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POLS 203-Ch. 4

Ch. 4 Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Civil Liberties Individual rights protected by the Constitution against the powers of the government.
Writ of Habeas Corpus An order that requires an official to bring a specified prisoner into court and explain to the judge why the person is being held in jail.
Bill of Attainder A legislative act that inflicts punishment on particular persons’ or groups without granting them the right to a trial.
Ex Post Facto law A criminal law that punishes individuals for committing an act that was legal when the act was committed.
Due Process clause The constitutional guarantee set out in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, that the government will not illegally or arbitrarily deprive a person of life, liberty, or property.
Due Process of Law The requirement that the government use fair, reasonable, and standard procedures whenever it takes any legal action against an individual; required by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Establishment clause The section of the First Amendment that prohibits Congress from passing laws “respecting an establishment of religion.”
Free Exercise clause The provision of the First Amendment stating that the government cannot pass laws “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion.
Lemon test A three-part test enunciated by the Supreme Court in the 1971 case of Lemon v. Kurtzman to determine whether government aid to parochial school is constitutional.
School Voucher An educational certificate, provided by a government, that allows a student to use public funds to pay for a private or a public school chosen by the student or his or her parents.
Symbolic Speech the expression of beliefs, opinions, or ideas through forms other than verbal speech or print; speech involving actions and other nonverbal expressions.
Seditious Speech Speech that urges resistance to lawful authority or that advocates the overthrow of a government.
Imminent Lawless action test The current Supreme Court doctrine for assessing the constitutionality of subversive speech. To be illegal, speech must be “directed to inciting…. imminent lawless action.”
Commercial Speech Advertising statements that describe products. Commercial speech receives less protection under the First Amendment than ordinary speech.
Libel A published report of a falsehood that tends to injure a person’s reputation or character.
Slander The public utterance (speaking) of a statement that holds a person up for contempt, ridicule, or hatred.
Obscenity Indecency or offensiveness in speech, expression, behavior, or appearance.
Probable clause Cause for believing that there is a substantial likelihood that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime.
Double Jeopardy The prosecution of a person twice for the same criminal offense; prohibited by the Fifth Amendment in all but a few circumstances.
Self-incrimination Providing damaging information or testimony against oneself in court.
Exclusionary rule A criminal procedural rule stating that illegally obtained evidence is not admirable in court.
Miranda Warnings A series of statements informing criminal suspects, on their arrest, of their constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to counsel; required by the Supreme Court’s 1966 decision in Miranda v. Arizona.
Created by: Maddyjo