25 Multiple Choice & Essay on Chapters 3, 13, 14, & 15.
Chapter 3: American Federalism
3.1 Defining Federalism
● A constitutional arrangement in which power is distributed between a central government and states. The national and states exercise direct authority over individuals. ● The Constitution divides governmental powers between the national government and state governments, giving clearly defined functions to each.
● Nearly 90,000 governments in the U.S., including 1 federal government and 50 state governments.
Types of Federalism Don't forget about the age old question of What is the difference between primary and secondary needs?
● Dual Federalism (layercake)
○ A strict separation of powers between the federal and state governments, in which each layer has its own responsibilities and reigns supreme within its constitutional realm.
● Cooperative Federalism (marblecake)
○ Flexible relationship between federal and state governments in which both work together on a variety of issues and programs.
● Competitive Federalism
○ A way to improve government performance by encouraging state and local governments to compete against each other for funding.
● Restrictive Federalism
○ Strong federal government that only allows the states to act when it decides to do so, also called “permissionbased”.
● Coercive Federalism
○ Strongest form of federalism and is defined as tight control of the states through orders or mandates typically without accompanying financial resources. If states want federal grants, they must follow the mandates.
If you want to learn more check out How many miles across is the milky way galaxy?
Devolution Revolution: the effort to slow the growth of the national government by returning many functions to the states, born under the Nixon administration.
Alternatives to Federalism:
● 1. Unitary System: a constitutional arrangement that concentrates power in a central government.
● 2. Confederation: sovereign nations or states, by compact, create a central government but carefully limit its power and do not give it direct authority over individuals. European Union is the closest thing today to a confederation.
Advantages of Federalism
Disadvantages of Federalism
● Checks the growth of tyranny
● Allows unity without uniformity
● Encourages experimentations states can be laboratories of democracy by one state adopting a program, seeing its impact, and other states either
following or not.
● Provides training and creates
opportunities for future national
● Keeps government closer to the
● Dividing power makes it much more difficult for government to respond
quickly to national problems.
● Division of power makes it difficult for voters to hold elected officials
● Lack of uniformity can lead to
● Variations in policies creates
redundancies, inefficiencies, and
We also discuss several other topics like What is research and its purpose?
3.2 The Constitutional Structure of American Federalism
Powers of the National Government
● Delegated Powers: powers given explicitly to the national government and listed in the constitution.
● Implied Powers: Powers inferred from the express powers that allow congress to carry out its functions
● Necessary & Proper Clause: gives congress the right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the constitution vests in national government. ● Inherent Powers: Powers that are not listed, but are essential for using the powers granted to the national government in other sections of the Constitution. Ex: government may acquire territory by purchase or discovery, but there is no specific clause that allows this. 4 Constitutional Pillars
● 1. The Supremacy Clause
○ Most important pillar
○ Article VI of the Constitution, gives national laws the absolute power even when states have enacted a competing law.Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of gastrovascular?
○ Ex: states must abide by the national government's minimum wage laws, but are allowed to set the minimum wage higher if they wish (cannot set it lower). ● 2. The War Power
○ The government's power to maintain national security includes the power to wage war.
○ Responsible for protecting the nation from external aggression
○ Ex. the national government is free to create “nofly” zones only for its military aircraft both within and across state borders, and may use any airports it needs during times of war or peace. We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of an inter-observer agreement?
● 3. The Commerce Clause We also discuss several other topics like Who is walter grove?
○ Gives Congress the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among states, and with Indian tribes.
■ Gibbons v. Ogden (1824): affirmed the broad authority of Congress over interstate commerce, and promoted a national economic common market. ● 4. The Power to Tax & Spend
○ Can raise taxes and spend money to promote the general welfare.
○ When the government provides the money, it can determine how that money will be spent. By withholding or threatening to withhold funds, national government can influence/ control state operations.
○ Federal Mandate: a requirement the national government imposes as as condition for receiving federal funds
Powers of the States
● Constitution reserves for the states all powers not granted to the national government. Tenth amendment is where the reserve powers lie reserve powers enable states to do things such as create schools and local government.
