Gov Civil Rights Vocab

  1. Due Process Clause
    The clause of the Constitution that has been used by the judiciary to apply the Bill of Rights protections to the actions of the government.
  2. Selective incorporation
    The process by which certain of the rights contained in the Bill of Rights become applicable through the Fourteenth Amendment to actions by the state governments.
  3. Clear and present danger test
    A test devised by the Supreme Courth in 1919 to define the limits of free speech in the context of national security.  According to the test, government cannot abridge political expression unless it presents clear and present danger to the nation's security
  4. Imminent lawless action test
    A legal test that says government cannot legally supress advocacy that promotes lawless action unless it is expressly aimed at producing lawless action.
  5. Symbolic speech
    Action for the purpose of expressing a political expression.  For example, the waving or burning of a flag.
  6. Prior restraint
    Government prohibition of speech or publication before it occurs.  It is presumed by the courts to be unconstitutional unless the justification for it is overwhelming.
  7. Libel
    Publication of false material that damages a person's reputation.  The injured party can sue for damages.
  8. Slander
    Spoken falsehoods that damage a person's reputation.  The injured party can sue for damages.
  9. Establishment clause
    The First Amendment provision stating that government may not favor one religion over another or favor no religion at all.  Also prohibits Congress from passing laws concerning the establishment of religion.
  10. Lemon test
    A three-part test to determine whether a law relating to religion is valid under the religious establishment clause.  To be valid, a law must have a secular purpose, serve niether to advance nor prohibit religion, and avoid excessive government entanglement with religion.
  11. Right of privacy
    A right implied by the freedoms in the Bill or Rights that grants individuals a degree of personal privacy upon which the government cannot intrude.  This gives individuals a level of free choice in the areas such as reproductions and intimate relations.
  12. Procedural due process
    The constitutional requirement that government must follow proper legal procedures before a person can be legitimately punished for an alleged offense.
  13. Exclusionary rule
    The legal principle that government is prohibited from using in trial evidence that was obtained through unconstitutional means.  For example, illegal search and seizure.
  14. Equal protection clause
    A clause of the 14th amendment that forbids any state to deny equal treatment under the law to any citizen.
  15. Reasonable basis test
    A test applied by courts to laws that treat individuals unequally.  Such a law may be deemed unconstitutional if its purpose is held to be "reasonably" related to a legitimate government interest.
  16. Strict-scrutiny test
    A test applied by the courts to laws that atempt a racial or ethnic classification.  In effect, this test eliminates race or ethnicity as a legal classification when it places minority-group members at a disadvantage.
  17. Suspect classifications
    Legal classifications, such as race and national origin, that have invidious discrimination as their purpose and therefore are unconstitutional.
Card Set
Gov Civil Rights Vocab
Vocabulary for the Civil Rights test on 11/16