Study Guide for Unit 5 Exam


Exclusionary Rule: A principle established by the Supreme Court that bars the government, both federal and state, from using illegally seized evidence in court. Since 1914, the courts have used the "exclusionary rule" to prevent illegally seized evidence from being introduced in the courtroom. The Burger Court made some exceptions to the exclusionary rule.


Second Amendment Brady Bill: The Brady Bill put stricter restraints on weapons purchasing by providing for a waiting period before the purchase of a handgun, and for the establishment of a national instant criminal background check system to be contacted by firearms dealers before the transfer of any firearm. (Second Amendment: the right of the people to keep and bear arms)


Procedural Due Process: the principle that laws must be administered in a fair manner (provided for by the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments).


Attitudes about the Separation of Church and State


Fifth Amendment Protections: prohibits forced self-incrimination. Suspects cannot be forced (compelled) to be witnesses against themselves:

1)       The burden of proof rests on the police and the prosecutors (the "government" or state), not the defendant.

2)       This right applies to congressional hearings and police stations, as well as to courtrooms.

3)       Suspects must testify if the government guarantees then immunity from prosecution.

The 5th Amendment also includes the grand jury requirement, which has not been applied specifically to the states.


Libel and Slander: Libel is written defamation or false statements. Now, one must prove with convincing clarity that statements were made with “actual malice”.


Trend of Affirmative Action Programs in the 1990's


"fighting words": Words that by their very nature inflict injury upon those to whom they are addressed or cause acts of violence by them. Not protected by the constitution, but words that anger people are not enough; neither is hate speech.


14th Amendment: made citizens of the freed slaves. The only place in which the concept of equality clearly appears in the Constitution is in the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits the states from denying "equal protection of the laws" to any person.


Flag burning is what type of speech? symbolic (Burns 371)


Selective Incorporation (very important): 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.


Barron vs. Baltimore: Barron’s private land was taken by the city of Baltimore. He sued for compensation. Court claimed that he could only receive compensation from the federal government; state and local governments had their own rules concerning certain rights.


Gitlow vs. New York (1925): freedom of speech and press are among rights granted in the 14th amendment from impairment by the states. Basically, states’ rights could not deny any individual freedom of speech or press on a state level anymore because it was protected under the first and fourteenth amendments. (Book Ref. Page 365)


Wolf vs. Colorado (1949): the Court for the first time discussed the effect of the Fourth Amendment on the states. It concluded that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated, or made applicable to the states, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. However, the ruling in Wolf also made clear that "in a prosecution in a State court for a State crime the Fourteenth Amendment does not forbid the admission of evidence obtained by an unreasonable search and seizure." In other words, the exclusionary rule did not apply to the states.


Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963): The right to legal council despite income or education.


Miranda vs. Arizona: set guidelines for police questioning of suspects. Before suspects are questioned, they must be given the following Miranda warnings:

1)       their right to remain silent;

2)       that what they say can be used against them in a court of law; and,

3)       that they have a right to have a lawyer present during an interrogation, and that a lawyer will be provided if the accused cannot afford one.


Affirmative Action Programs: remedies to overcome the consequences of past discrimination against minorities.


Grandfather Clauses: African Americans at one point were unable to vote if their grandfather had been a slave.


Burger Court and the Exclusionary Rule: the United States Supreme Court from 1969 to 1986 (led by Chief Justice Warren Burger). It was expected that the "Burger Court" would become a conservative court under Warren Burger and reverse many of the liberal rulings of the earlier Warren Court. The assessment was incorrect. Some exceptions to the exclusionary rule:

1)       Allowed the use of illegally obtained evidence when the evidence led police to a discovery that they would eventually have made without it

2)       In United States v. Leon (1984) established a "good faith" exception


Webster vs. Reproductive Health Services (1989): Rehnquist Supreme Court upheld Missouri Law restricting abortion. Human life begins at conception. This Roe vs. Wade decision is in jeopardy because of this doctrine.


Three Part Lemon Test:

1)       a law must have a secular legislative purpose;

2)       it must neither advance nor inhibit religion;

3)       it must avoid excessive government entanglement with religion. (Burns 366)


Religious Restoration Act of 1993: aimed to override Smith decision, restore earlier test prohibiting the government from limiting a person’s exercise of religion unless the government demonstrates a compelling interest that is advanced by the least restrictive means. Ruled unconstitutional.


Employment Division vs. Smith (1990): significantly altered the interpretation of the free exercise clause by discarding the compelling governmental interest test for overriding the interests of religious minorities.


Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994: This act provides federal criminal and civil penalties for anyone convicted of using force, threatening to use force or physically obstructing clinics, their patients or health-care workers.


New York Times vs. Sullivan (1964): concerning the overturning of government, seditious libel is declared unconstitutional. However, there must be proof of intent of action, not just thoughts of anarchy.


Prior Restraint: Restraint or censorship imposed before a speech is made or a newspaper published, usually presumed to be unconstitutional.


Shield Laws: provide some protection for reporters from state court subpoenas.


Wall of Separation Theory: Thomas Jefferson believed there should remain a “wall of separation” between church and state.


Miller vs. California (1973): constitutional definition of obscenity:

1)       the average person finds that the work appeals to prurient interest in sex;

2)       the work depicts sexual conduct in an offensive way;

3)       the work lacks literary, artistic, political or scientific value. (Burns 373)


Clear and Present Danger Ruling: In Schenck v. US (1919): “The question in every case is whether the words are used in circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” –Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (Burns 371)


Bakke vs. U.C. Regents (1978): Supreme Ct. rules affirmative action in UC system unconstitutional.


De Jure Segregation: Laws that made it a crime for black or white people to go to school together, or to be served together in public places, or to sit together in public transportation. (Burns 416)


De Facto Segregation: Segregation that comes about because of economic or social conditions or results from individual choices. (Burns 416)


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: made it illegal for any employer or trade union in any industry affecting interstate commerce and employing 15 or more people (and, since 1972, any state or local agency such as a school or university) to discriminate in employment practices against any person because of race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. (Burns 418)


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to enforce Title VII. The commission works together with state authorities to try to bring about compliance with the act and may seek judicial enforcement of complaints against private employers. (Burns 418)


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