● Concurrent powers: powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments such as the power to levy taxes; states may levy taxes on the same items the national government taxes, such as incomes, alc, gas, etc.
Constitutional Limits & Obligations
● States are prohibited from doing the following:
○ 1. Making Treaties with foreign governments
○ 2. Authorizing private citizens or organizations to interfere with the shipping and commerce of other nations.
○ 3. Coining money
○ 4. Taxing imports or exports
○ 5. Taxing foreign ships
○ 6. Keeping troops or ships of war in time of peace
○ 7. Engaging in war
**some cases the national government may not command states to enact laws to comply with or order state employees to enforce national laws.
○ Printz v. United States: states not required to conduct instant background checks prior to selling a handgun national government could not draft local police to do its bidding
● Full Faith & Credit
○ Requires each state to recognize the civil judgements rendered by the courts of other states and to accept their public records and acts as valid. Applies primarily to enforcing judicial settlements and court awards.
● Privileges and Immunities
○ Must give citizens of all other states the privileges and immunities they grant to their own citizens.
○ The legal process where an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
● Interstate Compact
○ An agreement among 2 or more states that Congress must approve; establishes interstate agencies to handle problems affecting an entire region.
3.3 The National Courts & Federalism
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
● Supreme Court’s first of many chances to define the division of power between national and state government.
● Background: Congress imposed the Bank of the United States, but Maryland opposed any national bank and levied a $10k tax on any bank not incorporated in the state; James W. McCulloch (cashier of bank) refused to pay on the ground that a state could not tax an instrument of the national government.
● National Supremacy: A constitutional doctrine that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the national government prevail.
Preemption: The right of a national law or regulation to preclude enforcement of a state or local law or regulation; National law > State law.
● People who favor national action over action at state and local levels
● Abe Lincoln and the Supreme Court are supporters of it.
● View the Constitution as a supreme law established by the people.
● Agent of the people, not the states; believe that states only speak for some of the people.
● People who favor state or local action over national action.
● States rights powers expressly
reserved to the states
● AntiFederalists were supporters, as well as Thomas Jefferson, Ronald
Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.
● Supporters believe the Constitution is a compact among states, and national government is an agent of the states
and should not interfere with activities reserved for the states.
● Support the devolution revolution
3.4 National Budget
● National Grants serve 4 purposes:
○ 1. To supply state & local governments with revenue.
○ 2. To establish minimum national standards for things like highways and clean air.
○ 3. To equalize resources among the states
○ 4. To attack national problems but minimize the growth of national agencies. Types of National Government Grants
● 1. Project Grants
○ Specific activities such as scientific research, homeland security, and some education programs
○ Awarded through a competitive application process
○ Restricted to a fixed amount of time and spent within tight guidelines. ● 2. Formula Grants
○ Distributed to the states based on procedures set out in the granting
○ Simplest formula= population= money based on how many people live in an area.
○ Other formulas don’t involve people, but specific measures of a problem, like number of boarded up houses.
● 3. Categorical Grants
○ Specific purposes and the money is tightly monitored to ensure it is spent exactly as directed.
○ Most strings attached state/local governments must conform on all
aspects of the funding legislation in order to receive the money.
○ Involve the largest among of federal support ($), but require states to
match some percentage of each national dollar.
● 4. Block Grants
○ More generalized governmental functions such as public assistance, health services, & child care.
○ Provided with very few requirements attached.
○ States have great flexibility in deciding how to spend grant money.
**These four types of grants can be combined within a single program.
● National government has imposed mandates on states without providing national funds ● Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires Congress to evaluate the impact of unfunded mandates and imposes mild constraints.
Growth of National Government
● Past 200 years= power has accrued to the national government; many of our problems have become national in scope.
● National government has asked states to do more on its behalf→ states continue to fight for their authority to use the reserve powers granted to them in the Constitution
Notes From Chapter 3 Revel Quiz
● The national government is likely to play a prominent role in the U.S. federal system in the foreseeable future because issues like international terrorism and rising deficits will create demand for national action.
