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Politics of the United States
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Terms in this set (31)
the constitutional and other legal protections against government actions; formally set down in the Bill of Rights.
policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials or individuals; rights to political and social freedom and equality.
Bill of Rights
the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, which define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and they guarantee defendant's rights; drafted in response to some of the Anti-Federalist's concerns; restrain national government from limiting personal freedoms.
the power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress and those of the executive branch are in accord with the U.S. Constitution; was established by Marbury v. Madison.
Selective Incorporation (incorporation doctrine)
the legal concept under which the supreme court has nationalized the bill of rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the 14th amendment; ensures states cannot enact laws that take away the constitutional rights of American citizens that are enshrined in Bill of Rights.
part of the First Amendment stating that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"; prohibits government from establishing an official religion, or taking actions that favor one religion over another, over a non-religion.
Free Exercise Clause
a First Amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion; the abridgment of citizens' freedom to worship or not to worship as the please; right to practice a religion.
nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband; the Supreme Court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the First Amendment; an act that conveys a political message.
"Clear and Present Danger"
tested to determine whether limitations may be placed on First Amendment free speech rights; law should not punish speech unless there is actual danger that can produce harmful actions.
Due Process Clause
part of 14th Amendment guaranteeing that persons cannot be derived of life, liberty, or property by the U.S. or state governments without due process of law; court interpreted the 14th Amendment to say that states could not abridge the freedoms of expression protected by 1st Amendment.
a law passed shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States giving law enforcement agencies increased, broad powers to bring terrorists to justice; led to increased penalties for committing and supporting terrorist crimes; to protect country.
the rule that evidence cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained; the rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure; Supreme Court prevents prosecutors from introducing illegally seized evidence in court
Equal Protection Clause
part of the 14th amendment emphasizing that the laws must provide equivalent "protection" to all people; dictates that state governments cannot pass or enforce any laws based solely on a specific classification of person by race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or age.
National Organization for Women
was established by a small group of feminists who were dedicated to actively challenging sex discrimination but particularly in employment; NOW addresses by means of lobbying and litigation are child care, pregnancy leave, and abortion and pension rights; its major concern during the 1970s was passage of a national Equal Rights Amendment.
Civil Rights Act 1964
the law making racial discrimination in public accommodations illegal. It forbade many forms of job discrimination. It also strengthened voting rights; created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to monitor and enforce protections against job discrimination; provided for withholding federal grants from state and local governments and other institutions that practiced racial discrimination; authorize the U.S. Justice Department to initiate lawsuits to desegregate public schools and facilities.
Voting Rights Act 1965
a law designed to help end formal and informal barriers to African-American suffrage; under the law, hundreds of thousands of African Americans registered to vote, and the number of African Americans elected officials increased dramatically; prohibited any government from using voting procedures that denied a person the vote on the basis of race or color; also abolished the use of literacy requirements for anyone who had completed the sixth grade.
"Letter from Birmingham Jail"
a letter written by Martin Luther King Jr. after he had been arrested when he took part in a nonviolent march against segregation; he was disappointed more Christians didn't speak out against racism.
"Separate but Equal"
the doctrine set forth by the Supreme Court that sanctioned the segregation of individuals by race in separate but equal facilities but that was invalidated as unconstitutional.
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972
forbids gender discrimination in federally subsized education programs (which include almost all colleges and universities), including athletes or activities that receive financial assistance.
Time, place, and manner regulations/restrictions
freedom can conflict with other societal values when it disrupts public order, traffic flow, peace and quiet, or bystanders' freedoms to go about their business with interference; with reasonable limits, freedom of assembly includes the rights to parade, picket, and protest.
1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments
-1st: freedom of religion (establishment/free exercise), speech and the press, and assembly and petition
-2nd: right to bear arms
-4th: no unreasonable search and seizure, need a warrant
-5th: rights to Grand Jury, don't have to incriminate yourself (plead 5th), takings, due process
-6th: rights to fair trial, criminal cases, trial by jury, speedy trial, informed of charges, confront witnesses, right to laws
-8th: no cruel or unusual punishment, no excessive bail
-14th: anyone born in U.S. is a U.S. citizen, privileges and immunities, due process.
Engle v. Vitale
the 1962 Supreme Court decision holding that state officials violated the First Amendment when they required that a prayer be recited by public schoolchildren; said it violates establishment clause; same said about passages being said from Bible; Court rejected its approach because state made it clear that the purpose of the statute was to return prayer to public schools.
