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Preamble

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237 Terms

1

Preamble

Introduction to the Constitution

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2

Article I

Legislative Branch

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Article II

Executive Branch

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Article III

Judicial Branch

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Article IV

Interstate Relations

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Article V

Amending the Constitution

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7

Article VI

Supremacy Clause

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8

Article VII

Ratification of the Constitution

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9

Bill of Rights

First 10 amendments to the Constitution

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10

Writ of Habeas Corpus

A court order requiring explanation to a judge why a prisoner is being held in custody.

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11

Bill of Attainder

a law that punishes a person accused of a crime without a trial or a fair hearing in court

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12

Necessary and Proper Clause

The clause in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) setting forth the implied powers of Congress. It states that Congress, in addition to its express powers, has the right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the Constitution vests in the national government.

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13

Ex Post Facto Law

A retroactive criminal law that works to the disadvantage of a person.

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14

Federalist 51

Argues that separation of powers within the national government is the best way to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of one person or a single group.

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Federalist 10

An essay composed by James Madison which argues that liberty is safest in a large republic because many interests (factions) exist. Such diversity makes tyranny by the majority more difficult since ruling coalitions will always be unstable.

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Brutus 1

  • Argument against the Constitution

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  • Examples of History

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  • The U.S. is too big

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  • Too many different interests

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  • Government will be too far away

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  • Government is too powerful

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  • Supremacy/Necessary and Proper Clause

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23

Articles of Confederation

1st Constitution of the U.S. 1781-1788 (weaknesses-no executive, no judicial, no power to tax, no power to regulate trade)

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Shays' Rebellion

Rebellion led by Daniel Shays of farmers in western Massachusetts in 1786-1787, protesting mortgage foreclosures. It highlighted the need for a strong national government just as the call for the Constitutional Convention went out.

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25

Declaration of Independence

1776 statement, issued by the Second Continental Congress, explaining why the colonies wanted independence from Britain.

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26

Social Contract Theory

The belief that the people agree to set up rulers for certain purposes and thus have the right to resist or remove rulers who act against those purposes.

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27

John Locke

English philosopher who advocated the idea of a "social contract" in which government powers are derived from the consent of the governed and in which the government serves the people; also said people have natural rights to life, liberty and property.

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Social Contract" he explained an ideal society where each community member would vote on issues and majority would become one law.

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29

Federalists

A group that argued for ratification of the Constitution, including a stronger national government at the expense of states' power. They controlled the new federal government until Thomas Jefferson's election in 1800.

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30

Anti-Federalists

Opponents of ratification of the Constitution and of a strong central government generally.

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31

Popular Sovereignty

The belief that the authority and legitimacy of government is based in the consent and authority of the individuals living within its boundaries.

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32

New Jersey Plan

The proposal at the Constitutional Convention made by William Paterson of New Jersey for a central government with a single-house legislature in which each state would be represented equally.

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Virginia Plan

The initial proposal at the Constitutional Convention made by the Virginia delegation for a strong central government with a bicameral legislature dominated by the big states.

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34

Connecticut (Great) Compromise

The compromise agreement by states at the Constitutional Convention for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in which representation would be based on population and an upper house in which each state would have two senators.

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35

Three-Fifths Compromise

The compromise between northern and southern states at the Constitutional Convention that three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for determining direct taxation and representation in the House of Representatives.

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Slave Trade Compromise

Congress could not regulate or outlaw slavery or slave trade until 1808

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37

Full Faith and Credit Clause

The clause in the Constitution (Article IV, Section 1) requiring each state to recognize the civil judgments rendered by the courts of the other states and to accept their public records and acts as valid.

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38

Supremacy Clause

Contained in Article IV of the Constitution, the clause gives national laws the absolute power even when states have enacted a competing law.

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39

Electoral College

The electoral system used in electing the president and vice president, in which voters vote for electors pledged to cast their ballots for a particular party's candidates.

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40

Amendment Process

The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures.

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41

Reserved Powers

All powers not specifically delegated to the national government by the Constitution. The reserve power can be found in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

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Concurrent Powers

Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.

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Enumerated Powers

The powers explicitly given to Congress in the Constitution.

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44

Civil Rights

The rights of all people to be free from irrational discrimination such as that based on race, religion, gender, or ethnic origin.

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45

Civil Liberties

Constitutional freedoms guaranteed to all citizens and are protections against government actions.

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46

Selective Incorporation

The process by which provisions of the Bill of Rights are brought within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment and so applied to state and local governments.

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47

First Amendment

5 freedoms: speech, press, religion, assembly, petition (RAPPS)

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Second Amendment

Right to keep and bear arms

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49

Third Amendment

The government may not house soldiers in private homes without consent of the owner

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50

Fourth Amendment

Protects against unreasonable search and seizure

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51

Fifth Amendment

A constitutional amendment designed to protect the rights of persons accused of crimes, including protection against double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and punishment without due process of law.

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Sixth Amendment

Right to a speedy and public trial

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53

Seventh Amendment

Right to a trial by jury in civil cases

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54

Eighth Amendment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

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Ninth Amendment

states that people's rights are not limited to just those listed in the Constitution.

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Tenth Amendment

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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Thirteenth Amendment

The constitutional amendment ratified after the Civil War that forbade slavery and involuntary servitude.

