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civil liberties

individual rights and freedoms that government is obliged to protect, normally by not interfering in the exercise of these rights and freedoms

due process

procedural safeguards that government officials are obligated to follow prior to restricting rights of life, liberty, and property

incorporation process

the application, through the 14th Amendment, of the civil liberties protections in the Bill of Rights to state governments

selective incorporation

the process by which protections in the Bill of Rights were gradually applied to the states, as the Supreme Court issued decisions on specific aspects of the Bill of Rights

prior restraint

government intervention to prevent the publication of material it finds objectionable

bad tendency standard

a free speech standard which took as its starting point a presumption that government restrictions on speech were reasonable and constitutional, thus leaving the burden of proof to those who objected to the restriction

clear and present danger standard

used in free speech cases, this standard permitted government restrictions on speech if public officials believed that allowing the speech created a risk that some prohibited action would result from the speech

gravity of the danger standard

a free speech standard in which the Supreme Court allowed restrictions on speech if the dangers espoused by the speech was sufficiently evil, even if that evil was unlikely to occur

preferred position

the idea, endorsed by the Supreme Court, that protections of First Amendment rights predominates over other rights

establishment clause

a clause in the First Amendment that prevents government from establishing an official religion, treating one religion preferably to another, proselytizing, or promoting religion over nonreligion

free exercise clause

a clause in the 1st Amendment that prohibits government from interfering with individuals' practice of their religion

Lemon test

a three-part establishment clause test used by the Supreme Court that states that, to be constitutional, a government action must have a plausible nonreligious purpose; its primary or principle effect must be to neither advance nor inhibit religion; and it must not foster excessive government entanglement with religion

balancing test

used by the Supreme Court in free exercise of religion cases, this two-part test first determined whether a government action or law was a burden on religious practice and, if it was, whether a compelling government interest was at stake tht would makethe burden constitutionally acceptable

neutrality test

the Supreme Court's most recent approach to deciding free exercise of religion cases, this test declares that a government law or action with a neutral intent and application is constitutional, even if it burdens religion and there is no compelling government interest at stake

exclusionary rule

principle established by the Supreme Court, according to which evidence gathered illegally cannot be introduced into trial, and convictions cannot be based on this evidence

Miranda warning

ruling that requires police, when arresting suspects, to inform them of their rights, including the right to remain silent and have an attorney present during questioning

substantive due process

an interpretation of the due process clause in the 14th Amendment that says the clause's guarantee of "life, liberty, and property" provides a means to discover new rights not mentioned elsewhere in the Constitution, and that these rights would exist both at the national and state levels of government

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