Wisconsin v. Yoder
Jonas Yoder, Wallace Miller, and Adin Yutzy are members of the Amish religion. Wisconsin's compulsory school-attendance law required them to cause their children to attend public or private school until they reach 16. Respondents declined to send their children to public school after completion of the eighth grade. Respondents were convicted of violating the law and fined $5 each; was said to be unconstitutional because it impermissibly interferes with Amish beliefs.
Tinker v. Des Moines
the 1969 landmark case that affirmed the 1st Amendment rights of students in school. The Court held that a school district violated student's free speech rights when it singled out a form of symbolic speech --black armbands worn in protest of the Vietnam-- for prohibition, without providing the armbands would cause substantial disruption in class; remains a landmark in upholding the rights of students in school to express their news in a peaceful and orderly way.
New York Times v. United States
the decision by the New York Times and Washington Post to print illegally leaked, classified documents about American involvement in the Vietnam War sparked a 1st Amendment battle between the highest levels of government and two of the most respected newspapers in the country. Nixon Administration attempted to prevent them from publishing materials belonging to a classified Defense Department study regarding U.S. activities in Vietnam. The President argued that prior restraint was necessary to protect national security. First Amendment involved.
McDonald v. Chicago
the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 2008 case of D.C. v. Heller that the 2nd Amendment protected an individual right to keep weapons at home for self-defense. Since the case involved the District of Columbia's handgun ban, the right found in the 2nd Amendment applied only to the national government. Two years later, the Court struck down a similar gun ban in Chicago, incorporating the 2nd Amendment right to own guns for self-defense to state and local governments.
Gideon v. Wainwright
the 1963 Supreme Court decision holding that anyone accused of a felony where imprisonment may be imposed has a right to a lawyer. The decision requires the government to provide a lawyer to anyone so accused who is too poor to afford one.
Roe v. Wade
the 1973 Supreme Court decision holding that a Texas state ban on abortions was unconstitutional. The decision forbade state control over abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy, permitted states to limit abortions to protect a mother's health in the second trimester, and permitted states to ban abortion during the third trimester; Court ruled that a right to privacy extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion under the due process clause in the 14th Amendment. However, that right must be balanced against the state's two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting the women's' health.
Brown v. Board of Education
The 1954 Supreme Court decision holding that school segregation was inherently unconstitutional because it violated the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection. This case marked the end of legal segregation in the United States; was one of the cornerstones of the Civil Rights movement, and helped establish the precedent that "separate but equal" education and other services were not, in fact, equal at all. African American students had been denied admittance to certain public schools based on laws allowing public education to be segregated by race. They argued such segregation violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Schenck v. United States (1919)
a 1919 decision upholding the conviction of a socialist who had urged young men to resist the draft during World War I. Justice Holmes declared that government can limit speech if the speech provokes a "clear and present danger" of substantive evils. Socialits Charles Schneck and Elizabeth Baer distributed leaflets declaring that the draft violated 13th Amendment prohibition against involuntary servitude. The leaflets urged the public to disobey the draft, but advised only peaceful action. They were convicted of violating Espionage Act of 1917 and appealed on grounds that the statute violated 1st Amendment. Court held that Espionage did not violate 1st Amendment. Holmes concluded that 1st Amendment does not protect speech that approaches creating a clear and present danger of a significant evil that Congress has a power to prevent.
Miranda Rights (Miranda v. Arizona)
the 1966 Supreme Court decision that set guidelines for police questioning of accused persons to protect them against self-incrimination and to protect their right to counsel. Defendant confessed guilt after being subjected to a variety of interrotgation techniques without being informed of his 5th Amendment rights during interrogation. In March, 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in his house and brought to police station where he was questioned by police in connection with a kidnapping and rape. Two hours later, written confession from Miranda and was admitted into evidence at trial despite the fact that police admitted they had not advised Miranda of his right to have an attorney present during interrogation. Jury found Miranda guilty. Supreme Court of Arizona affirmed/held that Miranda's constitutional rights were not violated because he did not specifically request counsel. It was concluded that defendant's interrogation violated 5th Amendment. Court established guidelines for police questioning. Suspects must be told the following: 1) have right to remain silent/stop answering 2) what they say can be used against them in court of law 3) have right to have a lawyer during questioning/court will provide lawyer if cannot afford.
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