● Jack & Jill are married in NY state, if they cross the border into PA, they remained married because of which part of the Constitution? The Interstate Compact Clause. ● Formula Grants are grants that can only be used for subsidizing school meals, and are calculated based on the population of schoolage children living below the poverty line. ● The requirement for states to institute a minimum drinking age before they can receive federal highway aid is an example of a necessary condition of a categorical grant. ● An advantage of block grants is that they give states greater flexibility in deciding how to use grant money.
● The most important pillar of U.S. federalism is the Supremacy Clause. ● The power to tax is a concurrent power, as listed in the Constitution.
● State governments reflect the wishes of the people more accurately than the national government, is an argument in favor of Devolution.
● The national government’s role pertaining to foreign affairs is called inherent powers.
● The 14th amendment declares that no state shall, “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”.
● In preemption, a national law or regulation takes precedence over a state or local law or regulation.
Chapter 13: The Judiciary
13.1 Understanding the Federal Judiciary
● The federal judiciary is an important check against both Congress & the President
Civil & Criminal Law
● A law that defines crimes against the public order.
● A person’s liberty is at stake (those judged guilty can be imprisoned)
● Criminal defendants who cannot
afford attorneys are provided counsel by the government
● Defendants have the right to a jury
● A law that governs relationships
between individuals and defines their legal rights.
● Penalties are predominantly monetary ($)
● No right to a government provided attorney.
● No right to jury
Judicial Review: Power of a court to review laws or governmental regulations to determine whether they are consistent with the Constitution.
Adversary System: A judicial system in which the court of law is a neutral arena where 2 parties argue their differences; this system imposes restraints on judicial power; this is what the US system is.
Prosecutor: government lawyer who tries criminal cases, often referred to as a District or U.S. attorney.
Plea Bargain: Agreement between prosecutor and defendant that enables the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser offense, rather than going to court and risk getting a higher offense. Justiciable Dispute: A dispute growing out of an actual case or controversy that is capable of settlement by legal methods.
Plaintiff: party investigating a civil lawsuit
U.S. Attorney General: Chief law enforcement officer in the US and the head of the Department of Justice.
Solicitor General: 3rd ranking official in the Department of Justice, who is responsible for representing the US in cases before the Supreme Court; sometimes called the tenth justice.
13.2 The 3 Types of Federal Courts
1. Level One: District Courts
a. Workhorses of the federal judiciary
b. 94 district courts in the US
c. Trial courts where all federal cases begin
d. Judges make decisions on death penalty, drug crimes, and other criminal violations.
2. Level Two: Circuit Courts of Appeals
a. Courts with appellate jurisdiction that hear appeals from the decisions of lower courts.
b. All district court decisions can be appealed
c. Precedent: a decision made by a higher court that is binding on all other federal courts
3. Level Three: The Supreme Court
a. The court of last resort in the U.S.; it can hear appeals from federal circuit courts or state high courts.
b. 9 Supreme Court justices
c. Once the Supreme Court decides, the dispute of case is over.
Writ of habeas corpus: A court order requiring explanation to a judge why a prisoner is being held in custody.
The Politics of Appointing Federal Judges
● Washington established two precedents in judicial appointments:
○ 1. His appointees were his political and ideological allies.
○ 2. Every state was represented on some court somewhere, ensuring at least some representation across the nation.
Making the Initial Choices
● Article II of the Constitution gives the president the power to appoint federal judges with advice and consent of the Senate.
● Senatorial Courtesy: Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to Senators from the states in which the appointees are to work. ● All judicial nominations are referred to the Senate judiciary committee for a hearing and a committee vote before consideration by the entire Senate.
1. Judicial Activism: a philosophy proposing that judges should freely strike down laws enacted by the democratically elected branches.
2. Judicial Restraint: a philosophy proposing that judges should strike down the actions of the elected branches only if they clearly violate the Constitution
Writ of Certiorari: a formal write used to bring a case before the Supreme Court 13.4 How the Supreme Court Decides
8 Steps to Judgement
1. Reviewing Appeals
● Many appeals come to the court by means of a petition; either a writ of certiorari or a in forma pauperis (usually these come from prisoners because it avoids the payment of court fees)
2. Granting the Appeal
● A docket (the list of potential cases that reach the Supreme Court) is produced; Court decides whether to move forward with a case based on the Rule of Four (if 4 justices are sufficiently interested in a petition); a cert pool is written, which gives a summary of each petition and recommends whether a review should be granted or not.
