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96 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
affirmative action
deliberate effort to provide full and equal opportunities in employment, education, and other areas for members of traditionally disadvantaged groups.
civil rights
the right of every person to equal protection under the laws and equal access to society's opportunities and public facilities.
de facto discrimination
discrimination that is a consequence of social, economic, and cultural biases and conditions.
de jure discrimination
discrimination based on law, as in the case of the state laws that required black and white children in the south to attend separate schools
equality of result
the aim of policies intended to reduce de facto discriminatory effects.
equal-protection clause
no state shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
equal rights
the right of every person to equal protection under the laws and equal access to society's opportunities and public facilities.
gender gap
women and men differ in their opinions and their votes
almost suspect category--assumed unconstitutional unless the law serves a clearly compelling and justified purpose
reasonable-basis test
not suspect category--assumed constitutional unless no sound rationale for the law can be provided
strict-scrutiny test
suspect category--assumed unconstitutional in the absence of an overwhelming justification
suspect classifications
the legal classifications based on race and ethnicity are assumed to have discrimination as their purpose and are presumed unconstitutional
Bill of Rights
the first ten amendments to the constitution
civil liberties
specific individual rights, such as feedom of speech and protection against self-incrimination that are constitutionally protected against infringement by government
clear-and-present-danger test
determining when government has exceeded its constitutional authority to restrict speech
due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
clause that forbids a state from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law
establishment clause
government may not favor one religion over another or support religion over no religion.
exclusionary rule
bars the use in trials of evidence obtained in violation of a person's constitutional rights
freedom of expression
the right for individual Americans to hold and communicate views of their choosing
free-exercise clause
Americans are free to believe what they want
imminent-lawless-action test
a severe limit on the government's power to restrict expression, "where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action, and is likely to produce such action"
false written information that greatly harms a person's reputation
prior restraint
government prohibition of speech or publication before the fact
procedural due process
procedures that authorities must follow before a person can legitimately be punished for an offense
selective incorporation
incorporation into the 14th amendment some of the provisions of the bill of rights so these rights can be protected by the federal courts from infringement by the states
false spoken information that greatly harms a person's reputation
symbolic speech
expression of an idea through means other than speech
block grants
grants that can be used for a general area, like health, or education
categorical grants
grants that can only be used for designated activities, like school lunch programs
commerce clause
congress shall have the power to regulate commerce among the states
union in which the states alone are sovereign--authority of the central government is derived from the states, which can, at will, redefine its authority
the idea that American Federalism will be strengthened by a partial shift in authority from the federal government to the state and local governments.
dual federalism
certain policy areas, such as interstate commerce and defense, belonged exclusively to the national government, whereas other policy areas, such as public health and intrastate commerce, belonged exclusively to the states
enumerated (expressed) powers
Article I of the constitution, 17 powers including power to tax, create currency, borrow money
division of sovereignty between a national government and regional(state) governments
fiscal federalism
the expenditure of federal funds on programs run in part through state and local governments
cash payments to states an localities by the government
implied powers
the authority to take action that is not expressly authorized by the constitution but that supports actions that are so authorized
"necessary and proper" (elastic) clause
"to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing [enumerated] powers" Article I section 8
reserved powers
states powers under the U.S. constitution
ultimate governing authority
supremacy clause
"the laws of the U.S.... shall be the supreme law of the land"
unitary system
sovereignty is vested solely in the national government
opponents of the constitution
Bill of Rights
first 10 amendments to the US constitution
checks and balances
no institution can act decisively without the support or acquiescence of the other institutions
fundamental law that defines how a government will legitimately operate
constitutional democracy
democratic in its provisions for majority influence through elections, and constitutional in its requirement that power gained through elections be exercised in accordance with law and with due respect for individual rights
officeholder obligated to respond directly to the expressed opinions of the people they represent
government in which the power of the majority is unlimited, whether directly or through a representative body
denials of power
prohibition of some actions such as imprisonment without reason, passing ex post facto laws
Electoral College
no one really knows
Electoral Votes
votes towards the president, based on the number of congressmen had.
constitution's supporters
grants of power
powers granted to congress by Article I section 8, 17 total include power to tax, raise army/navy, declare war
Great Compromise
provided bicamerical congress to suit the needs of both large and small states
inalienable (natural) rights
life, liberty, property, etc.
judicial review
power of the judiciary to decide whether a government official or institution has acted within the limits of its constitutional authority and if not to declare its action null and void
limited government
a government subject to strict limits on its lawful uses of power
New Jersey (small state) Plan
called for a stronger national government with the power to tax and to regulate commerce among the states; single chamber with a single vote for each state
north south compromise
congress prohibited by constitution from taxing exports but could tax imports, until 1808 couldn't pass laws prohibiting slave trade
primary election
a means of choosing nominees for at least some federal and state offices.
representative democracy
democracy through a representative body
government based on majority rule but protects the minority through a guarantee of individual rights
government based on the people and subject to their control
separated institutions sharing power
separate branches are interlocked so each share a little of each executive, legislative and judicial
separation of powers
control of government by dividing its powers among separate institutions
obliged to serve the interest of those who elect them
tyranny of the majority
people acting as an irrational mob that tramples on the rights of the minority
Virginia (large state) Plan
called for a two chamber congress that would have supreme authority in all areas "in which the separate states are incompetent", both of which based on size.
authoritarian government
totalitarian that is limited by institutions such as church or corporation
recognized right of an individual, organization to make binding decisions
control rests with a single individual such as a king or dictator
bureaucratic rule
policy is controlled by well-placed administrators within the government bureaucracy
government should interfere as little as possible. firms allowed to operate in free open market
government owns most or all industry takes responsibility for overall management of economy
there are limits to the rightful power of government over citizens, government based on laws, but constitution has rights that can't be taken away
form of government in which the people govern
individual and group differences should be respected and that these differences are a source of strength
policy controlled by a small number of well positioned highly influential individuals
commitment to personal initiative, self-sufficiency, and material accumulation
the principle that individuals should be free to act and think as they choose, provided they do not infringe unreasonable on the freedom and well-being of others
numerical majorities determine issues of policy
control rests in a small group such as top ranking military officers
all individuals are equal in their moral worth and are entitled to be treated equally
many policies are effectively decided through power wielded by diverse (plural) interests.
political culture
characteristics and deep-seated beliefs of a particular people about government and politics.
political system
the parts of government
process through which a society settles its conflicts.
the ability of persons or institutions to control public policy
public policy
a decision by a government to follow a course of action designed to produce a particular outcome
of the people, by the people, for the people
social contract
ordinary people surrender the freedom they would have in a state of nature in return for the protection that a sovereign ruler can provide.
assigns government a large role in the ownership of the means of production, in regulating economic security of the individual.
assert complete dominance over individuals and the institutions of society.
Americans are one people and form an indivisible union