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AP Government Vocabs Chapter 4


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The legal constitutional protections against government.
Civil LIberties
The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, drafted in response to some of the Anti-Federalist concerns. These amendments define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and press and offer protections against arbitrary searches by the
Bill of Rights
The constitutional amendment that establishes the four great liberties: freedom of the press, of speech, of religion, and of assembly.
First 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,
Fourteenth Amendment
The legal concept under which the Supreme Court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
Incorporation Doctine
Part of the First Amendment stating that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
Establishment Clause
A First Amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion.
Free Exercise Clause
A government's preventing material from being published. This is a common method of limiting the press in some nations, but it is usually unconstitutional in the United States, according to the First Amendment and as confirmed in the 1931 Supreme Court c
Prior Restraint
The publication of false or malicious statements that damage someone's reputation.
Nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing and armband.
Symbolic Speech
Communication in the form of advertising. It can be restricted more than many other types of speech but has been receiving increased protection from the Supreme Court.
Commercial Speech
The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, the police are allowed legally to search for and seize incriminating evidence.
Probable Cause
Obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner, a practice prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. Both probable cause a search warrant are required for a legal and proper search for the seizure of incriminating evidence.
Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
A written authorization from a court specifying the area to be searched and what the police are searching for. The Fourth Amendment requires a search warrant to prevent unreasonable searches and seizures.
Search Warrant
The rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained . The rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure.
Exclusionary Rule
The 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.
Fifth Amendment
The situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court.
The constitutional amendment designed to protect individuals accused of crimes. It includes the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a speedy and public trial.
Sixth Amendment
An actual bargain struck between the defendant's lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime (or fewer crimes) in exchange for the state's promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious (or ad
Plea Bargaining
The constitutional amendment that forbids cruel and unusual punishment, although it does not define this phrase. Through the Fourteenth Amendment, this Bill of Rights provision applies to the states.
Eighth Amendment
Court sentences prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory death sentences for certain offenses are unconstitutional, it has not held that the death penalty itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
According to Paul Bender, "the right to keep the details of [one's] life confidential; the free and untrammeled use and enjoyment of one's intellect, body, and private property... the right, in sum, to a private personal life free from the intrusion
Right to Privacy

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