3. Briefing the Case
● After a case is granted review, each side prepares written briefs for the justices and law clerks to study; in writing these briefs, the appellants attempt to address the concerns that they know the justices have.
● Amicus curiae brief: “Friend of the court”; field by a person or organization to present arguments in addition to those presented by the immediate parties to a case. 4. Holding the Oral Argument
● Counsel for each side is allowed 30 minutes; white light flashes 5 minutes before time is up, red light means the lawyer must stop talking, even in the middle of a sentence; oral arguments are informally formal.
5. Meeting in Conference
● Justices meet on Friday mornings to discuss the cases they heard that week; each justice, in order of seniority, gives his/her views and conclusions, after the chief justice summarizes the case.
● The writing of the majority opinion is also assigned to a justice here.
6. Explaining the Decision
● Opinions of the Court: an explanation of a decision of the Supreme Court or any other appellate court.
● Justice is free to write a dissenting opinion (disagreeing with the majority in a ruling), or they can write a concurring opinion if they agree with the majority ruling but have different reasoning.
7. Writing the Opinion
● One justice writes it and must win support of at least four other justices; two weapons that justices can use against each other are their votes and the threat of dissenting opinions attacking the majority’s opinion.
8. Releasing the Opinion
● Justices give brief summaries of their decisions and opinions on “opinion days”
The Chief Justice
● Appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate; heads entire federal judiciary; “First among equals… sets the tone, controls the conference, assigns the most opinions, and takes the most important, nationchanging decisions for himself”
● Best recent graduates of law schools to serve justices; each justice gets 4 new law clerks; picks his or her own clerks and works closely with them.
13.5 Judicial Power and Its Limits
Stare Decisis: the rule of precedent, whereby a rule or law contained in a judicial decision is commonly viewed as binding on judges whenever the same question is presented; promotes certainty, uniformity, and stability. “To stand by that which is decided”
Packing the Court: 1937, FDR proposed an increase in the size of the Supreme Court to 15 members; wanted to pack the court with new supporters in order to help him pass legislation.
Revel Quiz Notes
● In 1992, the Supreme Court refused by a 5to4 vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Why was this close vote significant? It meant that presidential elections could determine the fate of abortion rights.
● Who has the ultimate authority to interpret federal laws? The Supreme Court. ● Counsel for each side in the Supreme Court is only allotted 30 minutes to make their case.
● The people who assist with the judge's’ workload are the law clerks.
● Civil suits are different from criminal suits in that they involve establishing guilt and assessing monetary damages.
● The chief justice is head of the federal judiciary and has several administrative responsibilities.
● How does the U.S. judicial system differ from the judicial systems of other countries? The U.S. has both state and federal courts.
● How did the framers seek to to protect the judiciary system from shifts in public opinion? They rejected the direct election of justices.
● The Supreme Court reviews cases only if the claim raises substantial questions of federal or constitutional law, or if the court of appeals disagreed.
● In a case involving an American ambassador, the U.S. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction.
● A proponent of judicial activism might support what? Striking down a law that allows the use of a punishment that is no longer considered humane.
● Asking a nominee a question pertaining to his or her opinion regarding abortion would best exemplify the use of a litmus test in the Senate confirmation process of a justice. ● The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the federal courts system.
Chapter 14: Civil Liberties
14.1 The Basics of our Civil Liberties
Civil Liberties: Constitutional protections of all person against governmental restrictions on the freedom of conscience, religion, and expression.
Civil Rights: Constitutional rights of all persons to due process and the equal protection of the laws; protected by due process and equal protection clauses of the 5th and 14th amendment. Legal Privileges: Granted by governments and many are subject to conditions or restrictions; right to welfare benefits or a driver’s license are examples.
Write of Habeas Corpus: “You have the body”; a court order requiring explanation to a judge as to why a prisoner is being held in custody.