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58

Fourteenth Amendment

the constitutional amendment adopted after the Civil War that states, "no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

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59

Due Process Clause

A clause in the Fifth Amendment limiting the power of the national government; a similar clause in the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits state governments from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

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60

Equal Protection Clause

A clause in the Fourteenth Amendment that forbids any state to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. By interpretation, the Fifth Amendment imposes the same limitation on the national government. This clause is the major constitutional restraint on the power of governments to discriminate against persons because of race, national origin, or sex.

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61

Affirmative Action

Remedial action designed to overcome the effects of discrimination against minorities and women.

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62

Equality of Opportunity

All individuals, regardless of race, gender, or circumstance, have the opportunity to participate in politics, self-government, and the economy.

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63

Equality of Results

The belief that everyone can achieve the same results despite differences in backgrounds if they work hard enough and overcome obstacles

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64

De Facto Segregation

Segregation resulting from economic or social conditions or personal choice.

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65

De Jure Segregation

Segregation imposed by law.

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66

Letter from Birmingham Jail

A letter written by Martin Luther King Jr. after he had been arrested when he took part in a nonviolent march against segregation. He was disappointed more Christians didn't speak out against racism.

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67

Civil Rights Act of 1964

outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin

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68

Free Exercise Clause

A clause in the First Amendment stating that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

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69

Establishment Clause

A clause in the First Amendment stating that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. The Supreme Court has interpreted this to forbid direct governmental support to any or all religions.

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70

Lemon Test

The three-part examination for Establishment Clause cases that a law must pass before it is declared constitutional: it must have a secular purpose; it must neither advance nor inhibit religion; it must not cause excessive entanglement with religion.

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71

Schenck v. United States

1919--Case involving limits on free speech. Established the "clear and present danger" principle.

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72

Brown v. Board of Education

1954 - The Supreme Court overruled Plessy v. Ferguson, declared that racially segregated facilities are inherently unequal and ordered all public schools desegregated.

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73

Engel v. Vitale

The 1962 Supreme Court decision holding that state officials violated the First Amendment when they wrote a prayer to be recited by New York's schoolchildren.

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74

Gideon v. Wainwright

A person who cannot afford an attorney may have one appointed by the government

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75

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School DIstrict

Students have the right to symbolic speech at school as long as it is not disruptive

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76

New York Times Co v. United States

If the government wishes to censor information before it is printed or published, it must be proven in court that the information will endanger national security.

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77

Wisconsin v. Yoder

Amish people refused to send their children to school past the 8th grade when the state required public schooling for all children until age 16. Result: This law is in conflict with the Free Exercise clause. The statute is in direct conflict with Amish beliefs. The Amish may teach themselves.

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78

Roe v. Wade

The 1973 Supreme Court decision holding that a state ban on all abortions was unconstitutional. The decision forbade state control over abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy, permitted states to limit abortions to protect the mother's health in the second trimester, and permitted states to protect the fetus during the third trimester.

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79

McDonald v. Chicago

The Court held that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" protected by the 2nd Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment and applies to the states. The decision cleared up the uncertainty left in the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller as to the scope of gun rights in regard to the states.

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80

Marbury v. Madison

This case establishes the Supreme Court's power of Judicial Review

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81

Miranda v. Arizona

1966 Supreme Court decision that sets guidelines for police questioning of accused persons to protect them against self-incrimination and to protect their right to counsel.

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82

TLO v. New Jersey

Concluded school administrators could search a student without their permission or a warrant.

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83

Probable Cause

reasonable cause for issuing a search warrant or making an arrest; more than mere suspicion

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Exclusionary Rule

A rule that provides that otherwise admissible evidence cannot be used in a criminal trial if it was the result of illegal police conduct

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85

good faith exception

An exception to the Supreme Court exclusionary rule, holding that evidence seized on the basis of a mistakenly issued search warrant can be introduced at trial if the mistake was made in good faith, that is, if all the parties involved had reason at the time to believe that the warrant was proper.

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86

Judicial Review

Allows the court to determine the constitutionality of laws

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87

Original Jurisdiction

The jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first, usually in a trial. These are the courts that determine the facts about a case.

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Appellate Jurisdiction

The authority of a court to review decisions made by lower courts

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Brief

A written statement by an attorney that summarizes a case and the laws and rulings that support it

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Amicus Brief

A submission to the court from "friends of the court," interested individuals or organizations that are parties in the case.

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writ of certiorari

Order by the Supreme Court directing a lower court to send up the records of a case for review

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Litmus Test

A test of ideological purity used by recent presidents in selecting and senators in confirming judges to nominate to federal courts.

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judicial activism

An interpretation of the U.S. constitution holding that the spirit of the times and the needs of the nation can legitimately influence judicial decisions (particularly decisions of the Supreme Court)

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judicial restraint

Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect what the framers intended and what its words literally say.

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95

Loose Constructivism

the Constitution has a dynamic, shifting meaning, modern society should be taken into account when interpreting key phrases, the Framers wrote in broad and flexible terms to create a dynamic, "living" document

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Strict Constructivism

The legal philosophy that judges should use the intentions of those writing the law or the Constitution as guides for how to interpret the law.

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97

Senatorial Courtesy

a process by which presidents generally allow senators from the state in which a judicial vacancy occurs to block a nomination by simply registering their objection

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Majority Opinion

a statement that presents the views of the majority of supreme court justices regarding a case

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99

Dissenting Opinion

A statement written by a justice who disagrees with the majority opinion, presenting his or her opinion

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100

Concurring Opinion

A statement that agrees with the majority in a Supreme Court ruling but differs on the reasoning.

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