1) Bill of Rights or human rights (natural rights).
2) The first ten amendments make up the Bill of Rights.
3) The incorporation doctrine applies the same rights to state and local governments.
4) The Establishment Clause prevents the federal government from creating a state religion.
5) Engel v. Vitale (1962) outlawed prayer in public schools.
6) Peyote mushrooms were sacred in many Native American religions.
7) There are no religious tests for any federal office.
8) Abraham Lincoln arrested opposition newspaper editors during the Civil War.
9) Schenck v. The United States (1919) used the clear and present danger test.
10) In Virginia v. Black (2004) the Supreme Court upheld a law that banned cross burning intended for racial intimidation but otherwise affirmed that it was a form of free speech.
11) Libel is a written statement that defames a person’s character.
12) In DC v. Heller (2008) the Supreme Court affirmed the individual right to own firearms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
13) Ex post facto laws make behavior illegal that was previously legal when the offense was committed.
14) Taking the fifth means that an individual can refuse to testify against themselves on the grounds of self-incrimination.
15) The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure.
16) The right that protects persons against self-incrimination.
17) Double jeopardy prevents defendants from being tried twice for the same crime.
18) The Exclusionary Rule prevents illegally seized evidence from being used in court.
19) The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to due process, trial by jury, and the right to legal counsel.
20) Brandeis defined privacy as the right to be left alone and not have personal information disclosed publicly.
21) Roe v. Wade (1973) permitted abortion in the first trimester on privacy grounds and the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
22) Civil rights protect individuals against arbitrary discrimination.
23) The Missouri Compromise of 1820 banned slavery in any new Western states that were located north of a certain dividing line in the Louisiana Purchase.
24) Slavery was outlawed by the 13th Amendment in 1865.
25) Southern states attempted to evade the 13th Amendment though passing Black Codes.
26) During Radical Reconstruction, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act and forced the Southern states to ratify the 14th Amendment, which guaranteed equal rights to blacks.
27) The 1883 Civil Rights cases allowed racial discrimination by private organizations, but not state and local governments.
28) Poll taxes and literacy tests were most commonly used against black voters in the South.
29) Plessey v. Ferguson (1896) allowed racial segregation as long as “separate but equal” facilities were provided.
30) The Nineteenth Amendment of 1920 gave women the right to vote everywhere in the U.S.
31) Brown v. Board of Education (1954) declared that separate or segregated facilities were “inherently unequal”.
32) In 1957, the Supreme Court ordered Arkansas to immediately begin integrating its public schools.
33) In Montgomery in 1955 the civil rights movement boycotted the segregated city buses.
34) The 1964 Civil Rights Act abolished all state and local segregation laws.
35) Discrimination in housing, education, employment, public accommodations, the courts and legal system and voting rights all violate the 14th Amendment.
36) Title IX prohibits discrimination in any educational program based on sex or gender.
37) Under the Constitution most Indian tribes were regarded as independent nations which would be dealt with as foreign states by the federal government.
38) Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) was Bill Clinton’s policy toward gays in the military.
39) The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 added the handicapped as a protected class under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
40) Affirmative action policies involve compensatory treatment for minorities.
American Federal Government Essay Examples
1) Bill of Rights or human rights (natural rights).
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