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affirmative action

Preferential treatment given to historically underprivileged minorities.

Brown v. Board (of Education)

Sait that seperate schools are inherently unequal, overturning Plessy v. Ferguson and "seperate but equal"

civil rights

Protect the rights of groups. Traditionally said to be the subject of Amendments 9 and 10.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Passed by the Johnson administration after the assasination of JFK and the Democratic landslide of 1964, it assued equality of opportunity in employment, public accomodations, voting, and schools

civil rights movement

A movement by African-Americans for integrated public facilities, the right to vote, and equal treatment involving nonviolent civil disobedience, a three part plan in the courts, and changing public opinion.

de facto segregation

Segregation that exists, but not under law. Ex. white flight and minority dominated communities

de jure segregation

Segregation by law.

14th Amendment

Guarunteed the freed slaves citizenship, equal protection, all privileges and immunities, and no removal of rights unless by due process of law. Basis for selective incorporation.

freedom rides

Interracial group testing desegregation law by attempting to travel in the South in the summer of 1961.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Civil rights leader and head of the SCLC who used civil disobedience as his main tool.

Montgomery bus boycott

In 1955, Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat and is arrested. The black community of Montgomery boycotts the buses and the Supreme Court eventually declares bus segregation unconstitutional.


A black interest group primarily active in the courts.

nonviolent civil disobedience

Peaceful violation of laws considered unjust and accepting punishment for the violation.

Plessy v. Ferguson

Upheld seperate facilities as long as they were equal in a case involviving a 1/8ths black man attempting to sit in the "whites only" section of a railroad car.


The government may treat some classes of people differently from others if the treatment is reasonable and not arbitrary.

Roe v. Wade

Declared state laws against abortion in the first trimester unconstitutional.


Evens in Greensborough and Montgomery where students sat at segregated lunch counters among violent crowds.

strict scrutiny

Some classifications are inherently suspect. The government must have a compelling public purpose to use this. Racial classification is reviewed this way.

Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenberg Board of Education

Approved busing and redrawing district lines as means of integration.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Outlawed discriminatory voting practices and authorized federal enforcement of voting.

Reed v. Reed

Concluded that gender discrimination violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Griswold v. Connecticut

Found a "right to privacy" in the Constitution that would prohibit any state law against selling contraceptives.

Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Reaffirmed Rov v. Wade but stated that there could be limits imposed on abortion as long as they did not cause undue burden on the mother.

Regents v. Bakke

Stated that the use of racial quotas by the University of California in admissions was unconstitution but diversity was a legitimate goal that could be pursued by taking race into account.

Grutter and Gratz v. Bollinger

Numerical benefits cannot be used to admit minorities, but race can be a plus factor.

Lawrence v. Texas

State law may not ban sexual relations between same-sex partners.

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale

A private organization may ban gays from its membership.

1st Amendment

Congress shall make no law 1) respecting an establishment of religion (establishment cluase) 2) or prohibiting the free excercise thereof (free-excercise clause) 3) or abridging the freedom of speech 4) or of the press 5) or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble 6)and to petition the Government

2nd Amendment

Militia is necessary; right ot bear arms

3rd Amendment


4th Amendment

Protects the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. States that no warrants shall be issued unless upon probable cause.

5th Amendment

No double jeopardy or self incrimination.

6th Amendment

Speedy and public trial, assistance of counsel for defense.

7th Amendment

Trial by Jury

8th Amendment

Cruel and unusal punishment

9th Amendment

There may be other rights, not specifically stated, included in the Constitution.

10th Amendment

Powers not dlegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the States, respetively, or to the people

14th Amendment

Gave freedmen the rights of citizens. Privilieges and immunities, equal protection, and "due process clause." The basis for selective incorporation of he Bill of Rights

commercial speech

Corporations and organizations are treated as individuals under the 1st Amend., but their speech is subject to greater restrictions.

civil liberties


Patriot Act


prior restraint`


search warrent




symbolic speech


Gitlow v. New York


Palko v. Connecticut


fighting words


Collin v. Smith


Miller v. California


public figures


Schenck v. United States


Texas v. Johnson


Engel v. Vitale


Lemon v. Kurtzmann


Gideon v. Wainwright


Mapp. v. Ohio


Miranda v. Arizona


in good faith


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