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These are flashcards for the RHS AP Gov Class. The unit also includes Judiciary which are included in another flashcard set.

Incorporation of the Bill of Rights

a legal doctrine whereby parts of the bill of rights are applied to state and local laws through the 14th amendment's due process clause

due process clause

14th amendment clause stating that no state may "deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law"

equal protection clause

14th amendment clause that prohibits states from denying equal protection under the law;has been used to combat discrimination

Gitlow v. New York

Incorporated the first amendment to the states

Near v. Minnesota

the 1931 Supreme Court decision holding that the first amendment protects newspapers from prior restraint.

Fundamental freedoms

Those rights defined by the Court to be essential to order, liberty, and justice. This is what the court uses to determine if a right should be incorporated.

Freedom of Religion

Right to free religious belief and worship (the first amendment)

Establishment clause

part of the first amendment stating that "congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

free exercise clause

first amendment requirement that law cannot prevent free exercise of religion

Engel v. Vitale

upheld establishment clause; prohibited school sponsored prayer in public schools (Warren court)

Lemon v. Kurtzman

Government money can be given to parochial schools provided it is not used in any way to purchase resources that could be used to teach religion.

the Lemon Test

1. purpose is secular 2. can't advance or inhibit religion 3. government isn't entangled in religion

Freedom of Speech

the right to engage in oral, written, and symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment

Limits on Free Speech

indecency, obscene, defamation, fighting words, hate speech, speech that incites legal action

Anti-Governmental and Hate Speech

generally protected unless imminent lawless action is intended and likely to occur

Schenck v. United States

Supreme court decides that any actions taken that present a "clear and present danger" to the public or government isn't allowed, this can limit free speech

Clear and present danger test

law should not punish speech unless there was a clear and present danger of producing harmful or illegal actions

Brandenburg v. Ohio

Court set up a two rule system for determining when the states can overrule free speech. 1) If the speech is directed toward producing imminent violent action, and 2) it is likely to incite or produce such action

Direct incitement test

advocacy of illegal action is protected by the 1st Amendment unless imminent lawless action is intended and likely to occur

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan

A public figure suing a publisher for libel must prove that the publisher published the libelous story knowing it was false

Libel and Slander

(written) (oral) you cannot make false statements in public that might damage a persons reputiation unless you can prove it

Miller v. California

1973 ruling that determined the obscenity clause to related to works that lack literary, artisitic, political or scientific value as determined by the community. (LAPS test)

Obscenity and Pornography

generally not forms of protected speech unless they have some sort of literary, artistic, political or scientific value as determined by the community.

Second Amendment

right to bear arms

Fourth Amendment

protects you from unreasonable search and seizure of your home and property


a writ from a court commanding police to perform a specified act; need under the 4th amendment to perform most searches

Probable Cause

a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime, an officer must have "probable cause" to stop a suspect or conduct a warrantless search.

Warrantless Searches

Stop and Frisk= must have probable cause/ Plainview= offense in plain view/ Exigent Circumstances= plain crash, bomb, fire/ Auto exception= car jacking/ National Security

"Stop and frisk"

to "pat down" or search the outer clothing of someone whom the police believe is acting suspicious

Reasonable suspicion

a suspicion of criminal acts based on specific facts; less strict than probable cause; allows an officer to frisk for weapons

"knock and announce"

police must knock and announce their presence before entering a house; required unless reasonable belief that doing so would be dangerous

"open fields doctrine"

the 4th amendment does not apply to (open fields) public places or abandoned property because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Drug testing and DNA sampling


Fifth Amendment

an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that imposes restrictions on the government's prosecution of persons accused of crimes

"Voluntary" confessions


Miranda v. Arizona

Supreme Court held that criminal suspects must be informed of their rights prior to being questioned

Exclusionary Rule

improperly gathered evidence may not be introduced in a criminal trial

Good Faith Exception

an error in gathering evidence sufficiently minor that it may be used in a trial (exception to exclusionary rule)

Inevitable Discovery Exception

illegally acquired evidence can be used in court if it would have been eventually discovered through legal means

Weeks v. United States

The 1914 case that said that evidence obtained through an unreasonable search and seizure cannot be used in federal trials. (exclusionary rule)

Mapp v. Ohio

Established the exclusionary rule was applicable to the states (evidence seized illegally cannot be used in court)

Sixth Amendment

the constitutional amendment designed to protect individuals accused of crimes. It includes the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a speedy and public trial.

Right to Counsel

right found in Sixth Amendment; requires criminal defendants to have access to legal representation.

Gideon v. Wainwright

A person who cannot afford an attorney may have one appointed by the government

Eighth Amendment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Furman v. Georgia

The U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty, as administered, constituted cruel and unusual punishment in which case

Gregg v. Georgia

reinstated the death penalty

Right to Privacy

the right to be left alone, which has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to entail free access to birth control and abortions

Constitutional basis for privacy

First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth amendments

Griswold v. Connecticut

Established that there is an implied right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution


termination of pregnancy

Roe v. Wade

legalized abortion on the basis of a woman's right to privacy (1973)

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services

allowed states to ban abortions from public hospitals and permitted doctors to test to see if fetuses were viable

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey

the Court reaffirmed Roe but upheld that states can put restrictions on abortion

Hyde Amendment

In 1976, the Hyde Amendment banned federal Medicaid funding for abortion unless the woman's life was in danger (now includes rape and incest).

Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003

pro-life document signed by Bush banning late term abortions

Bowers v. Hardwick

criminalization of oral + anal sex=constitutional (overruled by lawrence v Texas)

lawrence v Texas

Texas law criminalizing private consensual homosexual activity is unconstitutional

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale

The boy scouts were allowed to dismiss a gay leader, holding that freedom of association outweighed the New Jersey anti-discrimination statute; forcing BSA to have gays would reduce BSA's ability to express their [bigoted] views

Cruzan v. Missouri Department of Health

it was acceptable to require "clear and convincing evidence" that victim wanted removal of life support.

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