AP Gov – Civil Liberties and Rights

Civil Liberties
The legal constitutional protections against government.
Bill of Rights
first 10 amendments to the Constitution.
Barron vs. Baltimore
the 1883 Supreme Court decision holding that the Bill of Rights retrained only the national government, not the states and cities.
Gitlow vs. New York
freedoms of press and speech are fundamental personal rights and liberties protected by the due process clause of the 14th amendment
14th Amendment
Adopted after the Civil War. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
Incorporation doctrine
The legal concept under which the Supreme Court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment.
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Establishment Clause
Part of the 1st Amendment stating that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.
Free Exercise Clause
1st Amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion.
Lemon vs. Kurtzman
aid to church related schools must have a secular legislative purpose, have a primary effect that neither advances or inhibits religion, and doesn’t foster government entanglement with religion.
Schenck vs. United States
Government can limit speech if it provokes a clear and present danger of substantive evils.
Prior Restraint
A government preventing material from being published. This is a common method of limiting the press in some nations, but is usually unconstitutional in the US (Near vs. Minnesota).
Libel
the publication of false or malicious statements that damage someone’s reputation.
symbolic speech
Nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. Protected under the first Amendment.
Commercial Speech
Communication in the form of advertising. It can be restricted more than many other types of speech but has been receiving increased protection from the SCOTUS
Probable Cause
The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, police are allowed legally to search for and seize incriminating evidence.
Unreasonable searches and seizures
Obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner, a practice prohibited by the 4th Amendment.
Search Warrant
A written authorization from a court specifying the area to be searched what the police are searching for.
Exclusionary rule
The rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained.
Mapp vs. Ohio
4th Amendment ‘s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures must be extended to the states as well as Federal Government.
Self-Incrimination
The situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court. 5th amendment prohibits it.
Miranda vs. Arizona
set guidelines for police questioning of accused persons to protect them against self-incrimination and to protect their right to counsel.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Court sentences prohibited by the 8th Amendment.
Right to Privacy
The right to a private personal life free from the intrusion of government.
Civil Rights
policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials of individual.
Plessy vs. Ferguson
separate but equal is constitutional.
Brown vs. Board of Education
overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The law that made racial discrimination against any group in hotels, motels, and restaurants illegal and forbade many forms of job discrimination.
Suffrage
The legal right to vote.
Poll Taxes
Small taxes levied on the fight to vote that often fell due at a time of year when poor African-American sharecroppers had the least cash on hand. Declared void by the 24th Amendment
White Primary
One of the means to discourage African-American voting that permitted political parties in the heavily Democratic South to exclude African Americans from primary elections.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
A law designed to help end formal and informal barriers to African-Americans suffrage.
Equal Rights Amendment
A constitutional amendment originally introduced in 1923 and passed by Congress in 1972. Failed to acquire 3/4 vote of state legislatures.
Comparable worth
The issue raised when women who hold traditionally female jobs are paid less than men working at jobs requiring comparable skill.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
A law passed in 1990 that requires employers and public facilities to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities and prohibits discrimination against these individuals in employment.
Affirmative Action
A policy designed to give special attention to or compensatory treatment for members of some previously disadvantaged group.