49 terms

constitutional Law

unit 1
purposes of law
1. protect human rights
2. help resolve conflicts
3. Promote order and stability
4. Promote desirable economic and social behavior
5. represent will of majority
6. protect rights of minorities
Rationales of law
1. morals
2. Economic
3. Social
4. Poltical
theory and philosophy of law
Inquisitioral Legal system
European method for handling disputes in which the Judge plays an active role in gathering and presenting evidence and questioning witnesses
Adversarial Legal system
judicial system used in the U.S. It allows opposing parties to present their legal conflicts before an impartial judge and jury.
Trial Court
courts that listen to testimony, consider evidence, and decide the facts in a disputed situation
Appellate Court(including supreme court)
a court in which appeals from trial-court decisions are heard
Court systems
1. Federal
2. State
the division of powers between the states and the federal government
Delegated powers
powers specifically granted to congress, they include: the power to tax, regulate commerce, and declare war.
Civil Court burden of proof
Proponderance of the evidence
Criminal Cour burden of proof
beyond a reasonable doubt
people in civil court
• Plaintiff
• Defendant
• Judge
• Jury
people in criminal court
• Prosecutor
• Defense attorney
• Defendant
• Judge
• Jury
members of supreme court
• Petitioner
• Respondent
• Justices
• Supreme Court Justice
• Chief Justice: head of U.S federal system; John G. Roberts
Legal Brief
written document used to submit an argument of the court
Amicus Brief
document filled in court by someone who is not directly related to the case
Writ of Certiorari
order, sent from a higher court to a lower one which orders the lower court to turn over transcripts and documents related to a specific case for review.
Rule of 4
if 4 justices decide a case is worthy to be heard, the court will agree to hear it
oral argument
30 minute oral argument by attorney to justices
Majority opinion
majority of justices agree
Concurring opinion
agree with majority, but for other reason
dissenting opinion
not agreeing with majority ruling
court decision on a legal question that guides future cases with similar questions
Judicial Reveiw
the process by which courts decide whether the laws passed by congress or state legislatures are constitutional
First amendment
freedom of speech, religion, press and assembly
Second amendment
bearing arms
Fourth amendment
search and seizures
sixth amendment
right to speedy, fair trial
eigth amendment
bail and punishment
first amendment rights provided
• Establishment of religion
• Free exercise of religion
• Freedom of speech
• Freedom of the press
• The right to peaceable assembly
• Petition the government for a redress of grievances
symbolic speech
conduct that expresses an idea(e.g wearing armband protesting war)
indefiniteness, uncertainty, imprecision; not clear or specific.
(exception to first amendment) a general term applying to anything that is immoral, indecent or lewd.
(exception to first amendment) (type of defamation) : written expression about a person that is false and damages their rep.
(exception to first amendment) (type of defamation) poken expression about a person that is false and damages that person's rep.
Commercial Speech
exception to first amendment)speec that is directed at buying/selling of goods and services.
Clear and present danger test
(exception to first amendment) (fighting words) test formally used by courts to restrict speech when the government thought the speech would create immediate danger/harm
incitement test
(exception to first amendment) (fighting words) method used by courts to determine whether to restrict/punish expressions based on its potential to cause immediate unlawful behavior.
balancing test
(exception to first amendment) (fighting words) : used by judges to resolve legal issues by balancing the interests in conflict and deciding which is of higher importance
People are secure(against unreasonable search and seizures) in their
• House
• Persons
• Papers
• Effects
Warrant must...
• Be supported by oath or affirmation
• Specifically describe the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized
--> Warrants are only on probable cause
exclusionary rule
legal rule that generally prohibits the use of illegally obtained evidence against defense trial.
Stop and Frisk
(exceptions to 4th amendment) to "pat down" or search outer clothing of someone whom the police believe is acting suspiciously
(exception to 4th amendment) in emergency situation
(ecxeption to 4th amendment) when under arrest
Right in plain veiw
(exception to 4th amendment) when illegal action is right in plain veiw
(exception to 4th amendment) permission to search
Hot persuit
(exception to 4th amendment) police in hot pursuit are not required to get a search warrant