Ex post facto laws: A retroactive criminal law that works to the disadvantage of a person. **The Bill of Rights originally applied only to the national government; Framers were confident that citizens could control their own state officials.
Due Process Clause: A clause in the fifth amendment that prohibits state governments from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Gitlow v. New York: First time the U.S. Constitution was interpreted to protect freedom of speech from abridgment by states and local governments.
Selective Incorporation: Process where provisions of the Bill of Rights are brought within the scope of the 14th amendment and applied to state and local governments.
14.2 First Amendment Freedoms
Freedom of Religion
● Contains two important clauses: the establishment clause and the free exercise clause. ○ Establishment Clause: states that congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Supreme Court has interpreted this to forbid direct governmental support to any or all religions.
○ Free Exercise Clause: Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free excercise of religion.
○ Lemon Test (3 Parts):to pass a constitutional muster
■ 1. A law must have secular legislative purpose
■ 2. Neither advance nor inhibit religion
■ 3. Must avoid “excessive government entanglement with religion”
Free Speech & Free People
● Belief: at one extreme is the right to believe as we wish
● Action: At the other extreme; government may restrain
● Speech: somewhere between belief and actions; not an absolute right→ Libel and Fighting words are not protected.
● Commercial Speech: ads & commercials or products and services; receive less first amendment protection, primarily to discourage false and misleading ads.
● Bad Tendency Test: an interpretation of the first amendment that would permit legislatures to forbid speech encouraging people to engage in illegal action; abandoned in the 1920s because the test too broadly restricted speech
● Clear & Present Danger Test: government cannot interfere with speech unless the speech presents a clear & present danger that it will lead to evil or illegal acts; false shout of ‘fire’ in a crowded theater; used through the 1950s.
● Preferred Position Doctrine: freedom of expression is so essential to democracy that governments should not punish persons for what they say, only for what they do; 1940s. **Today there is no single test that is applied to speech cases.
● Prior Restraint: censorship imposed before a speech is made or a newspaper is published; deemed unconstitutional.
● Content or Viewpoint Neutral: Laws that apply to all kinds of speech and to all views, not only that which is unpopular or divisive.
● Libel: Written defamation of another person; for public officials and public figures the constitutional tests designed to restrict libel actions are especially rigid.
● Obscenity: The quality or state of a work that as a whole appeals to a prominent interest in sex by depicting sexual conduct in a patently offensive way and that lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
● Fighting Words: Words that by their very nature inflict injury on those whom they are addressed or incite them to acts of violence.
Freedom of the Press
● Broadcast & Cable
○ Broadcasting receives the least first amendment protection
○ FCC regulates the broadcast system
○ 1st amendment would prevent censorship if the FCC tried to impose it. ● Internet
○ Attempts to regulate the internet content have failed
○ Congress mostly cares about shielding kids from explicit content.
Freedom of Assembly
● Protection of peaceable assembly → Occupy Wall Street
● Constitution protects the right to speak, but it does not give people the right to communicate their views to everyone.
● Civil Disobedience: Deliberate refusal to obey a law or comply with the orders of public officials as a means of expressing opposition→ not a protected right.
14.3 Property Rights
● Property does not have rights, people do
● Property Rights: Rights of an individual to own, use, rent, invest in, buy, and sell property.
● Eminent Domain: Power of a government to take private property for public use; the U.S. Constitution gives national and state governments this power and requires them to provide just compensation for the land they take.
● Regulatory Taking: A government regulation that effectively takes land by restricting its use, even if it remains in the owner's name.
14.4 Due Process Rights
● Established rules and regulations that restrain government officials
● Procedural Due Process: A constitutional requirement that governments proceed by proper methods; limits how government exercises power; how a law is applied. ● Substantive Due Process: limits what a government may do; requires that governments act reasonable and that the substance of the laws themselves be fair and reasonable. 14.5 Privacy Rights
● Three Aspects:
○ 1. The right to be free from governmental surveillance and intrusion, especially with respect to intimate decisions on sexuality.
○ 2. The right now to have the government make private affairs public.
○ 3. The right to be free in thought and belief from governmental regulations. ● Abortion Rights:
○ Roe v. Wade (1973): Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy extended to a woman's decision to terminate her pregnancy; this decision led to decades of heated debate.
