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34 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Civil Liberties
Fundamental individual rights, such as freedom of speech and religion, protected by law against unwarranted governmental or other interference.
Bill of Rights
-Protection against government activity
-States suggested BOR be included in Constitution
-Madison wrote 12, 10 passed
-They were not designed to apply to the states
Selective Incorporation
Process by which SCOTUS has made many BOR provisions apply to states as well as federal government. 2nd (right to bear arms), 3rd (quartering of troops), 7th (right to jury civil trial) and 8th (right against excessive bail) not protected with states.
Gitlow v. New York
Extended First Amendment freedom-of-speech and Fourteenth Amendment equal-protection provisions to the states as well as the federal government.
Policy Entrepreneurs
Someone who gains interest into something that is largely unorganized (Ralph Nader and consumer rights)
Sedition Act
Passed in 1798, made it illegal to write, utter, or publish "any false, scandalous, or malicious writing" with the intention of defaming the president.
Espionage and Sedition Acts
This act made it a crime, punishable by a $10,000 fine and 20 years in jail, for a person to convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies. SCOTUS ruled they were legal in Shenck..."clear and present danger."
Smith Act
1940, passed by the U.S. Congress as the Alien Registration Act of 1940. The act, which made it an offense to advocate or belong to a group that advocated the violent overthrow of the government, was the basis of later prosecutions of members of the Communist and Socialist Workers parties. In 1957 the U.S. Supreme Court restricted the application of the Smith Act to instances of active participation in, or verbal encouragement of, specific insurrectionary activities.
Internal Security Act
required the registration of communist organizations in the United States and established the Subversive Activities Control Board to investigate persons thought to be engaged in “un-American” activities. It was a key institution in the era of the Cold War, tightening alien exclusion and deportation laws and allowing for the detention of dangerous, disloyal, or subversive persons in times of war or “internal security emergency.” Most of its provisions were later declared unconstitutional
Communist Control Act
Another act passed that was designed to control Communist actions
Patriot Act
The USA Patriot Act was passed by Congress as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Act allows federal officials greater authority in tracking and intercepting communications, both for purposes of law enforcement and foreign intelligence gathering.
"Clear and Present Danger"
What the SCOTUS said there must be in order for free speech to be curtailed...applied in Shenck v. United States
Written statement that defames the character of another person.
in law, anything that tends to corrupt public morals by its indecency. The moral concepts that the term connotes vary from time to time and from place to place. In the United States, the word obscenity is a technical legal term. In the 1950s the U.S. Supreme Court began to relax rules prohibiting the possession, sale, and distribution of obscene material, often called pornography, but in 1973 that trend was reversed. The court ruled that material that appealed to prurient interest in sex and that did not have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value could be banned as obscene. It ruled that a national definition of obscenity was not necessary and, therefore, that communities could develop local standards within the court's guidelines. The legal determination that material falls within a definition of obscenity is usually made by a jury.
Symbolic Speech
Actions that take the place of words (burning flags)...Court ruled that it cannot be treated like real speech of people would have the excuse to do all sorts of illegal things.
Commercial Speech
Speech (as advertising) that proposes a commercial transaction compare pure speech symbolic speech
- Commercial speech is entitled to a lesser level of protection under the First Amendment than speech which is an expression of one's thoughts.
Free exercise clause
section of the First Amendment to the US Constitution which forbids the government to make any laws to prohibit the free exercise of religion. This is the basis of the Constitution's protection of the freedom of religion.
Lemon Test
The Court's decision in this case established the "Lemon test", which details the requirements for United States legislation concerning religion. It consists of three prongs:

The government's action must have a legitimate secular purpose;
The government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion; and
The government's action must not result in an "excessive entanglement" of the government and religion.
If any of these three prongs is violated, the government's action is deemed unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
"Wall of Separation"
Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, which contains the phrase "wall of separation between church and state." It means that religion and politics should be two separate things and that "government reaches actions only and not opinions."
Due Process
An established course for judicial proceedings or other governmental activities designed to safeguard the legal rights of the individual.
Procedural due process
Comes from 14th Amendment...must be followed before "life, liberty, or pursuit of hapiness" can be taken away.
Search and seizure
Police have a right to search you and your possesions, but need "probable cause" or a warrant in order to do so.
Engle v. Vitale
Held that state-sanctioned prayer in public schools is unconstitutional. The Court found that even when a prayer is essentially nondenominational and pupils who so desire may be excused from reciting it, if the action is state sponsored the state is in violation of the constitutional separation of church and state. Later rulings would similarly affirm that devotional exercises in public schools went against the establishment of religion clause.
Lemon v. Kurtzman
SC said that it was unconstitutional for Rhode Island and Pennsylvania to pay benefits to teachers working in parochial (religious) schools...established "lemon test."
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
Facts: Ohio schools were't stepped in and gave each kid a voucher that would let them get tutoring or go to a private school...96% of kids went to religious schools--taxpayers sued

Issues: Establishment clause...had to see if purpose was to enhance religion

Decision: 1) Valid secular effect
2) Effect was neutral because it was a persons individual choice to send their kids to religious school or not
Wisconsin v. Yoder
SC ruled that Amish people only have to keep their kids in school until 8th grade (Amish claimed that being in school violated their religious views).
Employment v. Smith
Two Indians sued their work for unemployment benefits after being fired for injesting peyote (part of their religion)...SCOTUS said that they had no right to break an "otherwise valid law" because their religion dictated so.
Schenck v. United States
Schenck advocated avoiding the draft...was arrested under the Espionage Act--SCOTUS said that opressing free speech was legal when that speech presented a "clear and present danger."
Texas v. Johnson
Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag in force in 48 of the 50 states. Justice William Brennan wrote for a five-justice majority in holding that the defendant's act of flag burning was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
New York Times v. United States
Removed an injunction against the New York Times designed to stop publication of classified government documents known as the Pentagon Papers. In what is regarded as one of the most significant prior restraint cases in history, the Supreme Court, in a 6—3 decision, held that the government had failed to demonstrate the “heavy burden of proof” needed to justify prior restraint of the press, thus freeing the newspaper to resume publishing the politically controversial material.
Mapp v. Ohio
Police got search warrant to search Mapp's boarding house b/c they thought someone had bomb making materials...didn't find those, continued searching, found porn--arrested Mapp. SCOTUS said this is unconstitutional under exclusionary rule
Katz v. United States
Said there needs to be probable cause to wiretap someone and can only do so on certain people for a certain time.
Miranda was arrested, not told his rights...confessed to a crime. Court ruled that people must be told their rights (right to remain silent...etc) before questioning...nothing said before that "counts."
Gideon v. Wainwright
Gideon was accused of breaking into a pool room (Gideon was very dumb)...filed writ saying he didn't free counsule...SC agreed.