Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 10) originally intended to prohibit state governments from modifying contracts made between individuals; for a while interpreted as prohibiting state governments from taking actions that adversely affect property rights; no longer interpreted so broadly and no longer constrains state governments from exercising their police powers.
Inherent powers of state governments to pass laws to protect the public health, safety, and welfare; the national government has no directly granted police powers but accomplishes the same goals through other delegated powers.
Power of a government to take private property for public use; the U.S. Constitution gives national and state governments this power and requires them to provide just compensation for property so taken.
Government regulation of property so extensive that government is deemed to have taken the property by the power of eminent domain, for which it must compensate the property owners.
Procedural due process
Constitutional requirement that governments proceed by proper methods; limits how government may exercise power.
Substantive due process
Constitutional requirement that governments act reasonably and that the substance of the laws themselves be fair and reasonable; limits what the government may do.
A writ issued by a magistrate that authorizes the police to search a particular place or person, specifying the place to be searched and the objects to be seized.
Police targeting of racial minorities as potential suspects of criminal activities.
Requirement that evidence unconstitutionally or illegally obtained be excluded from a criminal trial.
Exemption from prosecution for a particular crime in return for testimony pertaining to the case.
A jury of 12 to 23 persons who, in private, hear evidence presented by the government to determine whether persons shall be required to stand trial. If the jury believes there is sufficient evidence that a crime was committed, it issues an indictment.
A formal written statement from a grand jury charging an individual with an offense; also called a true bill.
Agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser offense to avoid having to stand trial for more serious offense.
A jury of 6 to 12 persons that determines guilt or innocence in a civil or criminal action.
Trial or punishment for the same crime by the same government; forbidden by the Constitution.