Exam 2 Study Guide
Exam 2 Study Guide P SC 1113 050
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by sarahrichmondOU on Saturday March 5, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to P SC 1113 050 at University of Oklahoma taught by Glen Krutz in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 572 views. For similar materials see American Federal Government in Political Science at University of Oklahoma.
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Date Created: 03/05/16
American Federal Government Study Guide for Exam 2 CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES Civil liberties are classically defined as rights that are intrinsically tied to your nature as a human o This is why the Founders referred to these are “natural rights” o These are rights that the government cannot take away Civil Liberties & the Founders* o all men are created equal o all men have certain “inalienable” rights from their creator o these rights are known as natural rights Civil Liberties and the Constitution* o initially, no bill of rights was present in the Constitution the federalist position limited federal powers most states already had a bill of rights in their state constitutions the anti-federalist position they (wisely) suspected that the federal government might prove to be more powerful than the federalists argued many states refused to ratify until a bill of rights was promised by amendment, which it was. The Bill of Rights o 1 -free speech, assembly, and religion o 2 -right to keep and bear arms(guns on campus current event & lab tordc)* o 3 -no quartering of soldiers o 4 -no unreasonable search and seizure o 5 -no grand jury trials, double jeopardy, right against self- inthimination, due process, and just compensation for seized property o 6 -speedy public jury trials (criminal cases), allowed to see accuser and to confront witnesses, and to present your own witnesses, right to anthttorney o 7 -jury trial in civil cases o 8 -no excessive bail, cruel or unusual punishment o 9 -rights are not limited to those listened in amendments 1-8 o 10 -powers not expressly given to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people Incorporation The founder’s view o “congress shall make no law….” The fourteenth amendment o Passed following the civil war o Says that “no state….shall deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law Following the fourteenth amendment, states have been increasingly restricted from violating liberties set forth in the Bill of Rights Selective incorporation o The fourteenth amendment accomplished very little in terms of securing civil liberties from violation by state governments, initially o A decades long (and ongoing) process known as selective incorporation, has gradually secured protections for all citizens from violations by all levels of government o The vast majority of rights (excepting the 3 , 7 , grant jury hearings, and excessive bail and fines) have now been incorporated Civil liberties—limited or absolute? o Civil liberties are, in almost every case, limited o Criminal defense liberties can be absolute (right to an attorney, right not to incriminate yourself), but that’s it! Freedom of religion o The first amendment states that “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” o Establishment clause Cannot support one religion over another Any law must have a secular purpose, must neither advance nor inhibit religion, and must not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion (Lemon Test) o Free exercise clause Individuals are (mostly) free to practice any religion they like without government intervention Individuals are free to believe anything they like, but actions may be restricted if they are overly dangerous or otherwise illegal Freedom of speech; political speech o “clear and present danger test”—legal test established in the US Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States that attempted to determine appropriate limitations on First Amendment protection of free speech o “bad tendency test”—an early standard by which the constitutionality of laws regulating subversive expression were evaluated in the light of the First Amendment’s guarantee of Freedom of Speech Freedom of the press, prior restraint o The supreme court ruled that the government could not engage in prior restraint—that is, states and the federal government could not in advance prohibit someone from publishing something, without a very compelling reason. Rights of the accused: 4 -8 amendments o Exclusionary rule—a requirement, from the Supreme Court’s case Mapp v. Ohio, that evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search or seizure cannot be used to try someone for a crime The right to privacy o A right to be free of government intrusion into our personal life, particular within the bounds of our home What are civil rights? o Civil rights are, at the most fundamental level, guarantees by government that it will treat people equally, particularly people belonging to groups that have historically been denied the same rights and opportunities as others. o Positive actions taken by government to ensure the equal treatment of groups who have been historically discriminated against o Civil rights result from historical inequities* Identifying civil rights issues—a rubric for defining civil rights* o Which groups? (who) o Which rights are threatened? (inequality) o What do we do? (remedy) o These questions are determined legally and politically in the American political system. A brief history of civil rights o Slavery 3/5 compromise Missouri compromise Dred Scott—clarified that African American slaves are not citizens Civil War Thirteenth amendment Prohibited slavery Fourteenth amendment Guaranteed equal protection under the laws of any state Fifteenth amendment Guaranteed the right to vote (but not really) Segregation Jim crow o Plessy v. Ferguson—separate but equal Voting restrictions Interpreting equality: judicial tests o The rational basis test—as long as there’s a reason for treating some people differently that is “rationally related to a legitimate government interest”, then the discriminatory act or law or policy is acceptable o Intermediate scrutiny—the