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The Constitution

Part 3

QuestionAnswer
What does the Constitution do? The constitution protects citizens from unreasonable interference from the government.
State Actor A person who represents, or acts on the behalf of, the government.
State Action In some cases, private individuals and private conduct can be considered state action.
How to determine whether an action constitutes "state action" The court must examine whether the state is sufficiently involved or entangled with the private action so that the action may fairly be treated as that of the state itself.
State Actor Examples: President, Mayor, Dan Onorato, Judge Judy, Public Schools & State Universities.
State Action Tests 1. Public Function Theory 2. Nexus/Entanglement Theory
Public Function Theory A court can find state action in the activities of a private party if that party undertakes functions or assumes powers that the government ordinarily performs or exercises.
Private activities will only constitute state action if: 1.) the activities involve a function that traditional has been performed only by government. 2.) the private entity's assumption of the function substantially replaced the governments traditional performance of the function.
Nexus/Entanglement Theory Examines whether the state's involvement or entanglement with a private actor's conduct is sufficient to transform the private conduct into state action, and thus subject to constitutional review.
What about sports & state actors? Interscholastic associations generally are considered state actors (Brentwood Academy vs. Tenn. Sec. A.A.). National collegiate organizations generally are not considered state actors (NCAA vs. Tarkanian).
What is the 4th Amendment? Search and Seizures
Search and Seizures Questions 1.) Starting Point: Is their state action? 2.) Is the conduct a search? 3.) Is search reasonable?
How to know if the search is reasonable? 1.) Was the search justified at its inception (was there reasonable suspicion)? 2.) Was the search reasonable in its scope (degree of intrusion on an individual's privacy against govt.'s interest in testing)?
New Jersey vs. T.L.O (1985) - Significance: The court adopted a lower standard of "reasonable suspicion"
Reasonable Suspicion The existence of reasonable circumstances, reports, information, or reasonable direct observation.
Created by: kil4261