14.6 Rights of Criminal Suspects
● Fourth amendment protects from unreasonable searches and seizures
● Search Warrant: A writ issued by a magistrate that authorizes the police to search a particular place or person, specifying the place to be searched and the objects to be seized.
● Exclusionary Rule: A requirement that evidence unconstitutionally or illegally obtained be excluded from a criminal trial.
● Miranda Warning: Suspects have to be notified that they have the right to remain silent and anything they say can and will be used against them.
Fair Trial Procedures
● 4 Stages in the criminal process:
○ 1. Pretrial
○ 2. Trial
○ 3. Sentencing
○ 4. Appeal
● Grand Jury: 1223 people who privately hear evidence presented by the government to determine whether persons shall be required to stand trial.
● Petit Jury: 612 people that determine whether a defendant is found guilty in a civil or criminal action.
● Plea Bargain: agreement between a prosecutor and defendant that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser charge to avoid having to stand trial for a more serious offense. ● Double Jeopardy: Trial or punishment for the same crime by the same government; forbidden by the Constitution.
Notes from Revel Quiz
● What is one of the reasons why the Framers intended the Bill of Rights to apply to the national government only? Citizens newly freed from monarchical rule did not support a strong central government that had power over individual states.
● In 2005, New York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed for two months. Why? Miller refused to disclose her sources to a grand jury, and the Supreme Court refused to acknowledge journalists’ right to do this.
● What is the difference between procedural and substantive due process? Procedural refers to how a law is applied. Substantive limits what the government may do.
● Why has the Supreme Court’s recognition and creation of the right to privacy been so controversial? Because the bill of rights does not mention privacy at all, only implies it. ● What was the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade based on? An earlier decision concerning the right to privacy for married couples.
● What is the key effect of the imposition of the sixth amendment? In a criminal case, the accused is provided with legal counsel, even if they cannot afford it.
● What happened to the bad tendency test in the 1920s? It was abandoned as a overly broad restriction of freedom of speech.
● Cases of libel are becoming harder and harder to win because of Constitutional restrictions. Accuser must provide? Proof of falsity plus proof of intent to harm. ● The 2 clauses in the constitution that concern religion are the establishment clause and the free exercise clause.
● In order to be legal, a search warrant must specify? The area to be searched and what they are searching for.
Chapter 15: Civil Rights
15.1 Equality & Equal Rights
Civil Rights: The rights of all people to be free from irrational discrimination such as that based on race, religion, sex, or ethnic origin.
Natural Rights: The rights of all people to dignity and worth
Affirmative Action: Remedial action designed to overcome the effects of discrimination against minorities and women
● Naturalization: a legal act conferring citizenship on an alien.
● Dual Citizenship: citizenship in more than one nation.
● Right of Expatriation: The right to renounce one’s citizenship
15.2 The Quest for Equal Justice
● Painful confrontation with the problem of race during the civil war.
● Segregation & White Supremacy
○ For nearly a century after the Civil War, white supremacy went unchallenged in the South.
○ During WWI AfricanAmericans began to migrate North & get jobs in war factories→ AfricanAmericans made social gains
○ Migration made the AfricanAmerican vote important in elections.
● Brown v. Board of Education
○ Supreme Court prohibited racially segregated public schools.
● Women’s Suffrage: The right of women to vote; the 19th amendment gave them the right to vote but still denied equal pay and equal rights.
● “Operation Wetback”
○ Hundreds of thousands of mexican immigrants were forcibly deported, sometimes with their U.S. born children.
○ “Show me your papers” provision requiring state law enforcement to check the immigration status of individuals they stop or detain for legitimate purpose. Asian Americans
● Describes approximately 10 million people from many different countries and ethnic backgrounds
● Chinese Americans
○ First asians to come to the U.S.
○ Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882: Restricted Chinese immigration and excluded Chinese immigrants already in the U.S. from the possibility of citizenship. ● Japanese Americans
○ Migrated first to Hawaii
○ During WWII, antijapanese hysteria provoked the internment of west coast japanese in prison camps.
