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65 Cards in this Set

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Stare decisis
"to stand by things decided" used in common law to express the notion that prior court decisions must be recognized as precedents, according to case law.
Precedent
Precedent - prior cases whose principles are used by judges as the basis for their decisions in present cases.
Judicial Selection
Federal judges are appointed by the president and are generally selected from among the more prominent or politically active members of the legal profession
Litmus Test
A litmus test is a question asked of a potential candidate for high office, the answer to which would determine whether the nominating official would choose to proceed with the appointment or nomination.
Judicial Activism
judicial philosophy that posits that the Court should go beyond the words of the Consitution or a statute to consider the broader societal implications of its decisions.
Judicial Restraint
judicial philosophy whose adherents refuse to go beyond the clear words of the Constitution in interpreting its meaning.
Writ of Certiorari
a decision of at least four of the nine Supreme Court justices to review a decision of a lower court; from the latin "to make more certain"
Majority opinion
a majority of the justices rule the same
Concurring opinion
a written opinion by some of the judges of a court which agrees with the opinion of the majority of the court but might arrive there in a different manner.
Dissenting opinion
a decision written by a justice in the minority in a particular case in which the justice wishes to express his or her reasoning in the case.
original intent
in interpreting a text, a court should determine what the authors of the text were trying to achieve, and to give effect to what they intended the statute to accomplish, the actual text of the legislation notwithstanding.
Marbury v Madison
a landmark case in United States law, the basis for the exercise of judicial review of Federal statutes by the United States Supreme Court as a constitutional power. The Court ruled that it had the power to declare void a statute which it considered repugnant to the United States Constitution.
Amicus Curiae Belief
- literally, "friend of the court"; individuals or groups who are not parties to a lawsuit but who seek to assist the Supreme Court in reaching a decision by presenting additional briefs.
Rule of Four
permits four of the nine justices to grant a writ of certiorari. This is done specifically to prevent a majority of the court from controlling all the cases it agrees to hear.
Original Jurisdiction
the authority to initially consider a case. Distinguished from appellate jurisdiction, which is the authority to hear appeals from a lower court's decision.
Appellate Jurisdiction
- to the power of a court to review and potentially modify the decisions made by another court or tribunal.
Life terms v Elected
In Texas justices are elected to terms, federal is life terms
Judicial Review
- the power of the courts to declare actions of the legislative and executive branches invalid or unconstitutional. The Supreme court asserted this power in Marbury v Madison
Mini-Bill of Rights(Articles I through VI)
search and seizure, due process...
Right to Counsel
a fair trial includes the possibility for the defendant to be assisted by counsel (i.e. lawyers), and that if he cannot afford having his own lawyer, the government should appoint one for him, or pay his lawyer expenses.
Roe v Wade
- a landmark United States Supreme Court case establishing that most laws against abortion violate a constitutional right to privacy, overturning all state laws outlawing or restricting abortion.
Miranda VS Arizona
persons under arrest must be informed prior to police interrogation of their rights to remain silent and to have the benefit of legal counsel.
First Amendment
Freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, and to petition the government.
Second Amendment
Right to keep and bear arms
Third amendment
Protection from quartering of troops
Fourth amendment
Protection from unreasonable search and seizure
Fifth amendment
Due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, private property
Sixth amendment
Trial by jury and other rights of the accused
Seventh Amendment
Civil trial by jury
Eigth Amendment
Prohibition of excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment
Ninth amendment
Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights
Tenth Amendment
Powers of state and people
Griswold vs Conn
landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy.
Clear and present danger test
test to determine whether speech is protected or unprotected, based on its capacity to present a "clear and present danger" to society.
Prior restraint
an effort by a governmental agency to block the publication of material it deems libelous or harmful in some other way; censorship. In the US, the courts forbid prior restraint except under the most extraordinary circumstances.
Political speech
absolutely protected by the constitution
Commercial Speech
newspaper or television advertisements
Expressive Conduct
Protected unless it becomes a reality
Symbolic expression
Using something in order to show support or not
Libel
A writen statement made in "reckless disregard for the truth" that is considered damaging to the victem because it is "malicious, scandalous, and defamatory"
Slander
an oral statement made in "reckless disregard for the truth" that is considered damaging to the victem because it is "malicious, scandalous, and defamatory"
Ex post facto
laws that declare an action to be illegal after it has been committed
Bill of Attainder
laws that decree a person guilty without a trial
Lawrence VS Texas
A landmark Supreme Court case. In the 6-3 ruling, the justices struck down the criminal prohibition of homosexual sodomy in Texas.
Freedom of Assembly
the freedom to associate with, or organize any groups, gatherings, clubs, or organizations that one wishes
Lemon Test
A rule articulated in Lemon VS Kurtzman that government action towards religions is permissable if it is secular in purpose, does not lead to "excessive entanglement" with religion, and neither promotes nor inhibits the practice of religion.
Search and Seizure
A legal procedure used in many common law whereby police, who suspect that a crime has been committed, do a search of a person's property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime.
Equal Protection clause
provision of the 14th Amendment guaranteeing citizens "the equal protection of the laws." This clause has served as the basis for civil rights of African Americans, women, and other groups.
Due process
The right of every citizen against arbitrary action by national or state governments.
Gideon Vs Wainright
Supreme Court case that ruled that people have a right to counsel.
Suffrage
The civil right to vote, or the exercise of that right.
Segregation
Separation of races
Desegregation
The process of ending racial segregation
Equality
All races having the same rights
Discrimination
to make a distinction between people on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit
Jim Crow Laws (Black Codes)
A series of laws enacted mostly in the southern United States in the later half of the 19th century that restricted most of the new privleges granted to African Americans after the Civil War. Laws passed on the state and local level in the United States to restrict Civil Rights and civil liberties of African Americans, particularly former slaves.
White primary
Primary election in which only white voters are eligible to vote.
Literacy Tests
A test designed to determine one's ability to read and write a given language. The term is often used, however, to refer to a test given to determine one's eligibility to vote.
Poll Tax
A state imposed tax upon voters as a preresequite for registration. They were rendered unconstitutional in national elections by 24th Amendment, and in state elections by the Supreme Court in 1966.
Racial Gerrymandering
A controversial form of redistricting in which electory district or constituency boundaries are manipulated for an electoral advantage of one race over others
Plessy VS Ferguson
Supreme Court decision in the jurisprudence of the US, approving de jure racial segregation in public facilities, and ruling that states could prohibit the use of public facilities by African Americans.
Brown VS Board of Education
A landmark case of the US Supreme Court which explicitely outlawed de jure racial segregation of public education facilities (legal establishment of separate government-run schools for blacks and whites), ruling so on the grounds that the doctrine of "separate but equal" public education could never truly provide black Americans with facilities of the same standards available to white Americans.
Separate But Equal
doctrine that public accomodations could be segregated by race but still be equal
Affirmative Action
government policies or programs that seek to redress past injustices against specified groups by making special efforts to provide members of these groups with access to educational and employment opportunities.
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