standard used by the courts to decide cases of discrimination based on gender and sex; the burden of proof is on government to demonstrate an important governmental interest is at stake in treating men differently from women o Discrimination against members of racial, ethnic, or religious groups or those of various national origins is reviewed to the greatest degree by the courts, which apply the strict scrutiny standard in these cases: If there is a non-discriminatory way to accomplish the goal in question, then discrimination should not take place o Affirmative action—consists of government programs and policies designed to benefit members of groups historically subject to discrimination* COURTS The judiciary today continues as a dual court system—with courts at both the national and state levels* o Both levels have three basic tiers consisting of trial courts, appellate courts, and courts of last resort, typically called supreme courts, at the top o The state and federal court systems sometimes intersect and overlap each other, and no two states are exactly alike when it comes to the organization of their courts Upsides of the dual court system in terms of individual rights o Each person has more than just one court system ready to protect his or her rights o The dual court system provides alternate venues in which to appeal for assistance o The many differences among the state courts themselves may enhance an individual’s potential to be heard o If a particular issue or topic is not taken up in one place, it may be handled in another, giving rise to many different opportunities for an interest to be heard somewhere across the nation Downsides of the dual court system in terms of individual rights o The existence of the dual court system and variations across the states and nation also means there are different courts in which a person could face charges for a crime or for a violation of another person’s rights o It is state law that governs the authority of state courts, so judicial rulings about what is legal or illegal may differ from state to state; these differences are particularly pronounces when the laws across the states and the nation are not the same o For example, there are so many differences in marijuana laws between states, and between the states and the national government, that uniform application of treatment in courts across the nation is nearly impossible o This is how different states are able to have differential implementation of Federal law!! Federal court system set-up o Federal cases typically begin at the lowest federal level, the district (or trial) court o Losing parties may appeal their case to the higher courts—first to the circuit courts, or U.S. courts of appeal and then, if chosen by the justices, to the U.S. Supreme Court o The precedent set by each ruling, particularly by the Supreme Court’s decisions, both builds on principles and guidelines set by earlier cases and frames the ongoing operation of the courts, steering the direction of the entire system The three tiers of federal courts o Circuit courts—the appeals (appellate) courts of the federal court system that review decisions of the lower (district) courts; aka courts of appeals o Courts of appeals—the appellate courts of the federal court system that review decisions of the lower (district courts); aka circuit courts o District courts—the trial courts of the federal court system where cases are tried, evidence is presented, and witness testimony is heard Today’s federal court system was not an overnight creation; it has been changing and transitioning for more than 200 years through various acts of Congress Article 3 of the constitution addresses “the judicial power of the United States” It is the shortest and least detailed of the three articles that created the branches of government It calls for the creation of “one supreme court” and establishes the court’s jurisdiction (its authority to hear cases and make decisions about them) and the types of cases the court may hear It distinguishes which are matters of original jurisdiction and which are for appellate jurisdiction Original vs. appellate jurisdiction o Under original jurisdiction, a case is heard for the first time, while under appellate jurisdiction, a court hears a case on appeal from a lower court and may change the lower court’s decision Judicial review—the power of the courts, as part of the system of checks and balances, to look at actions taken by the other branches of government and the states and determine whether they are constitutional Judicial review was established in the Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison, when for the first time the Court declared an act of Congress to be unconstitutional Since Marbury, the power of judicial review has continually expanded, and the Court has not only ruled actions of Congress and the president to be unconstitutional, but it has also extended its power to include the review of state and local actions Discretion in U.S. Supreme Court setting agenda: Rule of 4* o The rule of 4—the Supreme Court exercises discretion in the cases it chooses to hear, but four of the nine Justices must vote to accept a case. Factors that explain which cases are selected by the U.S. Supreme Court o When considering whether to take on a case and then later when ruling on it, the justices rely on a number of internal and external players who assist them with and influence their work, including but not limited to: Their law clerks The U.S. solicitor general Interest groups The mass media ELECTION Types of nominating processes in states o Primaries Open—any registered voter may cast a vote Closed—only voters registered as members of a political party may vote Semi-open—allows voters of all political persuasions to vote, but are only allowed to vote in a single primary o The structure of primary matters How? Closed primaries tend to yield more support for candidates from the poles Open primaries tend to help moderate candidates o Caucus—a meeting of supports or members of a specific political party or movement Straw poll—an unofficial poll or vote indicating how people feel about a candidate or issue Group-based
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