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POS: Chapter 4 and 5


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Bill of Rights
the first ten amendments to the Constitution which set forth basic protections for individual rights to free expression, fair trial and property.
Civil liberties
the fundamental individual rights of a free society, such as freedom of speech and the right to a jury trial, which in the United States are protected by the Bill of Rights.
Clear and present danger test
a test devised by the Supreme Court in 1919 in order to define the limits of free speech in the context of national security. According to the text, government cannot abridge political expression unless it presents a clear and present danger to the nation's security.
Due process clause
a clause in the Fourteenth Amendment which refers to the legal procedures that have been established as a means of protecting individuals' rights
Establishment clause
the First Amendment provision that government may not favor one religion over another, or religion over no religion, and that prohibits Congress from passing laws respecting the establishment of religion.
Exclusionary rule
the legal principle that government is prohibited from using in trials evidence that was obtained by unconstitutional means (for example, illegal search and seizure).
free-exercise clause
a First Amendment provision that prohibits the government from interfering with the practice of religion or from prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
Freedom of expression
Americans' freedom to communicate their views, the foundation of which is the First Amendment rights of freedom of conscience, speech, press, assembly and petition.
imminent-lawless-action test
limits the authority of a state to restrict speech that advocates the unlawful use of force unless that speech is likely to produce such action.
a written offense that greatly harms a person's reputation.
Prior restraint
government prohibition of speech or publication before the fact, which is presumed by the courts to be unconstitutional unless the justification for it is overwhelming.
procedural due process
the constitutional requirement that government must follow proper legal procedures before a person can be legitimately punished for an alleged offense.
selective incorporation
the absorption of certain provisions of the Bill of Rights (for example, freedom of speech) into the Fourteenth Amendment so that these rights are protected from infringement by the states.
spoken offense that greatly harms a person's reputation.
symbolic speech
conduct that is designed to express an opinion.
affirmative action
a term that refers to programs designed to ensure that women, minorities and other traditionally disadvantaged groups have full and equal opportunities in employment, education and other areas of life.
comparable worth
the idea that women should get pay equal to men for work that is of similar difficulty and responsibility and that requires similar levels of education and training.
de facto discrimination
discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, ethnicity and the like that results from social, economic and cultural biases and conditions.
de jure discrimination
discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, and the like that results from a law.
equal-protection clause
a clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that forbids any state to deny equal protection of the laws to any individual within its jurisdiction.
equal rights (civil rights)
the right of every person to equal protection under the laws and equal access to society's opportunities and public facilities.
equality of result
the objective of policies intended to reduce or eliminate the effects of discrimination so that members of traditionally disadvantaged groups will have the same benefits of society as do members of advantaged groups.
gender gap
the tendency of women to vote more heavily Democratic than men do.
intermediate-scrutiny test
a test applied by courts to laws that treat individuals unequally. Such a law may be deemed constitutional if it serves a clearly compelling and justified purpose.
reasonable-basis test
a test applied by courts to laws that treat individuals unequally. Such a law may be deemed constitutional if its purpose is held to be "reasonably" related to a legitimate government interest.
strict-scrutiny test
a test applied by courts to laws that attempt a racial or ethnic classification. In effect, the strict-scrutiny test eliminates race or ethnicity as a legal classification when it places minority group members at a disadvantage.
suspect classifications
legal classifications, such as race and national origin, that have invidious discrimination as their purpose and are therefore unconstitutional.

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