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29 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Civil Liberties
The legal constitutional protections against government.
Bill of Rights
The first 10 amendments to the US Constitution, which define basic liberties.
Barron v. Baltimore
(1833) Supreme Court case that held that the Bill of Rights restrained only the national government, not the states and cities. (later overturned)
Gitlow v. New York
(1925) Supreme Court case that held that freedoms of press and speech are "fundamental personal rights and liberties protected by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment from impairment by the states."
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.
Establishment Clause
1st Amendment- "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion."
Free Exercise Clause
1st Amendment- "Congress shal make no law...or prohibiting the free exercise [of religion] thereof"
Lemon v. Kurtzman
(1971) Supreme Court case that established that aid to church-related schools must 1) have a secular purpose; 2) have a primary effect that neighter advances or inhibits religion; and 3) not foster excessive government entanglement with religion.
Engel v.Vitale
(1962) Supreme Court case that held that state officials violated the 1st Amendment when they wrote a prayer to be recited by New York's schoolchildren.
School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp
(1963) Supreme Court case that held that a Pennsylvania law requiring Bible reading in schools violated the Establishment Clause.
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 USA.
Near v. Minnesota
(1931) Supreme Court case that held that the 1st Amendment protects newspapers from prior restraint.
Schenck v. United States
(1919) Supreme Court case that upheld the conviction of a socialist who had urged young men to resist the draft during WWI. Justice Holmes declared that the government can limit speech if it provokes a "clear and present danger" of substantive evils.
Roth v. United States
(1957) Supreme Court case that ruled that "obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press"
Miller v. California
(1973) Supreme Court case that avoided obscenity by holding that community standards be used to determine whether material is obscene in terms of appealing to a "prurient interest" and being "patently offensive" and lacking in value.
Libel
The publication of false statements that are malicious and damage a person's reputation.
Slander
Spoken defamation.
New York Times v. Sullivan
(1964) Supreme Court case that established guidlines for determining whether public officials/figures could win damage suits for libel. To do so, individuals must prove that the defamatory statements were made with "actual malice" and reckless disregard for the truth.
Probable Cause
The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, the 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. Probable Cause and/or a Search Warrent are required for legal and proper search for and seizure of incrimination evidence.
Exclusionary Rule
The rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained. The rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure.
Mapp v. Ohio
(1961) Supreme Court case that ruled that the 4th Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures must be extended to the states as well as the 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. The 5th Amendment forbids this.
Miranda v. Arizona
(1966) Supreme Court case that set guidlines for police questioning accused persons to protect them against self-incrimination and to protect their right to counsel.
Gideon v. Wainwright
(1963) Supreme Court case that held that anyone accused of a felony where imprisonment may be imposed, however poor he or she might be, has a right to a lawyer (even in state cases).
Plea Bargaining
An actual bargain struck between the defendant's lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime (or fewer crimes) in exchange for the state's promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious crime.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Extreme court sentences that are prohibited by the 8th Amendment.
Right to Privacy
The right to a private personal life free from the intrusion of government.
Roe v. Wade
(1973) Supreme Court case that held a state ban on all abortions as unconstitutional. It forbade state control over the first trimester of pregnancy, and permitted states to protect the fetus during the third trimester.