● 20% of the 3 million Native Americans in the U.S. live on a reservation. ● Indian Removal Act: Required that all tribes be moved from the East & Southeast; “Trail of Tears”
15.3 Equal Protection of the Laws
Equal Protection Clause
● Clause in the fourteenth amendment that forbids any state to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
● This clause is the major constitutional restraint on the power of governments to discriminate against persons because of race, national origin, or sex.
● Rational Basis Test: a standard developed by the courts to test the constitutionality of a law; when applied, a law is constitutional as long as it meets a reasonable governmental interest.
● Strict Scrutiny Test: a test applied by the court when a classification is based on race; the government must show that there is a compelling reason for the law and no other less restrictive way to meet the interest.
● Heightened Scrutiny Test: Test applied when a law classifies based on sex; to be upheld, the law must meet an important government interest.
● Poverty & Age: Age is not a suspect classification→ driver’s license, buy alc. Tobacco, get married. Age Discrimination in Employment Act→ unconstitutional to discriminate based on age.
● Sexual Orientation: Growing number of state courts have ruled that their own state constitutions require legal recognition of samesex civil unions and the right to marriage equality.
○ DOMA: Defense of Marriage Act (In favor of samesex marriage)
15.4 Voting Rights
● States, not the federal government, regulate elections and voting qualifications. ● Literacy Test: A literacy requirement some states imposed as a condition of voting, generally used to disqualify black voters in the South; now illegal
● White Primary: a Democratic party primary in the old “oneparty South” that was limited to white people & essentially constituted an election; ruled unconstitutional in Smith v. Allwright.
● Racial Gerrymandering: Drawing election districts so as to ensure that members of a certain race are a minority in the district; ruled unconstitutional in Gomillion v. Lightfoot ● Poll Tax: Tax required to vote; prohibited under the 24th amendment. The Voting Rights Act of 1965
● Prohibits standards that result in denying any citizen's right to vote on account of race or color, as well as any threat or intimidation aimed at preventing citizens from voting. MajorityMinority District: A congressional district created to include a majority of the minority voters; ruled constitutional as long as race is not the main dividing factor.
15.5 Rights to Equal Access
Jim Crow Laws
● State laws formerly pervasive throughout the South requiring public facilities and accommodations to be segregated by race; ruled unconstitutional.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896): Supreme Court endorsed the view that governmentimposed racial segregation in public transportation did not necessarily constitute discrimination, if “equal” accommodations were provided for the members of both races.
● “equal”= meaningless
Civil Rights Act of 1964
● Makes it illegal to discriminate against any customer in a place of public accommodation because of race, color, religion, or national origin.
● Barred discrimination in employment
Class Action Suit: a lawsuit brought by on individuals or a group of people on behalf of all those similarly situated.
Fair Housing Act & Amendments
● Last frontier on the civil rights crusade
● Restrictive Covenants: a provision in a deed to real property that restricts to whom is can be sold.
● 1968 Fair Housing Act: forbids discrimination in housing.
15.6 Education Rights
Brown v. Board of Education
● Challenged “separate but equal”; Court ruled that is is a contradiction in terms; segregation is itself discrimination.
● Question before the court whether separate public schools for black and white students violated the 14th amendment's equal protection clause.
De Jure Segregation: Segregation imposed by law
De Facto Segregation: Segregation resulting from economic or social conditions or personal choice.
Notes from Revel Quiz
● Which of the following is true about Americans and equal rights? Americans belief in equal rights has historically translated into a belief in equal opportunity.
● What do the Naturalization Act and the Indian Removal Act have in common? Both are congressional acts that denied equal rights and due process to groups of americans based on race.
● In trying a case of gender equality, which standard would the Supreme Court use? Heightened Scrutiny.
● Which of the following situations represents racial gerrymandering? Drawing election districts so African Americans are the minority in all districts.
● Which of the following was outlawed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Having separate train cars for blacks and whites.
● Affirmative action is intended to overcome the consequences of discrimination. ● Which of the following would be de facto segregation? When children are assigned to schools near their homes and the neighborhood is racially segregated.
● The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against disabled people in private employment, government programs, public accommodations and