and whites. Even with the obvious progress, however, the reality was that prejudice could not be legislated away. Blacks still faced lower wages than whites, higher crime rates in their neighborhoods, and unspoken but palpable racial discrimination. Young blacks in particular saw the civil rights movement as too mainstream to generate real social change. What they wanted was something that would accelerate the process and give blacks the same opportunities as whites, not just socially but also economically and politically. Perhaps more important, they felt that the civil rights movement was based more on white perceptions of civil rights than black perceptions.

Not all blacks had been equally impressed with the civil rights movement. Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam, for example, felt that racial self-determination was a critical and neglected element of true equality. By the mid-1960s, dissatisfaction with the pace of change was growing among blacks. The term "black power" had been around since the 1950s, but it was Stokely Carmichael, head of the student nonviolent coordinating committee (SNCC), who popularized the term in 1966.

Carmichael led a push to transform SNCC from a multiracial community activist organization into an all-black social change organization. Late in 1966, two young men, huey newton and bobby seale, formed the black panther party for self-defense (BPP), initially as a group to track incidents of police violence. Within a short time groups such as SNCC and BPP gained momentum, and by the late 1960s the Black Power movement had made a definite mark on American culture and society.

The Black Power movement instilled a sense of racial pride and self-esteem in blacks. Blacks were told that it was up to them to improve their lives. Black Power advocates encouraged blacks to form or join all-black political parties that could provide a formidable power base and offer a foundation for real socioeconomic progress. For years, the movement's leaders said, blacks had been trying to aspire to white ideals of what they should be. Now it was time for blacks to set their own agenda, putting their needs and aspirations first. An early step, in fact, was the replacement of the word "Negro" (a word associated with the years of Slavery) with "black."

The movement generated a number of positive developments. Probably the most noteworthy of these was its influence on black culture. For the first time, blacks in the United States were encouraged to acknowledge their African heritage. Colleges and Universities established black studies programs and black studies departments. Blacks who had grown up believing that they were descended from a backwards people now found out that African culture was as rich and diverse as any other, and they were encouraged to take pride in that heritage. The Black Arts movement, seen by some as connected to the Black Power movement flourished in the 1960s and 1970s. Young black poets, authors, and visual artists found their voices and shared those voices with others. Unlike earlier black arts movements such as the Harlem Renaissance, the new movement primarily sought out a black audience.

The same spirit of racial unity and pride that made the Black Power movement so dynamic also made it problematic—and to some, dangerous. Many whites, and a number of blacks, saw the movement as a black separatist organization bent on segregating blacks and whites and undoing the important work of the civil rights movement. There is no question that Black Power advocates had valid and pressing concerns. Blacks were still victims of racism, whether they were being charged a higher rate for a mortgage, getting paid less than a white coworker doing the same work, or facing violence at the hands of white racists. But the solutions that some Black Power leaders advocated seemed only to create new problems. Some, for example, suggested that blacks receive paramilitary training and carry guns to protect themselves. Though these individuals insisted this device was solely a means of Self-Defense and not a call to violence, it was still unnerving to think of armed civilians walking the streets.

Also, because the Black Power movement was never a formally organized movement, it had no central leadership, which meant that different organizations with divergent agendas often could not agree on the best course of action. The more radical groups accused the more mainstream groups of capitulating to whites, and the more mainstream accused the more radical of becoming too ready to use violence. By the 1970s, most of the formal organizations that had come into prominence with the Black Power movement, such as the SNCC and the Black Panthers, had all but disappeared.

The Black Power movement did not succeed in getting blacks to break away from white society and create a separate society. Nor did it help end discrimination or racism. It did, however, help provide some of the elements that were ultimately necessary for blacks and whites to gain a fuller understanding of each other.
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