Civil Liberties

  1. McCarthyism
    Charges that unfairly or dishonestly tarnish the motives, attack the patriotism, or violate the rights of individuals, especially of political opponents. Refers to the numerous unsubstantiated accusations of communism made against public and private individuals by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.
  2. freedom of expression
    The constitutional rights of Americans to "freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" as outlined in the First Amendment o the Constitution.
  3. freedom of religion
    The religious rights of Americans outlined in the First Amendment to the Constiution. The amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion; or abridging the free exercise thereof."
  4. prior restraint
    The traditional view of the press's free speech rights as expressed by WIlliam Blackstone, the great English jurist. According to this view the press is guaranteed freedom from censorship-that is, rules telling it in advance what it can publish. After publication, however, the government can punish the press for material that is judged libelous or obscene.
  5. clear-and-present-danger test
    A legal interpretation that reconciled two views of the First Amendment right of free speech, the first that Congress could not pass any law to restrict speech and the second that it could punish harms cause by speech. Proposed by Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in 191, it held that COngress could punish only speech that created a "clear and present danger" of bringing about the actions that Congress is authorized to prevent.
  6. due-process clause
    Protection against arbitrary deprivation of life, liberty, or property as guaranteed in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
  7. libel
    A written statement that falsely injures the reputation of another person
  8. symbolic speech
    An act that conveys a political message, such as burning a draft card to protest the draft
  9. free-exercise clause
    A clause in the First Amendment to the Constitution stating that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the "free exercise" of religion
  10. establishment clause
    A clause in the First Amendment to the Constitution stating that Congress shall make no law "respecting an establishment of religion."
  11. wall-of-separation privilege
    A Supreme Court interpretation of the establishment clause in the First Amendment that prevents government involvement with religion, even on a non-preferential basis
  12. exclusionary rule
    A rule that holds that evidence gathered in violation of the Constitution cannot be used in a trial. The rule has been used to implement two provisions of the Bill of Rights-the right to be free from unreasonable searches or seizures (Fourth Amendment) and the right not to be compelled to give evidence against oneself (Fifth Amendment)
  13. search warrant
    An order from a judge authorizing the search of a place; the order must describe what is to be searched and seized, and the judge can issue it only if he or she is persuaded by the police that good reason (probable cause) exists that a crime has been committed and that the evidence bearing on the crime will be found at a certain location
  14. good-faith exception
    Admission at a trial of evidence that is gathered in violation of the Constitution if the violation results from a technical or minor error
Card Set
Civil Liberties
Civil Liberties Vocab