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Civil Liberties

KHS Civil Liberties and Rights

clear and present danger test A legal interpretation that reconciled two views of the 1st Amendment right to free speech, the first that Congress could not pass any law to restrict speech and the second that it could punish harms caused by speech.
due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment A part of the constitutional amendment ratified in 1868 that has been used by the Supreme Court to prevent state governments from infringing "fundamental personal rights," such as freedom of speech.
Espionage Act and Sedition Act Federal laws enacted in 1917-1918 that made it a crime to utter false statements that would interfere with the military,to use the mail to advocate treason or resistance to laws,or to express any disloyalty intending to incite resistance to the war effort
establishment clause One of the two First Amendment clauses dealing with religion. It forbids government involvement in religion, even on a non preferential basis. It has been interpreted as erecting a well of separation between church and state.
exclusionary rule A rule of criminal procedure which holds that evidence gathered in violation of the Constitution cannon be used in trial.
freedom of expression One of two parts of the First Amendment protecting freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly, and the right to petition the government.
freedom of religion One of two parts of the First Amendment protecting the free exercise of religion and prohibiting the establishment of religion.
free exercise clause One of two first Amendment clauses dealing with religion. It forbids Congress from prohibiting individuals' practice of religion, although there are rarely religious exemptions from laws that are binding on all individuals.
good faith exception A modification of the exclusionary rule allowing evidence in a trial even though it was obtained without following proper legal procedures if the police believed the procedures were properly executed.
hate crime A crime motivated by bigotry.
libel A form of speech not given automatic constitutional protection, consisting of any written statement defaming the character of another person with a falsehood. Public figures mus also prove actual malice.
McCarthyism An allegation that a person is unfairly impugning the motives, attacking the patriotism, or violating the rights of individuals. The term originated from the unsubstantiated charges advanced by senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.
Miranda warnings Informing a person taken into custody of the right to remain silent, the right to having a lawyer present during questioning, and the right to consult a lawyer without charge if unable to afford one. This is a protection derived from the 5th Amendment.
obscenity A form of speech not given automatic constitutional protection, defined as a work that, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest as judged by contemporary community standards or that depicts sexual activity in a patently offensive manner.
prior restraint Government censorship of the press in advance of publication.
probable cause A condition that must be satisfied before a judge can issue a search warrant. It requires that a judge be persuaded by the police that good reason exists to believe that a crime has been committed and that the evidence will be at a certain area.
Search Warrant An order from a judge authorizing the search of a place. The warrant must describe what is to be searched and seized and is issued only after a judge is convinced by police that probable cause exists to believe that a crime has been committed.
Sedition Act A federal law enacted in 1798 which made it a crime to express anything false, scandalous, and malicious about officers of the federal government or to excite hatred against the government itself.
symbolic speech A form of speech not given automatic constitution protection, involving an illegal act meant to convey a political message.
wall of seperation principle An interpretation of the establishment clause embraced by the Supreme Court that allows no government involvemnet with religion, even on a nonpreferential basis.
affirmative action Programs attempting to compensate for past discrimination by giving preference to minorities and women in areas like hiring and promotion. The Supreme Court has announced a complex set of standards governing this field.
Brown v. Board of Education A Supreme Court decision in 1954 which overruled the doctrine of separate but equal by forbidding segregation in public education. The Court held that segregation produces a detrimental "feeling of inferiority" in African American children.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 A federal law banning discrimination in public accommodations, voting, and employment. It also authorized the attorney general to bring suit to force the integration of pbulic schools on behalf of citizens.
de facto segregation A form of segregation which exists "in fact." Such segregation occurs through housing patterns and informal social pressures, not through law.
de jure segregation Segregation produced by law. This form of segregation was outlawed by the Brown decision in 1954.
equality of opportunity A goal opposed to that of affirmative action, holding that people should compete in the marketplace equally and be judged by their worth; the Constitution and application of laws should be color-blind and sex-nuetral
equality of results The goal favored by most civil rights and feminist organizations, who advocate affirmative action as a realistic necessity since the burdens of racism and sexism can be overcome only by taking race and sex into account in designing remedies.
Fourteenth Amendment A constitutional amendment ratified in 1868 that forbids states rom (1) denying the "privileges and immunities" of citizenship, (2)depriving any person of due process of law, or (3) denying any person equal protection of the law.
Hyde amendment A congressional restriction barring the use of Medicaid funds to pay for abortions except when the life of the other is at stake. The Supreme Court upheld this restriction in 1980.
Jim Crow A phrase from a song by Thomas Rice that came to be a slang expression for African Americans and was later applied to laws and practices that segregated African Americans from whites.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) An organization formed in 1909 to further the civil rights of African Americans. Its major emphasis has been the litigation of cases in courts.The organization has achieved notable successes,most significantly in overturning the doctrine of seperate but =
nonviolent civil disobedience A tactic employed in the early demonstrations of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s that involved peaceful violation of the law.
Plessy v. Ferguson A Supreme Court decision in 1896 that upheld the separate but = doctrine, by which different races could be assigned to separate facilities so long as the facilites were of = condition. The doctrine was overturned in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education.
reverse discrimination A position, advocated by those favoring an equality of opportunity, that opposes giving preferential treatment of African Americans and women on the ground that the Constitution should be color-blind and sex-neutral.
Roe v. Wade A Supreme Court decision in 1973 that holds that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment protects a woman's right to privacy, allowing women to choose whether to have an abortion within certain guidelines.
seperate but equal doctrine A doctrine approved by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson that allowed states under the 14th Amendment to provide seperate facilities for African Americans and whites so long as the quality of the facilities were similar. Was overturned by Brown case
strict scrutiny The standard by which the Supremem Court judges classifications based on race. To be accepted, such a classification must be closely related to a "compelling" state purpose.
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg A Supreme Court decision in 1971 dealing with the constitutionality of court-ordered busing to integrate public school systems. The Court held that busing is a permissible option for integration if certain conditions are met (past racial discrimination).
white flight Whites moving out of cities to suburbs to avoid mandatory busing or other integration measures imposed on school systems.
Created by: afailoni



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